30 Ways to Retire Earlier

Retiring early might seem like a pipe dream, but it's not — if you know what steps you need to take, that is. But don't think you can work today and just retire tomorrow. Instead, implement the following tips to amp up your retirement savings, cut spending and find extra sources of income. Check out these 30 tips on how to retire early. 1. Create an Early Retirement Plan While these retirement tips can help support your early retirement goals, you need a strategy to get you there. Figure out what it will cost for you to get into an early retirement and how much cash you will need to comfortably live on. A solid plan can help direct all your actions toward reaching the goal of an ...

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Study: 401k Fee Disclosure Not Helping

A major undertaking by the Department of Labor seems to be missing the mark. Last year, it implemented new rules requiring 401k plan providers to disclose all fees associated with plan administration, investments and other expenses. This added transparency was meant to be beneficial for plan participants, as greater knowledge about fees could potentially help them make better retirement planning decisions. But a major industry organization discovered these efforts are mostly ineffective. LIMRA, a global research organization specializing in financial services and insurance, revealed that before the new Department of Labor rules went into effect, half of defined contribution plan participants had no concept of how much they paid in annual fees and expenses. Post-disclosure, half of participants still have no idea. "Despite the efforts to increase transparency, fee disclosure ...

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Guaranteed Failure With Mutual Funds

Sixty Eight percent of US Large Cap Funds lagged the S&P 500 benchmark over the previous five year period, according to the mid-year 2012 Standard & Poors Indexes vs. Active Funds (SPIVA) Scorecard. This result is consistent with historical patterns and results for other market segments. A 68% chance of underperforming means a 32% chance of outperforming. These are tough odds, but the entrepreneurial nature of many Americans encourages them to believe they can find a way to beat them. Unfortunately, the odds get even longer with a portfolio of funds. Let's assume that funds which outperform do so by an equal magnitude as the amount of underperformance by those lag. Historically, this is a very generous assumption. If you own six funds, your chance of outperformance drops below 15%. With ...

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The Fed meets this week: Is an interest rate increase out of the question this year?

Economist Lindsey Piegza made a tough call a couple of years ago. Straying widely from conventional thought at the time, she predicted the Federal Reserve wouldn't raise interest rates until 2016. As the central bank has hesitated to lift rates from record-low levels, much of the rest of the world has come around to Piegza's way of thinking. Fed policymakers meet this week, and it's widely expected that they'll keep rates right where they are. What are the chances the Fed will raise rates at this week's meeting Source: Bankrate.com Oct. 1 Market Mavens survey of top investing professionals Piegza, with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., says she feels vindicated. "We stuck to our guns, and we looked at what the data was telling us," she says. "We looked at what our ...

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Say "I Do" to a DIY Backyard Wedding

If wedding bells are in the air, then there are many questions that come to mind. Who will I ask to be in the wedding DJ or live music Chicken or steak, or both Destination or traditional venue For those looking to save some money with those upcoming nuptials, there's no better destination for a wedding then your own backyard. Sure, it's an everyday location, but think of it as a fresh palette. You can make it completely your own. Here are some ideas on pulling off the perfect DIY backyard wedding that will make your memorable day even more memorable, as it's at the comfort of your own home – from the centerpieces to the music. Table of Contents There are so many glass jars that we use day to day ...

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Expenses for Seniors Are Rising Faster Than Their Social Security Checks

Social Security benefits haven't kept pace with the soaring cost of prescription drugs and other expenses for seniors, leading to a 30% drop in benefits' purchasing power since 2000, according to a study to be released next week by The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan organization. Each year, the Social Security Administration adjusts benefits upward for inflation. (If the consumer price index registers a decline or shows very low inflation, such as in 2015, seniors may get no raise at all the following year.) Yet this annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) doesn't cover seniors' mounting costs. The average Social Security benefit today is $1,320 per month, while a benefit of $1,518 would be needed to maintain the buying power that beneficiaries had in 2000, according to the report. Put ...

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Why 75 Is the New 62 for Today's College Grads

The numbers are not adding up for recent college graduates counting on a comfortable retirement. New data from NerdWallet.com, a financial information website, suggests young people, on average, will work 13 years longer than today's typical retirees. Right now the average retirement age is a youthful 62. But for the class of 2015, seventy-five will be the average expected age, NerdWallet said. Given a normal life expectancy of 84 for someone now 23 years old, that leaves less than a decade to enjoy the golden years without the 9-to-5 grind. It is a one-two punch. Along with a certificate, graduates are leaving school with considerable student debt. College graduates, on average, put out $4,239 per year to repay such debt, according to NerdWallet. In addition, young people are ...

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What You Could Learn About a Successful Retirement From Current Retirees

Despite all the talk of a retirement crisis — and fears of people running through their savings too quickly — a new study has found something interesting: Older Americans who've spent nearly two decades in retirement have not only been able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, but have managed to do so while keeping their nest egg largely intact. But before today's retirement savers get too giddy, the same study warns that future retirees may find it much more difficult to achieve anything close to the same feat. Researchers at the BlackRock Retirement Institute, in conjunction with the Employee Benefit Research Institute, examined the finances of thousands of retiree households. They divided retirees into three groups — those with the lowest level of wealth (zero to ...

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