• Parental Responsibility and Retirement Savings

    As I discussed yesterday in a pair of articles (this one and this one), I dream of a future where my children and I are completely financially independent from one another. I’m not dependent on them, nor are they dependent on me. The real question that both articles strive to answer, though, is where should …

  • The Case for Saving for a Child’s College Education over Saving for Retirement

    One of the most common debates I hear about from people such as myself – twenty- and thirtysomethings with young children at home – is whether it makes more sense to save adequately for retirement or save adequately for their child’s college education. Quite often, young career folks (like myself) don’t have the means to …

  • The Case for Saving for Retirement Over Saving for a Child’s College Education

    One of the most common debates I hear about from people such as myself – twenty- and thirtysomethings with young children at home – is whether it makes more sense to save adequately for retirement or save adequately for their child’s college education. Quite often, young career folks (like myself) don’t have the means to …

  • Making Retirement Savings Tangible

    Monica writes in: The one financial thing I haven’t done for myself yet is start saving for retirement. The problem is that I don’t ever want to retire and if I imagine a situation where I actually am retired, I just don’t want to envision it at all. I just can’t convince myself to take …

  • Review: The Retirement Savings Time Bomb… And How to Defuse It

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or related book of interest. For a long time, I avoided reading this book. The title seemed unnecessarily fear-mongering and apocalyptic to me and that’s a subgenre of personal finance books that I really have no interest in. Personal finance has such a profound power …

  • Retirement or Education?

    Chris writes in: We are friends with another couple that is around our same age, income level, status, and number and age of children. When I was mentioning to them that we were planning to pay off our car this year (leaving us with our mortgage and a small student loan) and the starting to …

  • Trimming the Average Budget: Pensions and Social Security

    This is part of an ongoing series about how to trim the budget of the average American. As this series focuses on such broad-based tips, some will work for you and some will not. You’re invited to mention in the comments the tips that you found to be the most useful for inclusion in a …

  • Retirement Planning for a Low-Income Career

    Several people in my close inner circle of friends and family have made the active choice to go into careers where they will be earning a low income for life. Their calling is in areas of social work and they’ve made the financially difficult choice to follow their heart. That earns a lot of respect …

  • Three Retirement Questions for People in Their Twenties

    “Shane” writes in: I’m twenty three years old. I just got a really great job with a 401k that’s matched 100% by my employer up to 10%, which I’ve heard from others is a really great deal that I need to take advantage of. So I started investing 10% of my paycheck so I can …

  • Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Ever since I first gave it a sincere read-through in late 2006, The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing has been my go-to guide for investment advice, the first place I turn when I have a question about investing. My paperback copy is now well-worn and …

  • Passing the Blame: Some Thoughts on the 401(k) Crisis

    A couple days ago at the doctor’s office, I picked up the newest issue of Time, which featured a cover story entitled “Why It’s Time to Retire the 401(k)” (and you can read the article online). The article was filled with lots of stories about individuals close to retirement age who lost a large portion …

  • What Matters Most to You? Planning for a Very Long Life

    Marcia writes in: I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how much to put away for retirement each week. I’m twenty five years old and most of the advice says to put away 10% of your salary into your 401(k) but I think I should be putting away more. I have three great grandparents …

  • Having Enough for Life

    I am absolutely honored to feature a guest post today by Vicki Robin, someone who I’ve had the privilege to get to know a little over the last year or so. Vicki is co-author of Your Money or Your Life, one of the books that changed my life. Currently, Vicki is teaching tele-classes about money …

  • The Total Money Makeover: Maximize Retirement Investing

    This is the eighth of twelve parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, where this book on debt reduction is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the ninth chapter, finishing on page 167. The next entry, covering the tenth chapter, will appear on …

  • Over-Saving for Retirement?

    Haruki writes in: I am putting 15% of my salary into my 401(k) which gets a 5% match from my employer. I also contribute the max to my Roth IRA. I followed up with Haruki and found that his salary is $46,000 per year and he’s twenty seven years old, just for calculation’s sake. So …

  • Taxes and the Future

    One big point that I often bring up in favor of Roth IRAs is the fact that you’ve already paid your income taxes on it. When you take money out of your Roth IRA at retirement age, you don’t have to pay income taxes on any of your withdrawals. On the other hand, with a …

  • What’s Next After Retirement Savings?

    Quite often, financially intelligent young professionals get out of school, start in the professional world, and actually stick quite strongly to the “spend less than you earn” mantra. They fund their Roth IRAs and their 401(k)s, but they still find themselves spending much less than they’re bringing in. And they wonder what’s next. “Fred” writes …

  • Saving for College or Saving for Retirement: What’s Best for Us?

    This past weekend, my wife and I were watching Clark Howard’s show on Headline News. During the program, Clark stated a canard that I’ve heard several times from personal finance “gurus” over the past couple years: instead of saving for a child’s college education, parents are better off saving for their own retirement. Clark’s main …

  • Review: Work Less, Live More – The Way to Semi-Retirement

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Even before I began my financial turnaround, I dreamed of being able to settle into some form of “semi-retirement” around age fifty or so (when the children are out on their own). I dreamed of spending mornings working on my writing, spending my afternoons …