Seek Directions
Rather than watch employees run their retirement plans into the ground, more companies are opting to provide 401(k) plan participants with investment advice. The move also helps companies avoid ...

Worries About Pensions On The Rise
A national poll released Friday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reveals that the public's growing interest in the Enron debacle is spurring widespread fear ...

InsMark Releases Financial Software
InsMark has released a financial software system calledLeveraged Estate Plan, which addresses wealth accumulation and preservation. The system increases the amount of allowable transfers to family members higher than ...

As Elections Near, Senate Republicans Unveil a
Senate Republicans have introduced a plan that would create a Roth 401(k) and would create more protections for workers' pensions when companies convert to cash balance plans. Retirement savings ...

The Changing Face of Pensions
Companies' conversions from traditional, "final average pay" pensions to cheaper cash-balance plans are leaving thousands of older workers scrabbling to find enough savings for their retirements. A manager at ...

Income Annuities Are Poised for Takeoff
While the financial markets have been booming, consumers have increasingly been taking regular withdrawals from their mutual funds and annuities, rather than creating a formal income payment plan through the ...

Industry Dodges Murky Rules to Give Advice
There are roughly 78 million people enrolled in retirement plans, but they are making choices about those plans with very little advice--employers generally do not provide advice because they fear ...

For Problems in Retirement-Plan Distributions, Congress
Congressional lawmakers have included three provisions in pension legislation that promises a fresh start to retirees whose retirement distributions are in disarray because of clerical foul-ups or other mistakes. ...

401(k)'s Have Lost a Step
Employers do not offer enough variety in their 401(k) plans to protect employees from a faltering economy, which is why many accounts lost money for the first time in 2001. ...

EBRI: Job Changers Blow Less Retirement Cash
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more U.S. workers are keeping retirement plan assets in retirement accounts when they change jobs; 35 percent of workers kept their money in ...

Steep Rise in Defined-Benefit Pension Costs for Many Companies
According to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche L.L.P., 40 percent of executives predict that pension expenses will rise by more than 50 percent this year, and 20 ...

House OKs More Cash for Retirement Plans
Employment policy analysts say the bill that the House passedMay 2 will benefit employers. The bill allows citizens to contributemore tax-preferred money to their personal retirement funds, increasingthe deferred tax-contribution ...

All About IRAs
In an article for The Motley Fool, Dave Braze reviews the rules governing IRAs. Husbands and wives are allowed to have an IRA, even if one of the two ...

Low Interest Rates Can Translate Into Higher Lump-Sum Payments
Low interest rates have increased the popularity of lump-sum pension payments, because pensions must calculate such payments based on the 30-year Treasury bond yield, and the lower the rate of ...

New York Life Introduces 401(k) Online Learning Tool
New York Life Benefit Services' new L{earn} Online is aWeb-based 401(k) plan communications tool that educates participants about saving and retirement planning. It also helpsthem find information specific to ...

401(k)s Still Favored by Employers, Workers
Despite the Enron debacle and the decline of the stock market, workers have not rushed to unload their 401(k) plans and employers have made only minor changes to retirement plans, ...

New Internet Marketing Initiative
A new Internet marketing initiative, IHateFinancialPlanning.com (IHFP), has been launched by ReliastarFinancial. It focuses on consumers who both dislike financial planning and want simplicity in their buying experience. ...

Financial Planning for 401(k) Plans
Accounting strategists Lawrence C. Phillips and Thomas R. Robinson examine the implications involved in investing in 401(k) plans and the role of the financial advisor. Financial advisors are expected ...

SunGard: Estate Planning Software
Sungard Insurance System now offers a software package that provides both family needs analysis and estate planning. FINPACK 2000 v5.5 includes a new investment analysis and asset allocation utility ...

Web Sites
Most bank Web sites offer links to check a balance, transfer funds, and apply for a loan or credit card, and some give instructions for trading securities, but compared to ...

Online 401(k) Offerings Think Small
Use of the Internet is making it possible for plan providers to deliver automated services at lower costs. More than ever, plan providers are scrambling to supply small businesses ...

Plugged-in Planners
Millions of Americans are realizing the importance of professional financial advice as they grow frustrated with e-trading. For those who want fairly simplistic advice, Web sites can offer help. ...

Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind
ACLI senior director Lynn Boyd says that people are purchasing long-term care insurance as part of their investment plans and retirement planning tools as well as purchasing it at younger ...

Slow Down, Educate Clients, Lynch Tells NAVA
In a recent speech at an annuity conference, world-renowned financial analyst Peter Lynch said financial advisers need to spend more time with their clients to educate them and help them ...

Stocks Add Some Spice to Plain-Vanilla 401(k) Plans
Southwest Airlines Pilot's Association has started to allow its members to invest some of its 401(k) monies in stocks. In addition to current investments in mutual funds, some pilots are ...

Survey: Boomers to Spend Retirement in the Red
Baby boomers with household incomes ranging from $35,000 to $100,000 told researchers with Harris Interactive that they expect to spend their retirement years paying off high levels of debt. ...

Choosing a Financial Planner
St. Petersburg Times writer Helen Huntley offers tips on what people planning for their retirement should look for in a financial professional. Huntley says one of the first things ...

Retirement Assets Declined in 2001
Last year saw retirement investments suffer as stocks fell, but investors persisted in adding to their retirement assets, placing an estimated $140 billion into defined contribution plans and individual retirement ...

Estate and Personal Financial Planning
According to AICPA, about 66,000 CPAs are now, or are in the process of becoming, registered investment advisers. There is currently a trend in which CPAs are moving from ...

Financial Portals Are Hot, But for Whom?
Many analysts think that by the end of the year most big banks will have Web sites where customers can handle all of their financial needs. This requires the ...

NPC Creates Accountants Financial Planning Program
The National Planning Corp. (NPC) has created the NPC Partners' Alliance (NPCPA), a new division that will concentrate on the accounting/financial planning market. Scott Grayson, the leader of NPCPA, ...

Money and You: Some Advice Worth Saving
Retirement authority Lynn O'Shaughnessy says people sabotagetheir retirement planning efforts by making expensive mistakes. According to O'Shaughnessy, workers often make the mistake of cashingout their 401(k) retirement plans when they ...

Limits on Roth IRAs Changing Under New Tax Law
Those saving for retirement can expect higher contributionlimits for their Roth IRAs, but they should remember that income limitshave not been changed by the new tax law. Single individuals ...

The Advice Threshold
With no relief in sight for the weakening economy, the demandfor financial planners has never been higher. If there was ever a needfor a financial planner, now is the ...

Younger Workers Feel Stuck as Older Ones Don't Retire
According to an AARP study, about 70 percent of workers over the age of 45 plan to work during their retirement years, and many reported economic need as the main ...

Study Gives Advisors Clues to Understanding Rich Clients
According to J.P. Morgan's private banking service, financial service advisors who want more business from wealthy clients must fine tune their marketing strategies. Today's affluent market is not defined ...

Full-Service Brokers Embrace Net
Last year, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Merrill Lynchannounced that they were both launching online brokerage sites. Now that industry watchers have seen the two sites' success, other full ...

Survey Says: Participant Inertia
A casual study regarding investment behavior shows that people tend to take the "set it and forget it" approach to investing. This lack of action in managing retirement accounts ...

US Care Services for the Elderly Are in High Demand
By 2030, around 5 million Americans are predicted to need nursing home care at a cost of $70 billion, Mayo Clinic researchers report. In addition, full-time care at such ...

DOL Opinion Validates Use of Qualified Plan Ins.
Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) gave an advisory opinion (2000-10A) that has helped to validate the estate planning technique called "Qualified Plan Insurance Partnerships (QPIP)." This technique was ...

Variable Annuities Hit by Market Timing
Lipper, a U.S. fund tracker, noted that investors in variableannuities lost more money than those who invested in mutual fundswrought with scandal. Further examination of variable annuitiesrevealed that rapid ...

College Savings Planning Starts Early
A recent nationwide survey for Fidelity Investments bodes well for CPAs seeking to offer financial planning services to families looking to save for their children's education. The study found ...

401(k) Advice Zooms Into Fast Lane
Advice programs are on their way to becoming the standout among retirement savings plans. The rapid growth is duein large part to employees who have tired of trying to ...

Don't Kid Yourself: The Boomer Generation Shouldn't Fall for
A new book points out common myths about retirement planningthat baby boomers should avoid. Called "The Seven Dangerous MoneyMyths," the book lists several falsehoods that baby boomers buy intowhen ...

Advisers Court the Mega-Rich Investor
The super-rich are being wooed by Wall Street advisers whowant to help them manage their millions. Today's market is brimmingwith multimillionaires, but more specifically an emerging group known as"Pentamillionaires," ...

American United Life: On-Line Benefits Administration
American United Life has introduced eBenefits, an online benefits administration program for employers in the small-group market. The Web site offers the following for disability products and standard group ...

Traditional vs. Roth
The principle difference between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs is that contributions to traditional IRAs are tax-deductible. In most cases, people who withdraw from a traditional IRA before age ...

ACLI Applauds Committee OK of Bill Encouraging Annuitizing
ACLI President Frank Keating says the House Ways and Means Committee's approval of legislation encouraging individuals to annuitize part of their retirement savings could be a turning point in policy ...

Better Computer Models Enhance Financial Planning Web
New computer models offer financial planning sites performance enhancing features. One site to prosper from upgraded financial planning technology is FinPortfolio.com. At the heart of the site's application ...

Insmark: Financial Software System
Insmark has introduced the Leveraged Estate Plan. Thisis a financial software system that addresses wealth preservationand accumulation. The planning technique used increases the number of transfers allowed to ...

Gluttons for Punishment
According to Boston Research Group, about 30 percent of 401(k) assets are in employer stock, and about 50 percent of those interviewed consider that stock riskier than money market funds. ...

Cross-Sales Key to MONY-Advest Deal; Insurer Sees
As part of an effort to increase its stake of the assetmanagement business, MONY Group has announced plans to acquire Advest Group for approximately $275 million in cash and stock. ...

Insurance for the Long Haul
Alarmed by the decline in the quality of the life of their parents, baby boomers are making long-term care (LTC) insurance part of their pre-retirement plans. However, experts urge ...

Experts Warn of Financial Planning Deluge
At the recent Financial Planning Association conference, experts who spoke predicted that the demand for good financial planners will be higher than ever in the near future. A recent ...

Online Billing: Savings Oversold?
While all in the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) business have yet to see a profit, none are doubting that they will. Analysts believe that by 2005, EBPP-related ...

Is Your Retirement at Risk?
Baby boomers, who looked confidently into the future as their incomes and savings flourished during the 1990s, are now faced with an increasing financial crisis. Booming incomes and savings, ...

Investor Relations: Steady Relationship--Following in the
Private investors, previously left in the dark with little or no access to company news and information outside of shareholder circulars or the financial press, now have immediate and real-time ...

Annuity Buying: It Pays to Delay
This article advises retirees to consider purchasing an annuity to help them reap a steady source of annual income for the rest of their lives, and says that healthy retirees ...

Despite Some Bright Signs, Pensions to Suffer for Years
Traditional pension plans have lately been bolstered by increases in the securities markets, but experts caution that moderate gains will still leave pensions woefully underfunded. A survey of 100 ...

Using a Single Investment to Meet Multiple Financial Goals
Those who own cash-value life insurance policies should make use of them, perhaps by borrowing against the cash value to pay bills or nursing-home costs, writes Jonathan Clements for the ...

Online 401(k) Plans Altering Market
Workers at an increasing number of the nation's smallerbusinesses stand to benefit from a new Web-based retirement plan, dubbedthe e-401(k). The unprecedented change the Internet has brought to theretirement ...

Cash Balance Plan Choice Allays Controversies
Although old-fashioned defined benefit (DB) plans appear unattractive to today's mobile workforce, some sponsors have turned to cash balance designs to appeal to new workers while maintaining benefits for long-time ...

Getting Personal: As Annuities Evolve, Complexity Grows
Principal Financial Group, American Skandia, and Golden Retirement are among the insurers offering new variations on immediate annuities, as part of what experts say is a growing trend to provide ...

401(k) Investors Seeking Balance
A weak economic outlook and the uncertainty surrounding the stock market have 401(k) plan participants seeking other means of savings, such as bond and stable value funds, writes Craig Gunsauley ...

Exit Strategies
Millions of Americans dream of retiring early. A recentsurvey by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA) found that while onein four workers aims to retire by a certain ...

Web-Based Financial Planning Generates Actionable Advice
Web-based financial planning offers consumers an alternative to traditional financial counseling. Recent studies find fault with the financial counseling people receive today. More often than not, the advice ...

Unwise Wisdom: Don't Touch Your Retirement Money Until You Retire
Conventional wisdom tells us that retirement money is forretirement. Should one decide that funds set aside for retirement must beused today, however, there are certain penalty-free tricks to drawing ...

Naming the Right Beneficiary Can Benefit You
Naming a beneficiary is a way of extending the growth ofcertain assets and simplifying the distribution process. Too often,mistakes are made, potentially subjecting heirs to heavy estate taxesand creating ...

New York Life Rolls Out Pension Education
New York Life Benefit Services (NYLB) has unveiled a new communications campaign as part of its L(earn) campaign. It is designed to educate employees about defined benefit pension plans ...

Recession Is Scary, but Is There an Alternative to Stocks?
The rate on three-month Treasurys is currently below 2.25 percent. The last recession with rates that low, writes the New York Time's Floyd Norris, was during 1958. Many ...

Pensions Are Losing Popularity
The Employee Benefit Research Institute surveyed workers and discovered that only 6 percent believed defined-benefit pension plans were essential, compared to 25 percent who thought 401(k)s were. Traditional pension ...

Insurance: Is Yours Safe?
Insurance experts urge policyholders to exercise caution when shopping for an insurance policy. Among the things to consider when looking for an insurance company, buyers should check the safety-and-soundness ...

Client Strategies--The Limits of FLPs: Family Limited
Family limited partnerships (FLPs) are an excellent estate-planning tool for affluent persons who want to bequeath sizable gifts to family members, although they do come with caveats. FLPs are ...

Safeco: New Investment Managers for Variable Insurance
SAFECO Life & Investments has added a new investment portfolio to its line of variable insurance products. Products affected include SAFECO Life & Investment Spinaker series variable annuities, Safeflex ...

Never Enough
Those saving for retirement are always playing a guessing game, but calculators and other tools offered by retirement planning analysts and others can help take some of the guesswork out ...

Women Looking for Financial Gains Can Find Investment Help
Women in and out of the workforce are turning to the Internet for guidance on how to invest. Investment Web sites aregrowing in popularity as more women look for ...

Do Variable Annuities Fit in Your Portfolio?
As retirement tools go, variable annuities (VA) are practical and afford significant tax benefits, but investors should be prepared to pay extra. VAs are uniquely structured to offer protection ...

Personal Wealth Life Lessons
Consumers should beware that that the current bear market may have not only lessened their retirement savings, but it may have damaged the value of their life insurance policies as ...

Bundled Approach Gains Among DC Plan Sponsors
A new study from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investment Management indicates that defined contribution plan sponsors prefer bundled services and investments more than they do unbundled managers or service providers ...

Split Dollar--The Most Powerful Tool in the Box
Split dollar life insurance valuation enables two parties (employer/ employee) to share in the policy's ownership, premium payments, and benefits. There are three premium payment structures used with split ...

30-to-45 Bracket Proving Hard to Reach for Banks
Banks must use alternative selling tactics to persuade young professionals to buy insurance products from them, according to Gary Warden, vice president of financial institutions marketing at CGU Life. ...

Doors May Open to 401(k) Advice
Over 42 million U.S. workers have an estimated $1.6 trillion in their 401(k) retirement plans, and many are waiting to see how Congress will reconcile several pension reform bills that ...

Pension Funds' Risky Business
Morgan Stanley recently estimated that 360 of Standard & Poor's 500 companies have defined benefit plans with about $240billion in deficits. Since the economic downturn, the outbreak of corporate ...

A Quick Fix From Congress May Be Bad for Retirees
Both Congress and the Bush administration are looking for fixes for damaged retirement plans that will at least get them through the next election, and the latest idea is to ...

War Prods Investors to Shift Retirement Money
The conflict in Iraq is spurring more investors to make changes to their 401(k) investments, according to figures from consulting firm Hewitt Associates. Although analysts usually recommend that investors ...

New Retirement Housing Planned for Arizona
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based entrepreneur Mort Fleischer and Ranch Communities of America are planning to build as many as 25,000 affordable housing units near Prescott for middle-market retirees. The community will ...

Employers Investing in Efforts to Educate Workers on Saving
Stock market declines and workers' diminishing retirement accounts have pushed employers to offer employees more investment education. One survey shows that 89 percent of employees say they would find ...

Ready or Not, Welcome to the 401(k) Plan
Last month, the federal government gave automatic 401(k) enrollment the green light, and the Internal Revenue Service announced a number of rulings clarifying the rules for automatic enrollment. Enrollment ...

Want a Piece of Advice?
As more large plan vendors offer 401(k) plans online, participants are being given an increasing number of investment options. With this increased control over their investments comes a need ...

Gauging Withdrawals From a Retirement Portfolio
To ensure financial support in retirement years, young couplesneed to plan a withdrawal strategy that will last for 30 to 40 years. Let us assume a conservatively invested tax deferred ...

Health Benefits for Retirees Continue Decline
Health care benefits for retirees continue to dwindle, as morecompanies stop providing coverage after their employees leave. Resultsfrom a study conducted by the General Accounting Office (GAO) show thatthe ...

Retirement Plan Vendors Offering Broad Universes
Retirement plan vendors have begun enhancing their product lines and amplifying their flexibility, which bodes well for financial planners with pension plan trustee clients. Richard M. Todd, a principle ...

Take an Inventory of Your Assets
Financial advisors state that individuals should calculate their net worth yearly in an effort to better gauge their retirement savings. The Employee Benefit Research Institute noted that most retirees' ...

U.S. Women's Group Blasts Social Security Accounts
OWL, a nonprofit group representing older women, has announced its opposition to President Bush's proposal to reform Social Security by allowing workers to establish individual retirement accounts with part of ...

Even Small Investors Can Achieve Diversity
Portfolio diversification is important, according to this opinion piece. Although 401(k) investors are limited to the funds chosen by their employers, diversification is still doable, and employees should remember ...

Funding Employee Retirement 'Perk' Key for Small Businesses
In order to draw and retain good employees, it is essential for companies large and small to provide adequate retirement benefits. Notably, small businesses have more options today in ...

1st Round to Industry in Non-Cash Comp Tiff
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declined arequest by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) for accelerated approval of a controversial proposal to apply theNASD's non-cash compensation rules to ...

Early-Retirement Plans Make Their Own Workplace Exit
Early-retirement plans are favored by older workers who are facing layoffs or who want something new, and they give companies an alternative to widespread layoffs, but outplacement firms and labor ...

Morningstar.com: Interactive Classroom
Morningstar.com has launched an Interactive Classroom, a free online service that lets individual investors learn and improve their financial skills. The Interactive Classroom lets visitors access a variety of ...

Dipping Into the Nest Egg
This article says more workers are choosing to borrow against their 401(k) plans and cautions that doing so is not always a good idea. One in every four workers ...

Insurer Makes Bid for Independent Brokers
GenAmerica Financial is offering independent life insurance brokerage owners an equity share of a new distribution company called Brokerage Partners. The move is an attempt to attract high-end producers ...

401(k), All the Time
In the late 1970s, a benefits counselor named Ted Bennadiscovered a part of the tax code known as section 401(k). Today, Benna and a host of analysts continue their ...

Defined Contribution Participants Leave Assets Alone
Defined contribution plan participants are not touching their plan assets, in what industry experts are describing as both good and bad news. Observers say plan participants are either reacting to ...

Unwise Wisdom: Don't Touch Your Retirement Money Until You Retire
Conventional wisdom tells us that retirement money is forretirement. Should one decide that funds set aside for retirement mustbe used today, however, there are certain penalty-free tricks to drawingon ...

Without Employee Knowledge, 401(k) Plans Don't Work
A good plan, employee contributions, and employee knowledge are the cornerstones necessary to building an adequate 401(k) retirement plan. Despite this fact, one survey finds thatover 50 percent of ...

Handling Small Balances
As businesses await new Department of Labor regulations for the removal of small balances in 401(k) plans, many employers are cleaning out low-balance plans while it is still cheap to ...

Immediate-Variable Annuities Beckon to Aging Baby Boomers
As spendthrift baby boomers retire, writes the Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Clements, they can look to immediate-variable annuities to provide income for life. With such an investment, you are ...

Selling VAs? Check Out Regulatory Leanings
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Web site contains a consumer-oriented section dubbed, "Protect Your Money." In the section, the SEC lists certain investment areas where consumers should stay ...

Women Need to Save More for Retirement
Women need to get serious about saving for retirement,according to Los Angeles Times columnist Kathy Kristof. Kristof writesthat more information is being disseminated to women to educate them onwhat ...

Public Overlooks Financial Planners, AICPA Study Finds
A survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) discovered that only half of all Americans with incomes over $75,000 utilize the expertise of financial planners. AICPA's nationwide ...

Stocks and Rollovers Pump Up IRA Assets
According to figures released by the Employee Benefit ResearchInstitute (EBRI), IRA asset totals increased 22 percent in 1999, to $2.5trillion. Had IRA growth continued at the same rate in ...

Figure Costs Before Tapping Retirement Plan
Retirement planning experts advise investors to reconsider withdrawing money from their retirement accounts. Pulling money from either an IRA or 401(k) account can be costly, and dipping into them ...

Retirement-Rule Revisions Could Save Millions in Taxes
Ed Slott, an accountant in Rockville Centre, N.Y., and publisher of Ed Slott's IRA Advisor, says what everyone should gain from the pension legislation that is advancing in Congress is ...

Should You Invest Where You Sleep?
The recession, the recent accounting scandals, and the subsequent stock plunge has prompted many investors to pour their money into real estate. One of the benefits of real estate ...

Financial Analysis Solutions
Hyperion Solutions Corp. has developed two new Web-based analysis products. Hyperion Financial Management integrates consolidation, modeling and planning, reporting, business analysis, budget creation and management, and currency translation processes. ...

Ultra-Rich Use Internet for Financial Dealings
Results from a new study by Spectrem Group finds that the affluent are more apt to use the Internet to make simple financial transactions than persons with less income. ...

Consumers Underestimate Longevity, Financial Needs
A recent MetLife survey reveals that consumers largely underestimate how long they will live and how much they will need to save for retirement. While experts say that retirees ...

Top 10 Estate Plan Tools to Use Now and Probably Into the Future
National Underwriter magazine contributor GaryUnderwood offers 10 estate planning techniques planners can usenow and maybe in the future. The first technique is the "AB"trust. AB trusts are supposed ...

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?
With just a small amount of planning, a family businesscan easily be protected from the ravages of estate taxes. According to a recent poll, only 14 percent of small ...

Women and Retirement Survey
According to a recent survey by Pension Benefits magazine, women are concerned about retirement planning but could stand to be more prepared. Overall, 80 percent of survey respondents, including ...

Why Even a Rally Won't Save You
This article emphasizes that an upturn in the stock market may not be all that helpful to the 52 million Americans with 401(k) retirement plans. Not only have some ...

How Much Insurance Is Needed to Help Cover Long-Term Care?
Long-term care insurance has become a hot commodity, and can help the insured cover nursing home and home-care costs. Experts suggest that those without significant assets will be eligible for ...

Treasury Report Opposes 401(k) Limits
A new Treasury Department report released Thursday reveals that one in five people with a 401(k) retirement plan has over 20 percent of the assets invested in his or her ...

New IRA Distribution Regs Boost Life Insurance Planning
The Internal Revenue Service regulations on IndividualRetirement Account distributions provide considerable sales and planningopportunities. The regulations, which came out in January 2001, enablethe IRA owner to stretch the distributions over ...

The Pension Situation May Hamper Market
Experts warn that older style, defined benefit pension plans are often being underfunded by companies that overestimate the value of their pension funds. The estimated total underfunded pension liabilities ...

Reading Your Way to Comfy Retirement
Business Week financial planning columnist Robert Barker saysconsumers preparing for retirement should be selective about the booksthey read that offer investment advice. Not all book publishers havethe best intentions ...

No Time, No Energy, No Comprende
While the Bush administration has proposed setting aside a portion of Social Security funds in private investment accounts managed by workers, critics are concerned that employees are unprepared to sensibly ...

Get Smart
Many employees fail to join or increase their 401(k) contributions because the process is too complicated, but there are several companies interested in developing programs to change that trend. ...

Study: Online Investment Industry in Peril
Results from a survey conducted by the Internet qualitymeasurement firm Gomez Inc. suggest that the online investment industryis in trouble. Entitled the "State of Online Investing III," the reportfinds ...

How to Salvage Retirement Plans
Many Americans who were planning on retiring in a few yearshave had their hopes dashed, as the stock market continues to wreckhavoc on investor's portfolios. The bad news, however, is ...

The Layaway Plan
To avoid some of the risk inherent in a stock portfolio, an investor should consider income-producing stocks. Such stocks collect a steady stream of income in the form of ...

Goal-Setting Builds Confident Retirement Planning
The American Express 2002 Participant Satisfaction Survey indicates that participants who have set retirement fund goals are 146 percent more likely to be confident about their attempts to financially prepare ...

Workers Pick Up 401(k) Charges
Companies are moving 401(k) administrative expenses onto employees, which means that fees are taking a larger chunk of those plan accounts. Industry experts say that more people are joining ...

Talk Now, Retire Happily Later
A new book by David Bach, senior vice president and investmentadviser at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, seeks to help husbands and wivesovercome divergent financial goals. Often, couples on the ...

Employers See 401(k) Matches as Potential Area to Trim Expenses
In a move that will create short-term savings but risks alienating employees, a number of employers are cutting their matching contributions to employees' 401(k) plans. Ford Motor Co., for ...

Invest in a Visit Here
My.zacks.com (no www designation required) offers personal portfolio trackers, investment and financial news sections, and brokerage analysts' top investment picks for the individual investor. It also has sections to ...

401(k) Contributions Not All They Could Be
Findings from a new study commissioned by Cigna Retirement and Investment Services show that most workers are under the false impression that they contribute the legal maximum to their 401(k) ...

Coverage for Mental Disabilities Debated
Mental and nervous disability claims may soon be covered by insurers, because the U.S. Senate recently added a provision to the $396 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education ...

Web Users Speak: GE Center for Financial Learning One of
The Surfer's Choice Internet Awards has placed the GE Center for Financial Learning on its Top 25 sites list. The listis compiled based on the choice of users. ...

Insightful Study Surveys Affluent
A survey by New York polling firm Matthew Greenwald & Associates discovered that close to 90 percent of affluent individuals stay with their first financial adviser. Greenwald &Associates surveyed ...

Employers Shelving 401(k) Matches
Not only has Charles Schwab discontinued its 401(k) matches, but so have a number of other companies, including Prudential Securities, CMS Energy, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Ford Motor, and Tech ...

American Seniors Rack Up Debt Like Never Before
Older U.S. citizens are moving away from saving and are beginning to accumulate debt, a trend that could threaten their retirement plans. Older citizens' debts tend to be due ...

Money Funds Offered by Annuity Firms Post Losses
Over 200 money-market "subaccounts" in annuities have posted losses this year due to fees that have not been reduced. Unlike other money-market subaccounts, variable annuity subaccounts often charge higher ...

Slump Wreaks Havoc on Pensions
A familiar lesson that investors know, yet sometimes are seemingly unable to grasp, is that of diversification. Employees at many technology companies across the nation, many of whom demanded ...

CPAs Expected to Deal With Stock Options
CPAs learned during a conference in Chicago that more of their clients soon will have stock options, which tend to involve issues such as sudden wealth, career planning, diversification, tax ...

Retiring on a Reverse Plan
A reverse mortgage is an alternative retirement solution forthose without a retirement plan. Reverse mortgages allow individualsage 62 and older to borrow against the equity in their homes. ...

Most Workers Are in Dark on Health of Their Pension
While employers lobby Congress to revamp pension rules in an effort to reduce payouts and pension contributions, employees and retirees are unable to find out the true financial nature of ...

Too Many Retirees Start Collecting Social Security Early
This article discusses the fact that too many retirees are opting for lesser Social Security benefits because they choose to collect those benefits before age 65. Figures show that ...

Financial Planners Abound; Trick Is Finding Good One
The popularity and number of financial planners is increasing. Sources report that about 250,000 people identify themselves as financial planners, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 40 percent ...

Plastic Price Cuts?
With drugs becoming so costly--especially among senior citizens and the two out of five people on Medicare who aren't covered for prescription drugs--prescription discount cards have become a popular solution. ...

Thinking of Cashing Out?
Lay-offs not only worry many employees in a faltering economy because of a tight job market, but also because 401(k) options are in limbo--should an employee retain his/her 401(k) with ...

New Savings Plans Wouldn't Be for Everybody
Financial planners say older people with more savings will not benefit from the Bush administration's new savings plan the way young adults will. Hank Madden, CEO of Madden Advisory ...

Pension Reform Bill Advances in Senate
Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth has recently proposed The Retirement Security and Savings Act--a major pension reform bill. Similar to the Portman-Cardin pensionreform House bill, the Senate ...

Retire With Money; Income Stops, Outgo Rises
Retirement savings should not only cover about 80 percent to 90 percent of an individual's pre-retirement spending, it should exceed it in an expectation for increased spending, especially if early ...

Be Patient: Rules on Roth IRA's to Expand
Starting in 2006, employers will be able to offer a new Roth 401(k). Workers will be allowed to have both traditional and Roth 401(k) plans, and will be able ...

Masters in Financial Planning
Courses at the highest level of financial planning education are now being offered at The College for Financial Planning, Denver. The college has revised its Master of Science degree ...

Targeting Investment-Wary Women
A Harris Interactive survey of 900 adults found that twice as many women as men, 48 percent to 24 percent, respectively, called investing "scary," and 54 percent of the women ...

Execs Say Fees Are Fair, Yet Don't Know How Much They Pay
A joint survey conducted by Pensions & Investments magazineand Deloitte & Touche discovered that fewer than 50 percent of theemployees in the human resource department, the finance department, orboth, who ...

Retirees' Social Insecurity
A growing life expectancy and changing Social Security rules are making it difficult for retirees to decide when they should begin collecting benefits. This year is the last when ...

Education Failing to Overcome Employees' Inattention
Plan sponsors say employees are turning a deaf ear to calls to dedicate more attention to their 401(k) plans, despite education efforts. According to a survey on plan participant ...

Top 10 Missed Benefits for Seniors
Seniors are missing out on billions of dollars worth ofbenefits because they are not aware of them. The National Council ofAging's Jim Firman identifies 10 of the top benefits ...

Inheriting a Business Just Got Harder
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has become much stricter in its enforcement of payments through Section 6166 plans, which provide financing to heirs of family businesses. The special financing ...

Life's Face Lift
A survey of consumer buying trends in the life industryin 1999 shows consumers are continuing to buying larger policies.The face amount of the average ordinary life policy issued jumped8.8 percent ...

Playing the Marriage Tax
Although taxes are usually the furthest thing from people's minds when they are getting married, it could pay off totake the time to think about them when planning the date ...

Investment Fashion Victims and the Problems of Wrestling
Mark Ralphs says investors flirt with danger when they regard the hype spoken about top-performing funds. According to Ralphs, most investors are prone to the allure of trends. ...

How Flexibility Can Turn Into a Rigid Obstacle
Although many retirees believe that a freelance career will offer flexible hours, a varied workload, and more freedom, a recent study by the Open University Business School says that freelance ...

To Encourage Recovery, Encourage Investors
With the Social Security system facing difficulty, baby boomers need to save more for retirement, but many will find that their portfolios are underfunded by the time they reach age ...

You Bet Your Life
A retirement strategy is a requirement, and while people who need to build up their retirement savings can try to get more out of their investments, this is not a ...

401(k) Investors to Get Advice Soon
Following the release of a letter from the U.S. Labor Department last year, retirement plan provider Citistreet will announce its new service providing advice to investors in Citistreet 401(k) plans. ...

Total Return Fixed Annuities Are Not EIAs
Total return fixed annuities (TRFAs) are often confused with equity indexed annuities (EIAs). Both products do guarantee principal and minimum interest. TRFAs and EIAs are also market performance-driven. ...

New Tools Bolster DB Plan Value, Appreciation
New technology can help defined benefit (DB) plan participants improve their understanding and realize the value of their pension plans, which experts note are under appreciated by most plan participants. ...

Making the Transition: Modern Maturity
The stock market's bearish tone over the last months has frightened people away from independent investing, writes certified financial planner James P. Ruth for Advisor Today magazine. Unlike the ...

Father of 401(k) Looks Ahead
In 1980, Ted Benna developed a tax-deferred retirement savingsaccount known as the 401(k). Benna's coworkers at Pennsylvania-basedemployee-benefits company Johnson Cos. eagerly made their firstcontributions to the account in 1981. ...

A Great Site to Start
If you are interested in mutual funds but do not know much about them, www.findafund.com is a good place to start. Thesite includes a frequently asked questions section, guidelines ...

Be Careful: IRA Withdrawals Can Put Early Retirees Over a Barrel
Early retirement seemed like a good idea to workers during the bull market, but the drop in the stock market has left many of them with much smaller IRAs, and ...

IRA's $2.47 Tril in Assets Surpasses Other Retirement Plans
Investor's Business Daily Assets in Individual RetirementAccounts (IRAs) reached a record $2.47 trillion in 1999, marking thefirst time that more money was invested in IRAs than 401(k)s or pensionplans. ...

VA, VL Info Needs Spur Info-One Pact With VARDS
In response to the recent explosion in the number of variable annuities (VA) and variable life (VL) products, Info-Onehas acquired Financial Planning Resources in hopes that it can give registered ...

Not a Shy, Retiring Plan
With Social Security income facing a number of restructuring proposals these days, planning for the future can be difficult. In the middle of this debate is a proposal supported ...

The Philadelphia Inquirer Personal Finance Column
A first step in gaining a general sense of when you can afford to retire, writes Jeff Brown for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is to get a handle on your current ...

Defined-Benefit Plans Are More 'Bundled'
According to a Chatham Partners study, defined-benefit plans are becoming more bundled as the economy continues to decline. Bundling involves the addition of more investment options and customer services ...

Insurance Sales Threatened?
Financial planning analysts are concerned that interestin life insurance policies and trust funds will wane if the inheritance tax is repealed. A new report by Merrill Lynch suggests an ...

Pension Details to Emerge as Companies Ready Yearly Reports
Companies often calculate expected rates of returns for theirpension plans according to regulations set forth by the FinancialAccounting Standards Board, but as companies struggle to keep theirplans funded in the ...

Bilking Seniors
Senior citizens are often being misled by salesmen looking to sell them worthless living trusts. Lawmakers have determined that many older citizens do not even realize the trusts they ...

Do You Want Your Money All at Once or Bit by Bit Forever?
There is a growing trend among pension plans of offering workers a choice between traditional annuities or lump-sum payouts that represent an estimate of the annuity's value. But, making the ...

Are You Overstuffing Your 401(k)?
Investors are often encouraged to be generous with their contributions to their 401(k)s, but many workers are unaware of tax benefits that smaller contributions afford. Economists Laurence J. Kotlikoff ...

SBA to Test Web Loan Guarantee System
In September, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin a pilot test for an online loan processing system, which if successful, will speed up the process while reducing costs and ...

Transamerica Adds Web-Based 401(k) Enrollment
Transamerica Retirement Services has augmented its Web services with online enrollment and an automated system for its 401(k) group annuity program. With the automated system, employees can enroll in ...

Pay for Financial Advice? For Many, It's a Good Plan
Most people do not mind paying for the services of a financialplanning professional. People that are educated about the importance ofsaving efficiently for retirement understand the need for expert ...

Sometimes, a 401(k) Is the Wrong Choice
People often make the mistake of believing that their 401(k) plans will accumulate enough to carry them through retirement, says Joseph Anthony, who offers the following reasons why people ought ...

Fees That Hurt Your 401(k) Plan
In 1998, a study found that 69 percent of employers covered100 percent of their 401(k) plan's administration and record-keepingcosts. Today, the number of employers who cover all of these ...

Proposals in Retirement-Savings Bill Draw Fire
Provisions in a pension bill pending in Congress have kindled the ire of opponents, who argue that most laborers will not benefit from the terms. Activists and some Clinton ...

Compensation of Wholesalers Surged in 1999
According to a survey by DGL Consultants, compensation paid to wholesalers of financial products in 1999 increased an average of 8.2 percent. This figure is significantly higher thanthe 2.5 ...

Survey: Obligations Keep Boomers From Retirement
In addition to unprecedented levels of debt, baby boomers who already feel committed to financial obligations to both children and aging parents can look forward to more of the same ...

Invest in Minority Pension Participation
Results from several surveys show most Americans are unsure about whether they have saved enough for retirement. According to findings published in the 2001 Retirement Confidence Survey, the percentage ...

Retirement Products Need to Adapt to Boomers' Needs,
A study sponsored by AIG SunAmerica, Los Angeles, and Harris Interactive revealed that 27 percent of baby boomers consider themselves "Ageless Explorers," while 19 percent are "Comfortably Contents," 22 percent ...

Retirement Plans and Health Care Expectations: A Survey of
A recent survey of pre-retirees in 396 households revealed towhat extent people age 45-55 feel they need to cover expenses afterretirement. An important category of costs that greatly affects ...

Many in 401(k)s Aren't Confident to Retire
A new study by Vanguard Group shows that 60 percent of defined contribution plan participants are confident that they will have enough money to retire--a drop from 66 percent in ...

Putting a (Rough) Price Tag on Your Dream
The closer a person gets to the time they want to retire, themore that person needs to take an exact look at how much money they willneed. Because income ...

The Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning
Annuities have become an important part of retirement planning, but their growth is hindered by lack of awareness and misunderstanding, this opinion piece says. Retirement assets are under pressure, ...

On Wall Street, Always Look Both Ways
The Wall Street Journal's "Getting Going" column lists "25 ironies of investing." Among them: the most confident investors often have the worst results because they incur high trading costs; ...

401(k) Participation Up at Small, Mid-Sized Firms--Report
A new report by Principal Financial Group finds that 401(k) participation and deferral rates among workers at small- and mid-sized companies continues to rise, despite the volatile market. According ...

Healthy Choice
One overlooked point in the debate over personal accounts for Social Security is that average workers can manage their money better than the federal government, according to thisopinion piece. ...

Her Next Step?
American women are more likely than men to have financial trouble in retirement. With more family obligations, more sporadic careers, and lower wages, women are less likely to roll ...

Designing the Right Retirement Plan Package
Among the more than 440 Internal Revenue Code changes in last year's Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act were a number of provisions covering qualified retirement plans, a number ...

Conflicting Advice: Who Should Help Workers With
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) has sponsored a bill that would loosen restrictions on employers offering workers investment advice. Supporters of the idea hope that employers will offer advice as ...

Some Family Loans Can Pay Off
Parents have the ability to loan money to their children at a cheaper rate than a conventional mortgage. In addition to providing a tax-efficient way to pass on wealth ...

Should You Take a Lump Sum?
Retirees have many options when they leave their jobs; they can take a lump sum from their 401(k) or cash-balance plan, roll it over into an IRA, or purchase an ...

New 401(k) Math: More Options Decreased Participation
Seventy percent of plan sponsors offer 10 or more mutual fund choices, according to a survey conducted by the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America. However, such variety often leads ...

As Aggregation Gains, Doubt on Cross-Selling
Financial services companies once excited about the wealth of cross-selling opportunities account aggregation would afford are changing their tune, a new survey suggests. Results from a focus group found ...

Heightened Pensions
Companies are allowed to assume an expected rate of return for their defined benefit pension plans, but this strategy could be more misleading to investors and dangerous for businesses than ...

Retirement Realities
Many people will be unable to retire in the way they originally planned, as portfolio assets continue to show the effects of the drop-off in the technology and telecommunications sectors ...

Typical Prices and Fees for Financial Advice From the Pros
Erica Garcia and Laura Lallos offer a glimpse into how much people can expect to pay for the services of a professional financial planner. Garcia and Lallos note that ...

$6-Million Marketing Campaign Planned for CFP Designation
A two-year, $6-million consumer education campaign willbe launched by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards(CFP) in an effort to increase value and awareness for the CFP trademarks, which the ...

New 401(k) Tool, but Who Needs It?
Boise Cascade, BellSouth, International Paper, and PepsiCo are among the companies offering employees full-service brokerage accounts for their 401(k) plans to widen the range of investment choices, but critics like ...

Most Boomers Reject Retiring
A recent AARP survey indicated that 71 percent of workers over 44 years of age were confident that they could find work if they lost their jobs, while 67 percent ...

Young and Old Hurt in Switch to Cash Balance
The General Accounting Office (GAO) recently released two reports on cash balance plans, concluding that older workers suffer the most when employers convert traditional pension plans into cash balance plans--but ...

Fewer Americans Save for Their Retirement
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is releasing asurvey with findings that indicate a decline in the amount of moneyAmericans are saving for retirement. The survey finds that fewerAmericans ...

Putting the Portfolio on Autopilot
For investors who want to play the market but are notinterested in the entanglements that come with investing, financialplanning experts recommend that they try autopilot funds. Autopilotfunds are generally classified ...

Helping Hand
Although traditionally touted as self-directed retirement plans, a growing number of companies are opting to provide investors with expert financial advice and management of their 401(k) plans. Recently released ...

Is Making Extra Payments as Good as Refinancing?
While today's favorable interest-rate environment may tempt many homeowners to refinance their mortgage, others are turned off by the inconvenience and complicated nature of the refi process. These borrowers ...

GE Catches Online Fever
General Electric Chairman John F. Welch's rule that GE businesses must remain leaders of their respective industries to stay in operation may be tested by its new GE Financial Network ...

A Paycheck in the Mail Every Month
Unlike deferred annuities, income annuities are used to dole out money that has already been accumulated. Purchasers of such products, which promise a lifelong payout, turn over a portion ...

Bumpy Market Has Many Delaying Retirement, Survey Finds
According to a recent poll taken by the AARP, 77 percent of workers between 50 years old and 70 years old claimed to have lost money in the stock market ...

Fidelity Advises Advisers, With Eye on Pre-Retirees
Fidelity Investments has launched a free online servicedesigned to help advisers get business from people about to withdraw assets from their retirement accounts. The new area on Fidelity's Web ...

Nest Egg Building
Knowing how much money to put into a 401(k) plan requires that investors know themselves. Under the law, the maximum amount a person can defer into a 401(k) is ...

More Workers Say No to 401(k) Plans
According to a recent Plansponsor.com survey, participation in 401(k) plans fell 2.5 percent to 75 percent in the past year, and larger plans experienced a greater decline, nearly 6 points ...

Pensions From Scratch
Fixed annuities have become more attractive with the decline of the stock market, and more people are expected to use them because the next generation of retirees has a longer ...

Why You Need a Will
Wills are a fundamental and essential part of the estate-planning process that often gets overlooked. Atlanta-based estate planner Olin Wiley says most people avoid the subject because they do ...

Conservative Investing May Be Long-Term Trend--Survey
The economic downturn and rising unemployment will prompt more investors to be cautious with their investing, even when the economy recovers, according to a study by Plan-it marketing Intelligence. ...

U.S. Candidates Silent on Corporate Rates
Neither candidate running for the office of president has routinely addressed corporate taxes, because, according to Jim Lucier, vice president and senior Washington analyst with Prudential Securities, "neither one of ...

Interest in New Products Remains High, but Consumers Still
This year's American Banker/Gallup consumer survey finds that consumer interest in buying nontraditional products and services from their banks is high, although only a small percentage have followed through and ...

Employer Stock Levels Heighten 401(K) Risks
Employees' 401(k) plans are usually heavily invested in theiremployer's stock options, which may not bode well for employees that mayretire soon or have been laid off by their employers. ...

Losses Prompt Proposals to Limit Company Stock in 401(k)s
Lawmakers are using the collapse of Enron and the subsequent loss of billions of dollars in the Houston company's 401(k) plan to push for reforms in defined contribution plans. ...

Employers Can Create Do-It-Yourself 401(k) Plans
The Internet can reduce employers' costs in creating and administering a 401(k) plan, but the complexity of pension laws means that a professional pension consultant may still be necessary. ...

Yield-Hungry Investors Reach for Muni Bonds
Municipal bonds may be a good investment choice for many retirees, given their after-tax yield advantages and their reputation as a conservative investment, but there are still some safety issues ...

Retirement Plan Strategies
In the latest issue of the Journal of Retirement Planning, Bruce D. Steiner looks at the differences between a traditional QTIP trust and a conduit QTIP trust as a beneficiary ...

Article Abstracts for /news/plan
Cracks in the System
New research from New York University economics professor Edward N. Wolff reveals that the retirement income of the typical baby boomer fell 11 percent from 1989 to 1998, even as ...

Banks and Their Competitors Shell Out in Race for Affluent
Financial services competitors are pulling out all of the stops to train their employees to pursue and win the businessof the wealthy. Unlike commercial banks of the past that ...

Who Wants to Think Like a Millionaire?
The 2000 Phoenix Wealth Management Survey conducted byYankelovich Partners and funded by Phoenix Home Mutual Life indicatesthat millionaires find themselves time-deprived and struggling to meetcommitments. Twenty-eight percent of millionaires ...

Shrinking 401(k) Balances Not Motivating Investors to Review the
A recent study conducted by Mutual of Omaha and the ProfitSharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA) indicated that retirement planparticipants are even more inactive about monitoring their plans thanthey were in ...

Getting Personal: The Promise of Portfolio Protection
Financial institutions offer a variety of hybrid securities that protect the original investment and offer the possibility of market gains, and they are proving quite popular with investors, but they ...

Reflecting
Many of today's financial services companies are offering "personalized" Web sites, featuring information such as news, weather, stock research, and search engines. The San Francisco-based mortgage site iOwn.com, for ...

Don't Bank 401(k) on Employer's Stock; If Company Hits Bad
Millions of Americans habitually invest very large portions of their 401(k) assets in their employer's stock. However, very few financial planners would advise this investmentstrategy as being beneficial to ...

Tax Research Takes Hold of the Web
The Internet is becoming a hotbed for new online tax research products that let firms do away with CD-ROM tools, whichtake up space and become quickly outdated, and allow firms ...

401(k) Plan: 20 Years of Building Retirements
Twenty years ago, Ted Benna invented the 401(k) plan inan effort to help middle- and lower-income workers save for retirement; now, over 78 percent of U.S. employees are enrolled in ...

Two-Tier Fixed Annuities Encourage Annuitization
Two-tier fixed annuities offer higher annual yields and lower cash-surrender values than standard fixed annuities, which means investors tend to hold them longer, but the gap between the contract values ...

Suddenly Wealthy Require Special Skills
As individuals are finding themselves with large sums of money from inheritances and huge stock market gains, financialplanners must serve this fast-growing market with customizable plans that allow for successful ...

The Shape of 401(k)s to Come
A recent survey by Hewitt Associates revealed that 83 percentof companies plan to decrease the amount of company stock in employees'401(k) plans and 98 percent also indicated an interest in ...

Survey: Tax Bill Will Boost Retirement Savings
A new survey by Strong Capital Management indicates that 80percent of investors intend to contribute more to their retirement plansdue to savings provisions in the new law. Beginning next ...

MassMutual to Award $1 Billion in Free Life Insurance Coverage
The MassMutual Financial Group has introduced a completely free life insurance program that is designed specifically to help children who might otherwise be deprived of an education if their parent ...

New Directions in Post-Retirement Planning
New post-retirement planning options look to prolong the quality of life for retirees. Retirement planning expert Dawn Fredette, second vice president of retirement and investment services at Travelers Life ...

Start by Planning How You'll Spend a Typical Day
Humberto and Georgina Cruz offer advice on some of the rightways to prepare for retirement. First, the couple stresses theimportance of pre-retirees "visualizing" retirement. This allowsindividuals and couples ...

Details Given on New Plans to Aid Saving
President Bush has offered details about two new types of savings accounts that are specially designed to help people build wealth. A unique aspect of the plans is the ...

Pensions' Heavier Load
Workers who once clamored for 401(k)s during the stock market boom are now crying for defined-benefit plans when employers are hoping to phase them out to cancel out any liabilities ...

Credit Scores Are Due to Go Public
Personal credit scores are soon going to be a normal component of everyone's financial profile. Fair Isaac, the firm that computes the FICO score, is planning to release individual ...

Insurance--Your Checkbook Is in the Mail
Increasingly, insurance companies are sending out checkbooks that provide beneficiaries with access to life insurance proceeds through an interest bearing account, rather than sending a check for the full amount ...

Recovery Plan
Seniors are becoming the fastest-growing group of bankruptcy filers as stock market losses over the past couple of years have diminished the investments of many, and left retirees wondering how ...

Honey, I Shrunk the 401(k)
Employers are starting to take notice as defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and hybrid plans become more popular among workers with shrinking 401(k)s. One survey finds 24 percent ...

401(k) Accounts Are Losing Money for the First Time
Despite thousands of dollars in new contributions and somestrengthening of stocks in recent months, the average 401(k) retirementplan lost money last year. This new trend, which marks the retirementvehicle's ...

Mind Games
General Electric, which uses stated earnings on their pension funds to boost profits, saw the actual value of its pension plan's assets decline, while the money generated by the fund ...

The Great 401(k) Hoax
DaimlerChrysler, Wyndham International, Bethlehem Steel, and other companies suspended their 401(k) matches to save money during the recent recession, and Enron's collapse shed light on how 401(k) plans can injure ...

(Investment) Power to the People
When it comes to seeking financial advice, communityintelligence investing is fast becoming the information tool of choicefor the average investor. Today, more Americans are finding answers totheir financial questions ...

Why We Make so Many Mistakes With our 401(k) Plans
About $1.6 trillion of workers' savings are invested in 401(k) plans, but Enron's collapse has shown that retirement savings are far from safe. In fact, a diverse portfolio is ...

Time for Sponsors to Reconsider 401(k) Expenses
Plan sponsors continue to overlook internal cost when assessing the overall quality and performance of their clients' 401(k) plans. Typically, the plan participant pays the investment expenses, which are ...

Life-Cycle Funds Become Popular for Long-Term Goals
Life-cycle funds--also known as target-date or target-retirement funds, lifestyle funds, or life-strategy funds--are becoming more popular, with 35 percent of 401(k) plans offering them in 2001, according to Hewitt Associates. ...

Income for Life
As Baby Boomers prepare for retirement, the issue of how much retirees can afford to withdraw from their retirement assets is being reexamined. Boomers are expected to transfer nearly ...

Generation X Investing Site Gets Help From Barclays Unit
Whatifi.com is a new investment Web site aimed at a younger audience. Launched Tuesday, the new site hosts five index funds for the 25- to 37-year-old investor. Barclays ...

When the Time Comes to Dump Your Financial Planner
People who part ways with their financial planners should remember to have all of their financial documents in hand when they break ties. When preparing to leave, clients should ...

Muddy Waters
Many employees and even corporate managers are unaware of the practice of revenue sharing and how much it can cost 401(k) plan participants. Revenue sharing could take thousands out ...

Retirement Contributions Shouldn't Stop
Although President Bush's proposal to eliminate the taxationof stock dividends may seem to put tax-sheltered retirement plans at adisadvantage, experts argue that investors should continue theircontributions to 401(k)s and IRAs. ...

Rate Shopping Can Hurt Credit Scores
Consumers looking for the best deal on a mortgage are oftenunaware that rate shopping can hurt their credit scores. While creditscorers generally ignore the rate comparison a prospective borrower ...

New Rules on IRA Distributions: They're Tough to Find and Apply
Thanks to lengthened life-expectancy tables, which reduce the amount people have to withdraw annually from their individual retirement accounts or 401(k)s, taxpayers are watching their money continue to grow in ...

Retirement Crisis Looms as Many Come Up Short
A new poll indicates that 46 percent of those citizens saving for retirement will have to postpone their retirement date due to the falling stock market, but many experts say ...

Market Victim: Your Inheritance
Baby boomers' collective inheritances will be slashed by 15 percent to $150 billion per year over the next five years as the market continues to struggle, and many retirees refuse ...

Many Working Women Lack Disability Income Protection
According to an ACLI-backed report by the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, disability income insurance is absent from many working women's benefit portfolios. The missing disability income insurance ...

Repairing a Wrecked Retirement
The declining stock market has stripped $678 billion from investor's portfolios, but advisors say Americans can rebuild their nest eggs. Before making any decisions, investors should take stock of ...

SEPs Make Investing for Retirement Easy
Simplified employee pension (SEP) plans offer an easyand manageable way for people to invest for retirement. SEPaccounts can be opened by anyone and are simple to start.Individuals or business ...

Outliving Assets Problem Looms
With the anticipated age of death for healthy persons lengthening every year, more Americans are turning away from traditional defined benefits plans, to their detriment, some observers say. Anna ...

Small Businesses Take New Look at Traditional Pension
Defined-benefit pension plans still exist, though they have been somewhat overshadowed by defined-contribution plans, and Watson Wyatt Worldwide retirement practice leader Bill Miner says that the former fill the need ...

Pension-Security Legislation Advances in U.S. House
The "Pension Security Act," or H.R. 1000, which was passed by the House last year, has recently been approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee. The pension-protection bill ...

A 401(k) Fallacy
A study examining 401(k) returns for several financial services companies between 1995 and 1998 argued that plan participants had made poor investment decisions based on plans' average gain of 13 ...

Bush's Budget: What It Means for Your Wallet
The $2.4 trillion budget released by President Bush Mondayincludes proposals to create two new savings accounts--lifetime savingsaccounts (LSAs) and retirement savings accounts (RSAs). Bush says thatboth accounts, which have ...

Proposal May Aid Pension Sponsors
The ERISA Industry Committee has gone to Capitol Hill to submit a proposal they say would lower the contribution amount employers pay to pension plans. The centerpiece of the ...

A Simplified Approach to Retirement Benefits for Small Business
Providing retirement benefits has traditionally been viewed as complicated by small employers, not only because of the intricate reporting required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of ...

401(k) Limits Not up Much From Last Year
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that $10,500 willremain the maximum amount for 401(k) contributions, according toinflation adjustments. However, SIMPLE retirement plan participants and457 plan participants will be allowed ...

401(k) Sponsors See Brief Flow to Fixed-Income
As the markets re-opened in the wake of the terrorist attacks, those financial institutions interviewed by American Banker saw that much of the activity involved clients' moves from equities into ...

Pension Change Puts the Burden on the Worker
Pension researchers say that American workers now put more money into pension and retirement savings plans than do the companies they work for. Decades ago, the employers alone financed ...

New Retirement Web Site Tests Value of Its Name
IRA.com, a new retirement-planning Web site launched inFebruary, provides information about individual retirement accounts andother related retirement topics. IRA.com--which stands for InternetRetirement Alliance--is a portal where users can receive ...

401(k) Plan Sponsors Making Few Changes So Far
Plan sponsors and participants have made few changes since the economic downturn and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; instead, plan sponsors have increased communication in an effort to remind participants ...

Health Benefits for Retirees Continue to Shrink, Study Says
A recent Watson Wyatt Worldwide survey of 56 retiree health plans indicated that 17 percent have been practically eliminated, and 20 percent of those plans were eliminated for new ...

In 401(k) Plans, a New Rush to Diversify
Even before the fall of Enron, in the past few years people have been moving to diversify their 401(k) plans in order to avoid such disasters as Enron employees now ...

Intuit, PayPal Bill Payment Services Ink Five-Year Deal to
Intuit is planning to employ X.Com's PayPal for small-business customers and those using its personal finance products. As part of the deal, PayPal will enlarge Intuit's products. These ...

The Lingering Insurance Question
The increasing cost of professional and general liability (GL/PL) insurance is causing many assisted living centers, nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities to pull out of certain markets, most notably ...

Whose Money Is It?
According to a recent study by Richard Ivey School of Business professors Christine Wiedman and Heather Weir, Canada's top 100 defined-benefit pension plans posted a deficit of $20 billion last ...

Retirees Donate a Home and Stay Awhile
This article discusses life estates and gift annuities, which can help senior citizens who own valuable homes but lack sufficient retirement income. Some charities will accept the donation of ...

What to Do if Your Employer Won't Allow You to 'Catch Up'
This article points out that new Internal Revenue Service rules permitting people over age 50 to make catch-up contributions to their 401(k) plans are optional and may not be offered ...

When 'Safer' Pensions Aren't So Safe
Traditional pension plans have regained some of the appeal they lost during the boom market, but they are not without flaws. The average pension fund has lost 12 percent ...

Bear Market Scares Generation Xers From Stocks
A new survey by a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance indicates that Generation Xers, having suffered losses during the three-year bear market, have become such conservative investors that they ...

Life's Trade-Ins
Financial experts say people should look into a 1035 exchange before they dump an underperforming variable life insurance policy. Experts like insurance consultant Glenn Daily say converting a Section ...

Betting on a Long Life
A single-premium immediate annuity can boost income because the payouts include a withdrawal of a portion of the funds you put in, writes Leonard Wiener with U.S. News & World ...

Do 401(k)'s Give Workers an Illusion of Wealth?
New York University economist Edward N. Wolff says 401(k)s give investors a false sense of financial security. According to Wolff, 401(k)s deceive people into believing they have more money ...

Gen X Wants Financial Planning From Banks
Consumers age 18 to 34 may prefer to get financial-planning services from their banks than from other financial-services companies, according to this year's American Banker/Gallup consumer survey, but they are ...

Balancing Act
The Bush Administration's proposed pension rules will allow big companies to save millions by instituting cash-balance pension plans. With cash-balance plans, benefits remain the same regardless of the length ...

In Sickness and in Health
In order to offset rising health care costs, a handful of companies are offering medical benefits through what is considered a rough equivalent to a 401(k) plan. Under this ...

Start Your Engines
Financial Engines (financialengines.com) and 401k Forum(401kforum.com) were the first two financial planning engines on the Web and they still dominate the market. 401k Forum has sincechanged its name to ...

Online Service Center
Nationwide Financial has started a new Web site called www.bestofamerica.com, which puts various sales and service functions online. The site lets producers check the status of assets that are ...

Limra Reports: Planning Is Needed
Research shows that the 3.5 million Americans expected to retire by the year 2012 may lack the guidance to fill in gaps in their retirement savings, according to Eric Sondergeld ...

Pension Losses Will Hurt Many Firms' Bottom Lines
A vicious cycle could cripple retirement funds, companies' bottom lines, and the stock market if it is not broken soon. Corporate pension funds, like those at Safeco, Alaska Airlines, ...

Finding Your Way
Retirement planning experts advise people to prepare for the economic fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In the wake of the Sept. 11 assaults, millions of workers who ...

What Your 401(k) Needs Now
Companies do not always take the best care of their 401(k) plans, so that even the most conscientious of employees does not get the most benefits because the company does ...

Pensions That Discriminate Against Older Workers
International Business Machines Corp. transformed its defined-benefit pension plan into a cash-balance plan, which caused many older workers to file a lawsuit against the company for discrimination. According to ...

Retirement: Not a Destination, A Journey
Retirement planning is a methodical process that requiresbeing knowledgeable about the options available and making preparations. When planning, retirees usually consider nursing home costs, and someeven purchase long-term care (LTC) ...

The Future of Retirement Planning: Beyond the Present
Over the past decade, retirement planning specialists have noticed that very few middle-aged adults are seeking professional retirement-planning services. With the advent of the Internet, online investment information has ...

The Inequality of Distributions From Retirement Plans
Apart from typically lower incomes and breaks in their work lives, women's retirement plans are adversely affected by longer life expectancies. Even if men and women contribute identically to ...

The Name Game
Naming a beneficiary for retirement accounts and life insurance policies is a critical part of the planning process, according to financial planners. The success or failure to update beneficiary ...

When Layoffs Loom, Decisions On 401(k) Plans Become Crucial
Workers who lose their jobs need to know what to do with the money they have saved in their 401(k) plans, writes Stan Hinden for the Washington Post. For ...

For Too Many, Social Security Is Main Retirement Plan
Economists Stephen F. Venti and David A. Wise have released a study that shows that even wealthy citizens do not save much, with only half the households in the study ...

Repeat Customers Likely, Others Cool to Bank Sales
John Hancock's second annual John Hancock Bank Channel Consumer User Study finds that most individuals who have gone through bank channels to purchase investment or insurance products would try it ...

The Next Scrambled Nest Egg?
Defined-benefit pensioners can only sit back and watch as companies struggle to meet their obligations to retirees. Meanwhile, government officials are trying to develop a temporary solution to help ...

Tap Into Your 401(k) or IRA
A little-known Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule allowspeople to make premature withdrawals from their retirement accounts,without being penalized. Although financial planners advise againsttaking money out of a retirement account ...

Tough Choices: Helping Parents Save for College and Retirement
Financial planners offer practical advice to parents trying toplan both for their retirement and their children's education. Giventhat tuition for a four-year private college is estimated to cost$257,000 by ...

Planning Can Thwart IRS Designs on IRA
Advanced planning should lower the tax bill for the beneficiaries of individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Under current tax laws, all money stored in an IRA, 401(k), or similar retirement ...

Boomers Are Leaning on Retirement Plans
A recent ING survey reveals that more than 50 percent of respondents with incomes between $50,000 and $125,000 expect their primary source of retirement income to be their employer-sponsored retirement ...

Pension Plans: Major Companies Face Billion Dollar Shortfalls
A new Credit Suisse First Boston study shows that Ford Motor and General Motors may not be the only companies with seriously underfunded pension plans, indicating that by the end ...

White House, Congress Agree to $1 Minimum-Wage Increase
The White House and Congress have agreed, as part of anoverall tax-relief package, to raise the federal minimum wage by $1 over the next two years and to raise the ...

Getting Personal: IRS Regs May Spur Retirement Catch-Ups
The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations concerning catch-up contributions to retirement plans. As of this year, workers over age 50 can save up to $2,000 more on ...

Bond Funds Climb as Investors Duck Volatility
Two surveys say assets for bond mutual funds saw small gains in June, which has not happened in a year. The figures indicate that investors may be moving toward ...

Pro2Net: Profession-Specific Web Sites
Pro2Net recently launched a group of Web sites that deliver comprehensive resources for professionals in accounting, financial services, human resources, insurance, and law. The sites contain daily insight analysis ...

Company Stock Fills 401(k)s
The Institute of Management and Administration's (IOMA) lateststudy indicates that 27.9 percent of 401(k) plan stocks are invested inemployer stock, despite recent media attention on corporate scandals andadvice from financial ...

Advisers Fear Consumer Debt Limits Employee-Retirement
Consumer credit hit $1.47 trillion in July, and expertsfear that debt is keeping employees from contributing to their 401(k) plans. According to a Strong Investments survey last year, 11 ...

Siebert Creating Financial Web Site for Savvy Women
Muriel Siebert, CEO of Siebert Financial, says she wants to design a Web site for women in order to feed their knowledge about financial investments. The site, wfn.com, is ...

Are 401(k)-Plan Trustees Not Up to the Job?
Industry executives warn that many company 401(k) plan trustees are not properly equipped for their jobs and lack knowledge or may be in danger of conflicts of interest. Pension ...

It's Not All About Money for Financial Planners
Financial planners are finding that the key to designing a plan that offers their customers the maximum benefit lies in the details. Today's financial planners contend that personal information ...

Who Gets What?
Retirement plans are becoming a key battleground in divorcesettlements, says Martin Shenkman, a lawyer and co-author of "DivorceRules for Men." For many couples, retirement accounts are the mostvaluable asset ...

Siebert Speaks: Prep Women Better for Retirement
Muriel Siebert, the first woman to gain a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, recently told the Senate Special Committee on Aging that there are a number of reasons ...

Alpha Announces New Book for Investors
Ken Little has written a book that takes a close look at the bear market. "Bear-Proof Investing" examines what defines a bear market, as well as the economic and ...

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