Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Your Retirement Goal: An Update

In my May 2010 blog post, Your Retirement Goal, I provided some suggestions for determining how much you need to save and invest to enjoy a comfortable retirement. One of the conclusions of that post may have been more pessimistic than necessary, because I assumed that the amount saved each year was constant. An alternate assumption is that you will be able to save more each year (as your income increases), hopefully at least enough to match inflation. This assumption reduces the initial savings rate. In this post I show an initial savings rate based on the assumption of increasing savings over the years. I also provide a link to a Google Docs spreadsheet you can copy and use to do your own analysis.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

More IRA Tips

After publishing my last blog post about it not being too late to make a 2010 IRA contribution (you have until April 18, 2011), I realized that there is more information that could be useful in making the decision about whether or not to do so. Even if not relevant now, this information may be useful to you in the future.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2010 IRA Contribution: It’s Not Too Late

You have until April 18 to make your IRA contribution for 2010. If you don’t have an IRA yet, now would be a great time to start one. If you can afford at least $1,000, you can open an IRA account at Vanguard and use their STAR fund, which invests in both stocks and bonds. With $3,000, you can choose from most other Vanguard funds. It only takes about 10 minutes to open an IRA account online at Vanguard, and you can have the money electronically transferred from your checking or savings account into your new IRA account. If you can’t afford $1,000, then you can open an IRA at Schwab with as little as $100, and you should be able to do so in a few minutes online; Schwab offers a few good low-cost index mutual funds and ETFs. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call the Vanguard or Schwab representative if you need help.