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The New Commonsense Guide to Your 401(k): Rebuilding Your Portfolio From The Bottom up

Book Description

Since the credit crash, investors have been searching for answers as 401(k) accounts have suffered unprecedented declines. Not only have markets been tumultuous but new regulations and concerns regarding hidden fees have been introduced to an already opaque area of investing.

Despite the severe economic retreat in 2008-2009, one thing hasn't changed: 401(k) accounts—because of their tax benefits—are still the best way for most people to invest for retirement. Mary Rowland breaks down how they work, why they're still a smart investment, how to keep an eye out for hidden fees, and why now is the time to start reinvesting in your retirement.

As the former personal finance columnist for the Sunday New York Times and the author of three books on investing, Mary Rowland has extensive experience covering the issues that 401(k) investors face when they consider how to best prepare for retirement.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. INTRODUCTION
    1. Lessons?
    2. Save Us from Ourselves
    3. Rich for Life
    4. In the Beginning
    5. The Sky is Falling
  3. I. THE NEW RETIREMENT LANDSCAPE
    1. 1. Not Your Father's Gold Watch
    2. 2. "Management" Is Not a Career Choice
    3. 3. Dip a Toe In
    4. 4. Calculate Retirement Needs
    5. 5. How to Fill the Gaps
    6. 6. Will You Get a Pension?
    7. 7. Will You Get Anything from Social Security?
    8. 8. Check Earnings and Benefits
    9. 9. The Rule of 72
    10. 10. Start Early
      1. 10.1. Start Early
    11. 11. Why Choose the 401(k) Plan?
    12. 12. What about Roth?
    13. 13. Contribute, Contribute
    14. 14. Protecting Your Income
  4. II. 401(k) PLAN BASICS
    1. 15. The Three Main Players
    2. 16. What Your Employer Wants
    3. 17. What the Government Wants
    4. 18. How to Use This Stuff
    5. 19. The Limit
    6. 20. What Is Vesting?
    7. 21. Qualifying Rules
    8. 22. Hardship Withdrawal
    9. 23. Information about Your Plan
    10. 24. Is My Plan Safe?
  5. III. HOW TO GET IN AND GET OUT
    1. 25. Where to Get Help
    2. 26. The Match Makes the Magic
    3. 27. Automatic Enrollment
    4. 28. Taking Loans
    5. 29. Beneficiary Designations
    6. 30. If the Plan Fails the Test
    7. 31. After-Tax Contributions
    8. 32. Supplemental Plans
    9. 33. Getting Out Early
    10. 34. Changing Jobs
    11. 35. Coordinating with Your Spouse
  6. IV. INVESTING
    1. 36. What I Did
    2. 37. Expert One
    3. 38. Expert Two
    4. 39. Expert Three
    5. 40. Behavioral Finance
    6. 41. Taking Risks
    7. 42. What Risk?
    8. 43. What Do You Have to Lose/Gain?
    9. 44. Risk Basics
    10. 45. Correlation
    11. 46. More Tools
    12. 47. Diversify
    13. 48. Why Stocks?
    14. 49. Index Funds
    15. 50. Active Funds
    16. 51. Investment Style
    17. 52. Bonds
    18. 53. International Investing
    19. 54. Money Markets
    20. 55. Investing in Gold
    21. 56. Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA)
    22. 57. Mutual Funds
    23. 58. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
    24. 59. Target-Date Funds
    25. 60. Expenses
    26. 61. Get the Prospectus
    27. 62. Rebalance
    28. 63. What Not to Buy
  7. V. PREPARING FOR CHANGE
    1. 64. Get Real
    2. 65. Thinking about Tomorrow
    3. 66. Pay Off Debt
    4. 67. Your Mortgage
    5. 68. Paperwork Matters
    6. 69. How to Organize It
    7. 70. What's Your Net Worth?
    8. 71. Your Financial Statement
    9. 72. Your Portfolio
    10. 73. What to Do with Stocks
    11. 74. Delay Social Security
    12. 75. Plan for Healthcare
  8. VI. STEPS TO TAKE IN RETIREMENT
    1. 76. Lump Sums
    2. 77. Leaving the Money Where It Is
    3. 78. Convert to Roth?
    4. 79. Required Distributions
    5. 80. Longevity Risk
  9. VII. RETIREMENT PLANS BY OTHER NAMES
    1. 81. 403(b) Plans
    2. 82. ERISA or No?
    3. 83. 403(b) Plan Reform
    4. 84. Resources
  10. About the Author
  11. About Bloomberg