As a former pension actuary, retirement saving is one of my favorite personal finance topics. I’ve written several posts on 401(k) vs IRA, and today I’ll be talking about the history of these retirement saving plans and making some observations about how the history affects the current retirement saving pictures.
My two-year anniversary with investing is around today. This means I have been owing you this post for 2 years. In the past 2 years, I have spent more time learning about investing and actually investing than doing anything else with my personal finance. And yet I have posted very moderately on investing. The reason is, investing is complicated. Very complicated. I did not feel comfortable sharing my meager knowledge and experience with you in fear of leading you astray in this complex universe. 2 years later, I finally feel that I have something to offer. Continue reading Investing: The mindset
Hopefully I have given you enough tease to get you curious about the tax advantages of a retirement savings account. I recommend you peruse these introductory posts to gain a basic understanding of retirement saving before reading this number-heavy post.
Chances are you have heard about the tax advantages of a 401(k) or IRA somewhere before. Let me sum up and illustrate in an easy-to-understand way, and as always, I’m available to answer questions.
Let’s clarify this first: retirement savings accounts have tax advantages over what?
This post has 3 parts. Part 1, I explain what a 401(k) is. Part 2, I explain how you contribute to a 401(k). Part 3, I explain why you should contribute to a 401(k).
Part 1. What the heck is a 401(k)
A 401(k) is a retirement savings account sponsored by employers. In order to contribute to a 401(k), you need to be employed.
I’m sure you have heard of these terms before. They probably appear on the media more frequently than the Kardashians. Traditional 401(k), Roth 401(k), Traditional IRA, and Roth IRA are 4 types of retirement savings accounts.
As you know, this summer I wrote two blog posts on the AMR Corporation and US Airways Group merger to explain how it affects AAMRQ stock price. Using the information available at that time I derived a formula to estimate AAMRQ stock price based on LCC stock price:
I know I mentioned that I would write more about the AAMRQ stock case if there was a huge surprise. And there was a huge surprise when the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against AMR Corporation and US Airways Group, but this happened when I was entangled with a few life issues, so I had to skip.
Not to say that I am much less busy now, but I thought this case deserves another mention. Caution: math abound 😉
I thought it was funny how you can partially own a company without possessing any material part. Like, I own Apple stock, but I don’t even own the company’s stapler or toilet paper, much less one of their popular iPads or Macbooks. Holding a stock doesn’t mean I’m entitled to anything valuable necessarily. It’s an interesting concept. Continue reading Investment basics: what is a stock?
Recently, I’ve revisited my financial decisions since I graduated from college in the fall of 2011. You know what I found? Having a permanent, decent-paying job actually contributes the most to my assets and financial future. With money in my bank accounts and a stable income stream, I have been approved for good credit cards to build my credit history. The money I’ve saved has been put into my brokerage account so that I can learn how to invest. I’m 24, and I know there are a lot of things to be learned and a lot of money to be earned in the future, but I think I have a decent start, to which my income contributed significantly.