The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported in 2012 that U.S. workers have an average job tenure of 4.6 years, and will work for seven different employers during their lifetime. At least once or twice, many Americans will have to decide what to do with a 401(k) balance held with a previous employer.
For all the benefits that can be accomplished with life insurance, great ideas can be undone by sloppy execution. A recurring error is improper designation of the three parties of interest for every life insurance transaction. When these relationships are incorrectly designated, intended benefits can be needlessly diminished, or undone.
These days, it seems like it’s not cool to be happy, or at least to admit it. Maybe it’s just that those who are vocally unhappy get more media attention, but there’s a lot of popular discourse that emphasizes discontent, particularly about what is lacking in our lives. For whatever reason, Americans don’t have enough time, education, opportunity, or money to live as they’d like, and the American Dream has become a frustrating illusion. At least, that’s how it seems.
There is a tendency to evaluate financial programs based on rates of return or the size of the pile. But that’s like evaluating an airplane only on its speed. Other performance characteristics matter as well. Engineering your personal finances to perform under a wide range of possibilities may not always produce the biggest balance, but overall performance and stability might be better.
When you first start working, retirement is a hazy idea far beyond the horizon. You know it will probably happen, and you know you should save for it. Beyond that, retirement is far from defined. But as your working years pile up, a sharper image should begin to take shape, for several reasons.
Ginger or Mary Ann? Elvis or the Beatles? Paper or plastic? Alongside these time-worn debate topics, Baby Boomers have added another either/or obsession: Should they start claiming Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 or wait until 70?