Why Most Early Proponents of the 401(k) Now Say It’s a Failure

Herbert Whitehouse was one of the first proponents of the 401(k) 35 years ago, when he was a human resources executive at Johnson & Johnson.

Today the 65-year-old Whitehouse says he will have to work into his mid-70s if he wants to maintain his standard of living, after his own 401(k) took a hit in 2008.

Whitehouse is one of a chorus of early 401(k) supporters who have changed their minds.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals how pre-retirees at all income levels are falling shortway short – of the amount of money they need to have to be able to retire.

Fully half of those between ages 50-64 have less than one year of their income saved.

The top 10% (those making $251,000 or more annually) have an average of only two years of their income saved.

The article mentions that “financial experts recommend that people amass at least eight times their annual salary to retire.”

Those “experts” ought to have their heads examined, because even a $1 million nest-egg would provide you only $28,000 a year at the current recommended withdrawal rate of 2.8% per year. [Read more…]

Six Reasons Your 401(k) is a Scam

I’m going to make a very bold statement that’s sure to get me some nasty blowback. But as a financial investigator who’s exposed the truth about the conventional financial wisdom, I’m used to that, so here goes…

401(k)s are a scam. Want proof?

Here Are Six Reasons Why 401(k)s Are a Scam…

Reason #1: The Tax-Deferral Scam

In our immediate-gratification society, deferring your taxes by funding your 401(k) sounds so good.

But when the tax man eventually comes calling, he won’t ask you to pay what your tax liability would have been if you’d been paying taxes all along. He’ll tell you what your tax liability is at the time your taxes are due.

So let me ask you a question: Can you tell me what your tax rate will be 30 years from now? Didn’t think so.

And 89% of the people we’ve surveyed believe tax rates can only go up over the long term, due to our country’s unsustainable debt and aging demographics. Unfortunately, if tax rates do go up and you’re successful in growing your nest-egg, you’ll only be paying higher taxes on a bigger number.

Oops! That destroys the whole “tax-deferral” argument.

Reason #2: The “Free Money” Scam

[Read more…]

Could the Government Seize Your 401(k) and IRA Money?

Is it far-fetched to wonder if the government could take control of your retirement savings in 401(k)s and IRAs?

Or is that just a paranoid conspiracy theory?

The fact of the matter is that it’s not far-fetched, or a conspiracy theory. The groundwork has already been laid.

And the government already gave banks the green light to seize your bank accounts.

Read on for the facts – and I urge you NOT to discount the importance and urgency of this issue affecting your hard-earned savings…

The Government Has BIG Plans for Your Retirement Savings

An article in American Thinker titled “The Feds Want Your Retirement Accounts” revealed that, “Quietly, behind the scenes, the groundwork is being laid for federal government confiscation of tax-deferred retirement accounts. Slowly the cat is being let out of the bag.”

And Bloomberg reported that,

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they’ve put into retirement savings.”

For the last 18 months, the Treasury Department has been testing the “myRA” program – which Obama created through executive order – no Congressional approval needed.

The myRA, which stands for “My Retirement Account” supposedly “guarantees a decent return with no risk of loss.”

And the only investment allowed in this account is a low-yielding Treasury security.

Of course, the Treasury wants to get more people signed up for this program, because it means more funds flowing right back into the U.S. Treasury to help the government meet its voracious borrowing needs. How convenient… [Read more…]

Can you Roll Over your 401(k) or IRA into a Bank On Yourself Plan?

One of the most-asked questions we got on last week’s “Ask a Bank On Yourself Advisor” live online event was…

“Can I roll over funds from my 401(k)/IRA/403(b)/TSA into a Bank On Yourself plan – and what are the tax consequences?”

Moving money from a conventional tax-deferred retirement account into a Bank On Yourself plan is a common method people use to fund a policy.  It’s not technically a “rollover,” since you can only do that from one 401(k) or IRA to another.  Here’s how it works… [Read more…]

Breaking news roundup from
Bank On Yourself

Here are summaries of three important news stories affecting your money and finances…

1. Investment brokers fight rule to favor best interests of clients

Did you know that brokers are not necessarily required to act in your best interest – even if it’s your retirement savings at stake?

The investment industry – from large Wall Street firms to small independent advisors – is spending millions of dollars to fight a rule that would require a broader group of brokers and planners to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

The Labor Department said it would release the proposed rule in January, but has already indicated it may miss that deadline. That’s not the first delay on this, though. The rule was originally introduced in 2010 and was rescinded the following year after brokers and lawmakers protested. Wow!

[Read more…]

Two New 401k Revelations

If you’ve been a subscriber for a while or you’ve read my new best-selling book, The Bank On Yourself Revolution, it’s no secret that at the end of the day, I’m not a big fan of the 401(k).

Or the IRA, 403(b), or any other government “blessed” and controlled retirement account. There are many reasons for that. This recent blog post I wrote reveals one big problem – mutual fund fees, which are likely devouring far more of your savings than you realize.Broken 401k nest egg

But in the last couple of weeks, there have been new studies revealing just how devastating to your financial health a 401(k) can be:

Recent 401(k) Wealth-Killing Revelation #1: 

A new academic study by two Yale and University of Virginia professors argues that millions of workers have been ripped off by excessive fees charged by plan sponsors and advisors to these plans.

The study concluded that…

[Read more…]

Mutual Fund Fees are Silent but Deadly Wealth Killers

How would you feel if you discovered that every time you put $10,000 into your retirement account, $4,000 or more of it ended up going to pay fees over the next 20 years? And another ten years later, nearly $8,000 of your initial investment had vanished into other people’s pockets?High Fees

I’m guessing you wouldn’t be a very happy camper. In fact, you’d probably be mad as heck.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is exactly what’s happening to most investors right now. Which means there’s a VERY good chance it’s happening to you.

You see, I’ve been burning the midnight oil researching the fees in popular mutual funds – including the ones in many 401(k) plans – for a new course in financial literacy we’ll be rolling out soon.

The course will give you a step-by-step plan for ending all your financial worries in as little as 90 days… and it contains breakthrough strategies you won’t find anywhere else. I’ll be giving you more details about it over the next month or two, so stay tuned.

But in the meantime, what I discovered about what experts have called “the silent enemy in our retirement accounts” – fees that compound against you that are charged by mutual funds and 401(k) and IRA plan administration costs – will stun you.

Let’s start with the cost of popular Target Date Funds or TDF’s,” the “default investment” in many 401(k) plans.

[Read more…]

The good, bad and the ugly of the new myRA

You’ve probably been hearing about the new “myRA,” a new government-run retirement account that President Obama unveiled at his State of the Union address and plans to create with a stroke of his pen.
Obama State of the Union Address
Its primary purpose is to offer a savings option to the 50% or so of U.S. workers who have no access to employer-sponsored retirement plans and have little saved for retirement.

The appeal is that it “guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in,” according to Obama.

Sounds okay so far, right?

I did some digging into the details to understand more about how this program will actually work… and to help you sort through the pros and cons of programs like this.

Below I’ve listed the good, the bad, and the ugly about this new program. But really, most of the bad and the ugly points apply to all government-run retirement accounts, including 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, IRA’s, etc. So if you have one of these plans, I urge you to read this today.

The good…

[Read more…]

Are you putting your retirement savings in prison?

Ted Benna, "Father of the 401(k)"

Ted Benna is known as the “Father of the 401(k).” In the late ‘70’s, he worked as a consultant to business owners whose main agenda was “How can I get the biggest tax break, and give the least to my employees, legally?”

Tax nerd that he was, Benna discovered an obscure part of the tax code – section 401(k). Voila! By 2012, nearly 75% of all company pension plans had disappeared!

What does Mr. Benna say about his beautiful 401(k) baby today?

If I were starting over from scratch today with what we know, I’d blow up the existing structure and start over!” 1

Uh oh.

Per the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions: “After a lifetime of hard work, many seniors will find themselves forced to choose between putting food on the table and buying their medication.” The U.S. Census Bureau says the average value of 401(k) accounts of pre-retirees between 55 and 64 is only $170,645; the average value of their IRAs is only $147,345. And half of all those close to retirement age have less than $50,000 in these plans.

Something went horribly wrong. Actually, several things went horribly wrong, not only with 401(k)’s but also their kissing cousins: IRA’s, Roth Plans, 403(b)’s, SEP-IRA’s and so on.

And the problems with these government-controlled plans are in these five key areas:
[Read more…]

Top Five Recent Stories from Bank On Yourself

Judging by the questions we’ve been getting from subscribers, there’s a good chance you may have missed some of these 5 important recent stories…

1. New Wealth-Killing Revelations About Your 401(k) and IRA I'm going to retire and live off my savings...

While doing research for my new book (The Bank On Yourself Revolution, due out on February 11), I came across four stunning new revelations about 401(k)s and IRAs. If you have money in one of these plans, I urge you to read this exposé to find out how to protect yourself from making costly mistakes.

 2. Is Bank On Yourself “Snake Oil”? 

[Read more…]