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

Who doesn’t love getting “free money” in the form of the 401(k) employer match? Do you really believe your employer is giving you something for nothing? (If you believe that, I’ve got a Rolex watch I’ll sell you for $10.)

The Center for Retirement Research did a study based on tax data and found that for every dollar an employer contributes to your 401(k) match, they pay 90 cents less salary to men and 99 cents less to women on average. Whoa! Doesn’t sound like such a good deal now, does it?

That’s why one of the Bank On Yourself Revolutionaries had no trouble convincing his boss to pay him the money that he was getting as an employer match in salary instead, so he could use it to fund his Bank On Yourself plan.

Plus, you don’t even get all of the employer match during the first 4-6 years you work for the company – you need to be “vested” first. If you leave your job before that, you typically don’t get the full match.

And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average time a person stays on the job is only 4.2 years.

Oops! There goes the employer match “carrot.”

Reason #3: Fees that Devour Your Hard-Earned Money

In spite of the rules passed a few years ago requiring better 401(k) fee disclosure, surveys show most participants still have NO clue how much they’re actually paying.

But according to Brightscope, participants in small plans pay 1.9% in fees annually, and participants in large plans pay 1.08% per year. If those fees sound like “small change” to you, then here’s a wake-up call: Fees of only 1% per year can slash the value of your savings by 28% over the next 35 years, according to the Department of Labor.

Poof! There goes nearly one-third of your hard-earned dollars. I can assure you somebody is getting rich on this, but it’s not you!

Reason #4: Funding a 401(k) is Like Putting Your Money in Prison

It’s like a trade with the devil: Give me all your savings in return for tax-deferral (a scam as we’ve seen) and an employer match (another scam), and I’ll keep it under lock and key for you until you’re 59.5 years old.

You have to beg for permission to use your own money! There are all kinds of restrictions and penalties for accessing your own money.

Reason #5: The Myth of Market Returns

You’re told that over the long term, you can do well in the stock market. But over the last three decades, the average equity mutual fund investor has earned only 3.66% per year, beating inflation by only 1% per year, according to the DALBAR studies.

Yet Wall Street has brainwashed us into believing we have to risk our money in order to get any kind of decent returns. And so we continue to blindly fund our 401(k)s like lemmings following each other off a cliff.

My investigation into more than 450 different financial products and strategies revealed you don’t have to risk your money to get a decent return. You can reach your financial goals and dreams without taking any unnecessary risk.

Request a free Bank On Yourself Analysis here to find out how you could benefit from a custom-tailored plan.

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Reason #6: After Decades of Being Lab Rats in the Great 401(k) Experiment, Most Pre-Retirees Still Don’t Have Enough Saved

Even the “father” of the 401(k), Ted Benna, has called it an “out of control monster” that should be blown up.

How much more evidence do we need that 401(k)s are not the solution they’re touted to be? The more accurate name for a 401(k) is a hope and pray plan.

So are there any good alternatives to the 401(k)? The answer is YES, but of course you won’t hear about it from Wall Street.

Here Are 8 Reasons Bank On Yourself Makes an Excellent Alternative to Conventional Retirement Plans…

  1. Guaranteed, predictable growth and retirement income – with no luck, skill, or guesswork required.
  2. No volatility. Your plan doesn’t go backward when the markets tumble. Your principal and growth are locked in. It’s not subject to market risks.
  3. You’re in control. You have control of your money without government penalties or restrictions on how much income you can take or when you can take it.
  4. Tax advantages. You can access your principal and growth with no taxes due, under current tax law.
  5. Liquidity. Your cash value can easily and immediately be tapped for any purpose at all, and your plan can continue growing as though you never touched a dime of it.
  6. Fees don’t compound against you. Studies show that the fees in traditional retirement plans can consume as much as one-third to one-half of your savings over time. With a Bank On Yourself plan, all fees have already been deducted from the bottom-line numbers and results you’ll get.
  7. Income tax-free legacy. The death benefit is likely to be many times larger than the total amount you’ve paid into your policy. This passes to your loved ones and/or favorite charities income tax-free and without going through probate. If you die prematurely, the death benefit allows your plan to finish funding itself. That won’t happen with traditional retirement plans.
  8. Peace of mind. Perhaps the best reason of all: You’ll know the minimum guaranteed value of your plan on the day you plan to tap into it – and at every point along the way! So request your free Analysis here now:

Get a FREE No-Obligation Analysis from an Authorized Advisor

You can easily find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be BEFORE you decide whether to add the Bank On Yourself method to your financial plan. Just request your free Analysis.

Take the first step to a lifetime of financial security right now, while you’re thinking of it:
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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…

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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.

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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…

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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:
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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…]

Important 401K and IRA Advice

While doing my research for my new book (The Bank On Yourself Revolution, to be published on February 11), I came across four stunning new wealth-killing revelations about 401(k)’s and IRA’s.

If you have money in one of these plans, I urge you to read this advice about your 401K and/or IRA today to find out how to protect yourself from making costly mistakes:

Wealth-Killer #1: The fees you’re paying may be much higher than you think

Target Date FundsI’ve written in the past about how Congress passed a law in 2006 protecting employers from liability as long as they automatically put employees’ contributions into certain types of mutual funds, known as “default” investments.

Target-date funds (TDF’s) have emerged as the default investment of choice. Unfortunately, they’ve also proven to be very risky AND they’re among the most costly mutual funds you can buy. (Would it surprise you to learn the mutual-fund industry lobbied Congress to get that law passed and make sure their interests were protected? Didn’t think so.)

So last month, an article in Forbes (“The Trouble With Target Funds”) revealed that, according to the prospectus of one popular target-date fund, your projected fees and expenses for each $10,000 invested is $2,478 over a ten-year period (assuming it grows at 5% a year).

That’s 25% of your savings!

So, if you had $300,000 in that fund for ten years, you’d get soaked for – are you sitting down? – $74,340! (And that’s just over a ten-year period!) It also doesn’t take into account all the other fees you’re charged in a 401(k).

The author of this article concluded…
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