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:

Broken 401k nest egg

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 financial representatives to these plans.

The study concluded that…

[Read more…] “Two New 401k Revelations”

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…] “Mutual Fund Fees are Silent but Deadly Wealth Killers”

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.

Obama State of the Union Address

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…] “The good, bad and the ugly of the new myRA”

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?”

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

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…] “Are you putting your retirement savings in prison?”

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.

I'm going to retire and live off my savings...

 2. Is Bank On Yourself “Snake Oil”?

[Read more…] “Top Five Recent Stories from Bank On Yourself”

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 Funds

I’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

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…
[Read more…] “Important 401K and IRA Advice”

How will these 3 financial surprises affect you?

There have been three recent surprising revelations I urge you to pay close attention to, if you have any money invested in the stock market and/or you have an IRA, 401(k) or other government qualified retirement plan…

1. The ugly truth about the stock market’s new record highs

Take a look at the chart below which reveals how, when measured in real purchasing-power terms, the S&P 500 Index is nowhere near its March 2000 high. In fact, the index would have to increase by another 32% today, just to get you even (in real dollars) with where you were more than 13 years ago:
Your Retirement Plan Powered by Wall Street-Fast Graph
Even if you look at the total return of the S&P 500 (including reinvested dividends), the real (inflation-adjusted) purchasing power of your investment remains negative after 13 years. And this assumes you have no fees, commissions or taxes, which, of course, will take another big bite out of your savings.

2. Long-term investors received only HALF the return of the S&P 500 [Read more…] “How will these 3 financial surprises affect you?”

Shouting about Bank On Yourself from the rooftops

Dan Proskauer recently sent me a chart showing how his family’s net worth has grown since he started his first Bank On Yourself plan 3 1/2 years ago, and how that compares to the previous 10 years.

When Dan saw this chart on his financial tracking software program, he said his jaw dropped so hard it left a dent on his keyboard and that “we should be shouting about this from the rooftops.”

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look for yourself and note how you’ll see a more detailed version of the chart when you place your mouse over it…

Bank On Yourself

Why would Dan be willing to reveal and discuss something as personal as his net worth for the whole world to see? Because, in Dan’s words…

[Read more…] “Shouting about Bank On Yourself from the rooftops”

Bank On Yourself: The Ultimate Wealth-Building Strategy Video

Do you know what your retirement account will be worth on the day you plan to tap into it? If you’re like most people, you don’t have a clue. Well, here’s a reality check – that’s not a plan; it’s gambling.

Because people have blindly followed the conventional wisdom about investing and retirement planning advice, most baby boomers have been forced to postpone retirement an average of five years…and nearly half aren’t expected to have enough money in retirement to cover even basic living expenses, like food and medical care.1

At Bank On Yourself, we believe the decision of whether and when to retire – or not – should be a matter of choice, not necessity. If that makes sense to you, we urge you to watch this fast-paced video revealing seven reasons to consider using the Bank On Yourself method as a safe and proven alternative to traditional retirement plans.

Click the play button in the video below and see how many of these seven advantages you’d like to have in your financial plan…

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Bank On Yourself gives you guarantees, predictability, control, tax advantages and peace of mind missing from traditional financial planning

Want to find out how much money you could have – guaranteed – in 10 years, 30 years, and at any point along the way if you added Bank On Yourself to your financial plan?

It’s easy to find out! Just request your FREE, no-obligation Analysis that will show you how a custom-tailored plan can help you reach your short-term and long-term goals and dreams in the shortest time possible.
Request Your Analysis Button

1. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, March 2012 Report

Fire Your Banker Video Contest Results

Wow! We received more than 150 terrific entries when we invited readers to tell us what you think about our unusual new video on “How to Fire Your Banker and Become Your Own Source of Financing”.

Prizes-neon

We want to thank everyone who took the time to give us such detailed and honest feedback, which is exactly what we need to be able to communicate the benefits of Bank On Yourself more effectively.

Prizes-neon

Five people on the Bank On Yourself team – myself included – poured through every single response, not just to pick the contest winners, but to also learn what questions and concerns you have about the Bank On Yourself concept.

At $1,000 per finished minute to film this kind of video, I was really glad no one said what they liked most about it was when it ended! Most people really liked the unusual video style and felt that it helped them better understand one of the most intriguing advantages of the Bank On Yourself method: How it lets you bypass banks, credit cards and finance companies and become your own source of financing.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, I encourage you to do that now…

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There were many terrific insights and questions in the contest entries. It was tough to pick just five winning entries (we actually picked six), but you’ll find the winners listed below.
[Read more…] “Fire Your Banker Video Contest Results”