When I got my first 401k at work, it quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. There were more than a dozen fund options to choose from and I didn’t know what it was going to cost me to participate because there were so many hidden fees.
It made me want to give up right away … and I did. I thought, “This is too difficult and I can’t afford to invest for my retirement anyway.”
To help us solve this retirement conundrum, I invited the founder of blooom, Chris Costello, to tell us more about how their popular service is helping Americans save more money, time and heartache with the 401k process.
Meg from Missouri wrote in about 529 plans and her generous in-laws:
I recently discovered your podcast and am really enjoying it. I have a 529 question that I am having trouble finding the answer to. My husband and I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 1 year old. My in-laws have been wonderful and opened 529 plans for each of our kids on their 1st birthday. They contribute $600/year to each child. We are beyond lucky to have such a generous family. My husband has finally finished his medical training. We have purchased a home and are now able to start contributing to the 529 plans.
My question is … Can a child have more than one 529 plan? We live in Missouri. Our in-laws opened 529 plans that are not associated with our state of residence. Can we open 529 plans that would allow us to take advantage of tax benefits for the state of Missouri or can a child only have one plan?
We all know it’s important to invest for the future. But with endless investing options like the 401k, the IRA, the 529, the 457, the 403b, it’s no wonder we’re confused on where to start. I mean, what kind of names are these anyway!?
Our guest today is going to help us make sense of all this investing madness. Andy Wang is here with us today. He is a Managing Partner at Runnymede Capital Management and the host of the Inspired Money Podcast. He has been named among the INVESTOPEDIA 100: Most Influential Advisors, Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors by Brightscope, and has appeared on Reuters TV, The Huffington Post, Barron’s, and Forbes.
Outside of his financial advising world, Andy is a father of three and loves playing the Hawaiin guitar.
Our question of the month comes in from Anonymous from Cleveland:
I just finished reading an article of yours about paying off your mortgage early. Congratulations on that. I have a 30-year mortgage and I’m not sure if I want to pay it off, but it got me thinking about where I should be with my financial goals.
I’m 35, married, two kids. I want to make sure I’m on track.
What financial goals should I have checked off my list by the time I turn 40?
One fall night in 2010, my wife Nicole and I were watching the Suze Orman Show. (Yes, I used to DVR it). There was this fun segment where someone would call in and Suze would analyze that person’s financial health and give them a grade. It was called How Am I Doing?
One term that we kept seeing over and over again on this segment was “Net Worth”. Since we were personal finance newbies, we had no idea what this meant. Nicole and I were making a combined six-figure income together so we figured our net worth must be HUGE.
After the show was over, we decided to see how rich we really were. There was no doubt in our mind that we’d be better off than most of the jokers that call in to the show and get an “F” grade from Suze!
We walked upstairs and started to write down all of our numbers on a big white board. By separating our “assets” (what we owned) and our liabilities (what we owed) into two big columns, we started to discover that we weren’t rich.
A major step in becoming a young millionaire is tracking your net worth. On the other hand, wealth building is not all about the numbers.
Our guest today, Adam from Minafi, sees wealth building as a way to travel, explore the world and create lifelong memories with his wife. By securing solid financial footing in his 30’s, Adam has been able to realize those dreams early in his life.
Our second question of the month comes from Angela from California:
I’m enjoying your podcast and wanted to ask you a question as I’m starting to get into more aggressively saving for my retirement.
I’m 32 years old. I recently modified my contributions to my workplace 401k so I’ll be maxing it out at $18,500 this year. I recently paid off my last student loan and had extra money. My husband is matching his 401k too after a little convincing. So we’re really getting serious about our retirement savings now. Both our companies match so that’s another perk.
I do feel like I’m behind overall though. Where else should we consider investing outside of our 401k?