Should you put all your retirement eggs in one basket? See more money pictures. iStockphoto/Thinkstock This is a question that every American worker should be asking. Long gone are the days of staying with the same company for an entire career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, even the youngest baby boomers worked an average of 10.2 different jobs from ages 18 through 38 [source: BLS]. The millennial generation (born between 1977 and 1997) jumps ship even faster, projected to hold an average of 15 to 20 jobs over the course of their careers [source: Meister]. Not all jobs offer retirement benefits, but if you are lucky enough to receive a 401(k) plan, you need to think about what you want to do with that account if (more like when) you leave your job. According to retirement planning experts, you have three major options: Keep the 401(k) with your old employerTransfer the funds to a 401(k) at your new job, orRollover your old 401(k) into an IRA What you … [Read more...] about If I change jobs a lot, should I consolidate my retirement accounts?
Are millennials really destined to earn less than their parents? Creatas/Thinkstock "Kids these days ... " At some point in every adult life, we all utter this phrase. No matter how young and hip you think you are -- use of the word "hip" notwithstanding -- one day you will spot a pair of 20-somethings in skinny jeans furiously texting away on a turquoise bicycle built for two and you will mutter, "Kids these days are obnoxious/self-absorbed/technologically obsessed." And you will be right. But you will also be participating in a glorious tradition of generation-bashing that dates back to the first clan of cavemen that scoffed at their spoiled, lazy kids who had no idea what it was like to live without fire or really sharp rocks. The latest generation to suffer the scorn of their elders is the so-called millennial generation, aka Generation Y, aka "The Me Me Me Generation" according to a 2013 Time cover story. Born roughly between 1981 and 2001, this is the first generation to … [Read more...] about Are millennials really the first generation to do worse than their parents?
Soldiers' wills have followed a circuitous and interesting path throughout history, but there's not much difference between military and civilian wills today, aside from how they are validated. ullstein bild/Getty Images In the 1888 book "Camp-fire Chats of the Civil War," C.F. Matteson, a former Union soldier from the 17th Illinois Infantry, recounted the story of a comrade named "Bob," who was gravely ill with measles in a camp in Missouri and wanted to give his last will and testament orally to him. But instead of deciding who got his personal property, Bob instead dictated the precise manner of what was expected to be his imminent burial. He wanted to be interred face down, with his head pointed eastward and a clam shell in each hand. Matteson felt compelled to ask why. The seemingly dying soldier explained to him that in the event that the angel Gabriel suddenly decided not to blow his horn and summon him to the hereafter, he wanted to be in a position where he could tunnel … [Read more...] about A Will Is Part of Every Soldier’s Battle Plan
A new meta-analysis shows that only a third of Americans have prepared advanced directive documents. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images If you're a prudent sort of person, you may have prepared an advance directive. That's a document designating who should make decisions on your behalf if you're ever stricken with an illness or injury making you unable to express your own wishes. It also gives directions about end-of-life care. Unfortunately, most of us aren't prudent people, as demonstrated by new research from the University of Pennsylvania, and published in the journal Health Affairs. The researchers analyzed 150 previous studies involving 750,000 subjects conducted over the past six years, in an effort to find out how many adults had completed a living will, a healthcare power of attorney, or both. The Penn researchers found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults — 63 percent, to be precise — had not completed either of those documents. Only 29.3 percent had written a living … [Read more...] about U.S. Adults Are Overwhelmingly Unprepared for Serious Illness or Injury
An unequal estate plan may seem perfectly logical on paper, but financial experts think it may cause more problems than it solves. Jens Magnusson/Getty Images On the surface, it makes perfect sense. Why would you leave as much money to your youngest daughter, Sonia, a real-estate lawyer with a high six-figure salary and no kids, as you would to your older son, Roberto, a semi-employed handyman with four kids and medical debt? He needs the inheritance more than her, right? That may be true now, financial planning professionals say, but situations can and do change. And even if an unequal estate plan looks perfectly logical on paper, it may cause more problems than it solves. "In my opinion, unequal inheritances can be toxic," Kent Schmidgall of Buckingham Strategic Wealth in Burlington, Iowa, says in an email, noting that Sonia and Roberto could end up switching places financially. "Then mom and dad die, condemning the children to a lifetime of painfully awkward Thanksgiving … [Read more...] about When Is It OK to Leave Kids Unequal Inheritance?