Money Matters - Simplified


Visualize the Perfect Retirement Portfolio

When planning your retirement, would it help you to see what portions of your savings and investments you might want to devote to international stocks, small-cap and large-cap domestic stocks, or bonds and bills?

Don't Let Bad Math Ruin Your Retirement

Congratulations -- you're a stock market genius! During a lifetime of smart investments, you scrimped and saved your way to a portfolio worth more than $1 million.

Do-It-Yourself Retirement

In the best-case scenario, your employer offers a generous match for your 401(k) savings, and you have plenty of money left each month to fill up your IRA. You're also fabulously tanned, 20 pounds lighter, and have more hair.

You Can Protect Your Portfolio

Are recent losses in the stock market keeping you awake at night? Are you wondering what you can do to defend your retirement portfolio? The good news is that there are things you can do to protect your investments from falling prices. But keep in mind that while Wall Street has a slew of products designed to appeal to stock investors who've gotten burned, many of them carry a high price tag.

The Easiest Retirement Calculator Ever

Every Fool knows the importance of saving for retirement. But one massive, mind-boggling question can scare away even the most well-intentioned investor: How much cold, hard cash will you actually need to fully fund your golden years?

The Biggest Barrier Between You and Retirement

If you plan to retire -- and who doesn't? -- you need to amass a significant nest egg. These days, not even being a millionaire can guarantee you a comfortable retirement. If you have significant debt, that guarantee is even further away. Every dollar you spend paying back debts, whether it goes to principal or to interest, is a dollar you can't put away for your retirement. Instead of earning money for you, that dollar is earning money for the bank.

Our Retirement Savings: Good News and Bad News

I'd love to write an article one day reporting nothing but good news about Americans and how well they're saving for retirement. This isn't that day. Our friends at the American Savings Education Council recently released survey results that offer reasons to both cheer and despair.

Tap Your IRAs to Retire Early

Many people believe that if you want to retire early, retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k) plans are off-limits. But a complicated provision of the tax laws allows early retirees to use their retirement savings without paying harsh penalties.

Timing Your Way to Retirement

A recession is coming! Get out of the market! Buy gold! Buy defensive stocks like Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A), Altria (NYSE: MO), and Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT)! Hide under the bed! Quick!

Is Your Retirement at Risk?

Plummeting markets will make even the calmest investors feel nervous about their portfolios. Even more important than your current account balance, however, is whether you'll be able to protect yourself from the risks that face every retirement investor.