10.1 Million Americans Are Still Unemployed As Rate Ticks Down To 6.3%

The United States added just 49,000 jobs in January, according to data released by the Labor Department Friday—less than half the 100,000 added jobs economists were expecting as the pandemic continues to force layoffs in industries such as retail and hospitality despite gains in white-collar jobs.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 6.3% in January, from 6.7% in December; the metric hit a record high of 14.7% in April.

There are now 10.1 million unemployed people in the United States, compared to 10.7 million in December, the government said; job gains in professional and business services and education helped offset losses in industries including retail, healthcare, transportation, warehousing and hospitality.

Despite the decrease in unemployment, the number of permanent job losers increased to about 3.5 million in January, from 3.3 million in December—about three times prepandemic levels.

Another grim sign of a still-reeling job market, 400,000 Americans left the labor force last month, pushing the labor force participation rate slightly down to about 61.4%.

Of the 7 million people in America who want a job but are not actively seeking employment, about 4.7 million were prevented from looking for work due to the pandemic, the Labor Department said.

January’s report continues to show stark differences in unemployment by race, with minority groups such as Black Americans and Hispanics facing above-average unemployment rates of 9.2% and 8.6%, respectively.

Crucial Quote

“After contracting in December, the labor market returned to growth in January, as some economic lockdowns eased, which allowed more businesses to stay open,” James McDonald, the CEO of Los Angeles-based Hercules Investments said Friday. “While it’s encouraging to see the economy added jobs in January, we are still far away from pre-Covid-19 employment levels.” Overall, there are still 10 million less jobs than there were before the pandemic.

Big Number

17.8 million. That’s how many people were still receiving some form of government unemployment benefit last week—shockingly high compared to the 2.1 million total claims filed in the comparable week in 2020, according to weekly data released Thursday. That’s higher than the number of unemployed Americans, due to a startling number of people who’ve dropped out of the labor force because they’re no longer looking for work.

 

Key Background

The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that it does not expect employment will reach prepandemic levels until 2024–echoing similar estimates from economists predicting that the labor market recovery will severely lag the broader economic recovery in the years to come. Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert S. Kaplan said Thursday that the next two to three months will remain challenging for the economy even though widespread vaccination efforts should help curb some of the downside economic risks of increased Covid-19 infections. 

Tangent

After an all-night session, the Senate narrowly approved a budget resolution Friday morning that will allow Democrats to move forward on President Joe Biden’s lofty $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal without any Republican backing. It’s likely the package will need to be trimmed down to satisfy some of the more conservative Democrats, but experts, including Vital Knowledge Media Founder Adam Crisafulli, still estimate the resulting bill could total as much as $1.7 trillion and hit President Biden’s desk before the current enhanced federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14. Biden’s plan extends the enhanced benefits of $400 per week through September.

Further Reading

Senate Approves Budget Resolution Paving The Way For Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan (Forbes)

Another 779,000 Americans Filed For Unemployment Last Week (Forbes) Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip

Jonathan Ponciano

Jonathan Ponciano

I’m a reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business journalism and economics while working for UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School as a marketing and communications assistant. Before Forbes, I spent a summer reporting on the L.A. private sector for Los Angeles Business Journal and wrote about publicly traded North Carolina companies for NC Business News Wire. Reach out at jponciano@forbes.com.

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NBC News 5.13M subscribers NBC News’ Steve Patterson shares the stories of Kanisha Mayweather, Stacy Davis and Victor Patterson — three of the millions of unemployed Americans who have faced the pandemic with faith and perseverance since March.» Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC​ » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews​ NBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations. Connect with NBC News Online! Visit NBCNews.Com: http://nbcnews.to/ReadNBC​ Find NBC News on Facebook: http://nbcnews.to/LikeNBC​ Follow NBC News on Twitter: http://nbcnews.to/FollowNBC​ Follow NBC News on Instagram: http://nbcnews.to/InstaNBC​ Unemployed Americans Still Struggling During pandemic: ‘I Do A Lot Of Praying’ | NBC Nightly News

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14 Tips To Meet Your Financial Goals In 2021

Who among us isn’t ready to bid good riddance to the year 2020? The pandemic has upended life across the globe and that includes creating financial chaos and stress for people of all walks of life. The good news is that 2021 is just around the corner. The bad news is that there will be pandemic fallout to deal with in the year ahead, and that could mean a continued rocky ride for your personal finances.

That doesn’t mean postponing or eliminating financial plans and goals altogether. And it doesn’t mean 2021 will be a bust. Instead, you’ll need to be more focused, savvy, and strategic about money goals in the coming year, which is why we asked financial experts across the country to weigh in and provide tips and insights about how to prosper financially in 2021 despite all the uncertainties that lie ahead.

Related: 19 Smart Ways to Get Through a Recession

Create a Rolling Budget

In times of uncertainty, it’s a good idea to create what’s known as a rolling budget, which is a budget that’s dynamic and changes throughout the year. This type of budget typically focuses on the near term, rather than the long term.

“You can’t always foresee every stumbling block in your financial future, so make sure to keep your budget bendable, not only judging the numbers you see at the moment but also make room for the surprises,” says Roy Ferman, founder and CEO of Seek Capital. “Keep a rolling budget and forecast that accounts for potential fluctuations — positive or negative.”

In other words, budget in a way that accounts for multiple real-world scenarios, says Ferman, creating a plan A, B, C, and possibly even D. “You want each plan fully mapped out as if it was plan A to keep you on top of any discrepancies. Allow yourself to come up with different variations, and allocate for those variations.”

Establish More Than One Stream of Income

Depending on how you define the data, anywhere from 20 million to 30 million people were unemployed or had their income affected by the pandemic, says Marco Sison, financial coach for Nomadic FIRE. To help protect yourself against the impacts of unemployment or reduced income, it’s a good idea to establish multiple streams of income.

“If one job or income stream is cut off, you still have other sources coming in to live off of,” says Sison. “Ideally, these income streams are passive: dividends, rental property, digital side businesses. If your hours get cut, or you lose your job, you can reduce your expenses and live off your side hustles without tapping your emergency fund.”

Budget for Saving

Warren Buffett has been quoted as saying “If you want to make saving a priority, take a look at how you budget. Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.”

If you truly want to make saving a priority, particularly amid challenging economic times, you cannot plan to simply set aside what is left over, says Robert Johnson, a professor of finance, at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business. “You don’t successfully build wealth by simply taking what you have left after all your expenses,” says Johnson. “We accomplish what we prioritize. Prioritize savings and invest those savings. Saving should be a line item on your budget.”

Develop an Investment Policy Statement

Anyone who makes investments should create what’s called an investment policy statement (IPS) and follow it, says Johnson at Creighton University. “An IPS is a written document that clearly sets out an investor’s return objectives and risk tolerance over that investor’s relevant time horizon, along with applicable constraints such as liquidity needs and tax circumstances,” explains Johnson. “The whole point of an IPS is to guide you through changing market conditions. It should not be changed as a result of market fluctuations.”

Avoid Credit-Card Debt

Credit-card debt is a slippery slope in the best of times. And when the economy is uncertain, it’s best to avoid using credit cards as much as possible. “It’s never advised to spend money you don’t have via revolving lines of credit. And psychologically making purchases via most credit cards makes us a lot less frugal and undisciplined,” says Adem Selita, CEO and co-founder of The Debt Relief Company. “Considering that interest rates are near all-time lows, paying 20% or more on credit-card debt is a terrible financial decision to make.”

Clear Outstanding Debts

One more note about credit-card debt, if you’re able: Wipe out all existing debt. That will be the biggest favor you can do yourself in terms of meeting financial goals in 2021 and laying the groundwork for success (and beyond), says David Meltzer of East Insurance Group. “Chip off your debt bit by bit by paying off a small portion each month,” says Meltzer. “And do some belt-tightening on your spending for the time being. Take a look at your expenses and see which ones you can let go, and which ones you need to minimize, in order to help clear debt.”

AdChoices

Streamline Your Budget

Study your cash flow, both your income and expenses and outline a realistic household budget, says Meltzer at East Insurance Group. “Your expenses should be exclusively necessities like house bills, groceries, food, mortgage, insurance, and savings,” says Meltzer. “There’s no room for gym memberships and Netflix subscriptions on a tight budget. Most importantly, keep track of your spending. At this point, each cent counts.”

Consider Living Below Your Means

While you’re busy outlining your month-to-month budget goals for 2021 and paring back your spending, you might consider establishing a plan to live well below your means.

“By spending less than you earn, you open up funds to put into a savings account for emergency situations, such as a pandemic, or the loss of a job,” says Mason Miranda, credit industry specialist for Credit Card Insider. “The more you save now, the more financially stable you’ll be later when a crisis hits. Depending on your goals and how much you can save, you could even avoid going into debt and pay for large purchases in cash.”

Prioritize Your Goals and Be Realistic

Prioritizing all of your financial goals allows you to put them into specific categories based on which goals you want to meet first, says George Birrell, CPA and founder of TaxHub. You’ll also want to set a realistic time frame for meeting those goals amid the uncertain economic landscape.

“Setting a realistic timeframe is very important,” says Birrell. “If you set a timeline for one year, but your expenses don’t allow for meeting that timeline or you don’t have the capacity to put in extra work to earn more, you’re not going to reach that goal. Look at it objectively and realistically.”

Set Milestones Toward Larger Goals

Think of a milestone as a smaller goal that helps you get to your larger goal, says entrepreneur Thierry Tremblay, CEO founder of the online database software company Kohezion.

“They are like guideposts on the trail — smaller tasks that you can do to help you stay in line with your overall goal,” says Tremblay. If you fail at various points along the way when pursuing financial goals, think of it as an opportunity to gain valuable insights about things that work and don’t work, says Tremblay. “When you move on to the next goal you’re trying to accomplish, you have an advantage because of the things you’ve learned from your failure,” adds Tremblay.

Start With What You Have

Financial advisers often recommended setting aside three to six months’ worth of income in an emergency fund, which can seem overwhelming if you’re living paycheck to paycheck as many are right now, says Emma Healey, family finance and budgeting expert and founder at Mum’s Money. Rather than giving up on establishing an emergency savings altogether in 2021, simply start smaller.

“Start with what you have. Even if you can only spare $5 a week, stashing it aside to help pad out your budget when times are tough,” says Healey. “It is a decision you’ll never regret. Add more as you can, but the most important thing is to start.”

Automate Your Savings, Debt, and Bill Payments

It’s hard to spend money if you’ve already sent it somewhere else, says Chelsie Moore, CFA and director, wealth management and financial planning for Country Financial. Create automatic debt payments, bill payments and automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account.

“A little bit adds up over time,” says Moore. “Automatic payments may help you avoid late payment penalties, which are a waste of money, and automatic savings can add up without effort or feelings of sacrifice.”

Meeting your financial goals in the best of times can often be challenging. But when the world is topsy-turvy it can be even more perplexing trying to figure out how to accomplish your goals once you’ve defined them. A personal finance professional can help you navigate the uncertainty and plot a path to success.

“Seek the advice and guidance of a financial professional who has the expertise to assist you,” says Tracey Bissett, CFA and president of Bissett Financial Fitness. “The best way to find one is to seek recommendations from someone you trust and then interview potential advisors to find the best fit. You should feel comfortable talking to the professional and asking them questions.”

Be Kind to Yourself

It’s important to remember as you embark upon 2021, and any year for that matter, that financial fitness is a lifelong journey. “Take small, imperfect actions daily to increase your financial knowledge and movement towards your goals. If you make a misstep, be kind to yourself and get back on track,” says Bissett.

By: Mia Taylor

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THE BROKEN WALLET

I don’t believe in resolutions, but I do believe in goals. Ready to make 2021 a good year financially? If you need a little “goal” inspiration, here’s a look at 21 money goals for 2021 that can empower your finances. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE, LIKE AND COMMENT: https://www.youtube.com/thebrokenwallet Start investing with Acorns today! Get $5 when you use my invite link: https://acorns.com/invite/JDCS44 Open a CIT Bank Savings Builder Account and Grow Your Money Faster Use my referral link to get started: https://fxo.co/9yAC Looking for an automated investment service? Open a Wealthfront investment account and get $5,000 managed for free for life. Use my referral link: https://invest.wealthfront.com/broken… Would you rather pick your own investments? If so, join Robinhood and start investing today! Use my referral link and get one free share of stock: https://join.robinhood.com/valench9 LET’S CONNECT: » Blog: https://the-broken-wallet.com » Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebrokenwallet » Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_brokenw… START YOUR OWN BLOG: REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN, CHOOSE A WORDPRESS THEME AND GET HOSTING WITH A FEW CLICKS *Bluehost (self-hosting): http://www.bluehost.com/track/thebrokenwallet FILMING GEAR: *Sony A6400 with 18-135mm Lens: https://amzn.to/38eBa6A *RODE VideoMic Pro+ w/Rycote Studio Boom Kit: https://amzn.to/2XvqyxC *Studio Lights: Neewer 2 Piece Bi-color 660 LED Video Light and Stand Kit: https://amzn.to/3alFbYi *FlexiSpot VICI Electric Quick-Install Height Adjustable Desk EC9 Series: Get $15 OFF – https://bit.ly/3jv18Z5 TAGS #frugallivingtips#moneygoals#moneygoalsfor2021

How To Invest $100,000 For $940 Per Month In Passive Income

If you have $100,000 to invest, you can easily use it to unleash a dividend stream that pays you $940 a month. That’s $11,280 a year in dividends—on just $100K!

I know you’re probably thinking this sounds too good to be true (and you should be!), especially when 10-year Treasuries dribble out just 0.7%, and the typical S&P 500 stock isn’t much better, with a 1.7% yield.

You’re not retiring on either one of those meager payouts!

But $100,000 invested in a fund with an 11.3% dividend yield (like the one we’ll dive into below) gives you a good start toward clocking out, and on a modest nest egg, too.

The nice thing about this approach is that you’ll still invest in blue chip companies like Mastercard (MA), Deere & Co (DE) and PepsiCo (PEP). That’s the real magic of this strategy: it lets you take low payers like these (PepsiCo is the highest yielder of this trio, at 2.9%) and “squeeze” them for a far bigger payout. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Open a Brokerage Account

This isn’t really a step for many people—if you’ve read this far, you probably already have a trading account. No matter what kind of account it is, you’re fine to use it (so long as it lets you trade US stocks, of course): there’s nothing exotic about the funds we’re going to target with this strategy. They trade on the major markets, just like stocks. Recommended For You

If you don’t have $100K in your account already, go ahead and transfer it in.

Step 2: Buy a Closed-End Fund

Next, you’ll need to purchase a closed-end fund (CEF). The name we’re targeting today is the Gabelli Equity Trust (GAB). Let’s get into a little more detail on both CEFs in general and GAB in particular.

First, a CEF is like a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF), but with some key differences. Unlike mutual funds, whose values are reconciled and unit prices are set after each trading day, CEFs trade during the exchange’s opening hours, just like an ETF or a regular stock.

And unlike ETFs, a CEF has a fixed amount of shares that are established when the fund holds its IPO. While ETFs can, and do, increase their total number of shares outstanding, CEFs do not, which helps keep them small and more manageable. An ETF like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) can balloon to have a whopping $278 billion in it, where the biggest CEF has just $4 billion in assets. GAB is much smaller, with $1.3 billion.

GAB is managed by a group of value investors who focus on high-quality, mostly mid-cap and large-cap stocks. This team is headlined by famed value-investing guru (and Warren Buffett disciple) Mario Gabelli. Mario and his team look for companies with reliable cash flow and rising profits, which is why the fund owns Mastercard and PepsiCo.

Unlike ETFs, which usually pay tiny dividends, GAB (like most CEFs) focuses on maximizing dividends to shareholders; it does this by collecting payouts from the companies it holds and rotating assets and occasionally taking profits, which it then gives to shareholders in the form of dividends. That’s one way the fund can sustain a double-digit dividend.

There’s another part to the fund’s strategy, too: a careful use of leverage—by borrowing to invest, Gabelli and his team can enhance their portfolio’s returns, boosting its profits (and your payouts) further. Leverage, of course, also amplifies losses, a risk Gabelli mitigates by targeting companies trading below their intrinsic value and by keeping his leverage manageable—right now, the team has borrowed against roughly 25% of the portfolio.

Leverage is a particularly smart strategy today, with the cost of borrowing essentially at zero.

Now let’s take an exploded view of our GAB investment, so we can see exactly what we’ve got on the line here, and how much we’re getting back in dividend cash:

Contrarian Outlook
Contrarian Outlook

Step 3: Wait Two Months

After we’ve bought our shares, the last part is the easiest: just wait for the checks to roll in.

GAB pays dividends every three months, with the next payout coming sometime around December 14. That means in about two months, an investor who puts $100K in now will have $2,830.05 in time for Christmas.

If you want to set this up as a recurring income stream, all you have to do is set an automatic-payment-transfer from your brokerage account to your bank account for $943.35 every month, and GAB’s dividends will appear in your account—in cash.

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “Indestructible Income: 5 Bargain Funds with Safe 8.8% Dividends.

Disclosure: noneMichael FosterI have worked as an equity analyst for a decade, focusing on fundamental analysis of businesses and portfolio allocation strategies. My reports are widely read by analysts and portfolio managers at some of the largest hedge funds and investment banks in the world, with trillions of dollars in assets under management. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999 and have no plans to stop. So far, I have lived in NYC, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Seoul, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. I received my Ph.D. in 2008 and continue to offer consulting services to institutional investors and ultra high net worth individuals.

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WealthPress 5.64K subscribers If you like this video don’t forget to give it a thumbs up 👍. Subscribe here for more stock market updates, tips, and news: https://www.youtube.com/c/WealthPress… and don’t forget to ring the bell to get notified. Follow us on our social media channels to watch in-depth interviews with Wealthpress Head Traders to see what other trading opportunities they are paying close attention to. 💻 Website: https://www.wealthpress.com 📷 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wealthpress… 🐦 Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/wealthpress 📘 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WealthPressF..

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Average Fintech Salaries Are In The Six Figures

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Fintechs have seen increased interest in light of digital trends accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. Jobs at these startups can pay into the six figures starting out, and an opportunity to receive equity in the company, making them attractive prospects for finance industry newcomers.

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Fintech is hotter than ever in 2020. The coronavirus crisis has only intensified interest in the growing financial technology space. From investors to traditional players, engagement with the startups has arguably never been higher.

In addition to growing demand for fintech products and services, another reason why the space may be so attractive is the earning potential it offers. Nationally, the average salary of a job in fintech, which, albeit, is a large and diverse field, is $113,359, according to ZipRecruiter. That’s higher than the average …read more

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When Employers Ask About Your Salary Range, Try This

A client recently remarked on that weird moment when a potential employer asks for your salary range. She wondered, “Should it be X% over what I’m making now? Based entirely on salary calculators?”

For my money, the employer should tell you what the range is since they actually know specifics of what the job entails, their budget, and the market value/going rate. Or as Vu Le says, when you don’t disclose salary range on a job posting, a unicorn loses its wings.

But, for my client and the purposes of this article, let’s assume they’re expecting you to say the number first. Figuring out an appropriate salary range for a new position can feel like a ridiculous high stakes guessing game. Ask for too little, they won’t take you seriously and you’ll end up underpaid forever. Ask for too much, you’ll cut yourself out of the running for the job. No pressure.

It doesn’t have to be so fraught. Here are four tools to help you determine an appropriate range:

1. Many professional associations do an audit of salaries in the industry. Ask around to find out what membership groups or professional associations aggregate that data in your industry. Even if there’s not a formal study, there are likely people who you can chat with about industry trends.

Your email could say something like, “I’m seeking ___ type of position at ___ kinds of organizations. Based on my experience and the region, I’m looking to get a sense of the industry standards surrounding compensation. Are there any resources you recommend or individuals I could speak with on the subject?”

2. Networking can be a huge value, but studies show that people tend to network in single sex groups – basically, men network with men, women with women.  If you’re only talking salaries with other women, odds are decent you’re not getting good fair wage data. Remember that thanks to the wretched wage gap, there’s a good chance your lady friends are getting paid less than their male peers. Be sure you’re talking with both men and women so you’re getting the most fair and accurate wage information.

3. You can ask someone who was in the role previously or is familiar with the position, “Would you be comfortable sharing the salary range that’s appropriate for this role based on your experience?”  This way, you’re not asking them to disclose what they made but asking for their perspective.

4. Online salary calculators like payscale.com and glassdoor.com can be invaluable resources in determining your market value, but note that searching for salary info based only on a job title and your city won’t give you accurate results. Would you trust OKCupid’s suggested matches if all you’d entered was your gender?  You want data that’s specific to your region, level of experience, and the size of the company you’re considering, so be sure you’re putting in as much info as possible about yourself and the role to get the most accurate info.

Tools in Action

You probably won’t be able to use each of these tools for every job offer. Salary calculators couldn’t even generate a report for my client because of the specific context of the international job she’s considering. She did better interpersonally.

She told me, “I tend to confide in my closest friends and colleagues, most of whom happen to be female, but I reached out to a [male] former colleague tonight who’s held similar positions and that was helpful.”

The conversation also evoked additional questions for her hiring manager about compensation more broadly including:

  • Does the offer include housing? A driver?
  • What’s the tax situation in the posting country?
  • Will I be paid in USD or will my paycheck be subject to currency fluctuations?

The answers to these sorts of industry or job-specific questions should of course inform your salary expectations, and it’s appropriate to say as much. I recommended she send a warm, enthusiastic note to the person who interviewed her to the effect of,

“I’ve done a lot of thinking about the salary range and have a few questions before I’m able to share the salary range I’d be seeking in this position.” or

“Do you have an outline of the benefits the organization provides to team members overseas? I know these vary considerably among organizations.”

While we wait for the unicorn job offers that include the salary range in the job description, these strategies will position you to learn more about compensation for the role and determine a salary range that accurately reflects your market value.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I use a strengths-based approach to encourage women to navigate and negotiate work on their terms. A New Orleans native and enthusiast, I use a playful, approachable style when consulting nationally with businesses and professional associations that want to attract, retain, and support female talent. Women have been coming to me for years for help in workplace negotiations, so I launched my business to help women negotiate a raise, a promotion, a new position, and maternity leave. Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire recently profiled me for my unique approach, and I am regularly asked to speak at national conferences about negotiations, work-life balance, and leading as a female executive. Learn more at gowlandllc.com.

Source: When Employers Ask About Your Salary Range, Try This

Retirement Savings By Age: How Does Your 401K Balance Stack Up – Personal Capital

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401ks are one of the most common investment vehicles that Americans use to save for retirement. The 401k is an employer-sponsored plan that allows you to save for retirement in a tax-sheltered way (up to $18,500 per year in 2018, with a $6,000 catch-up contribution limit) to help maximize your retirement dollars. According to a Personal Capital-sponsored study conducted by ORC International, a majority of Americans (63%) with full-time or part-time employment participate in an employer-sponsored retirement program, yet just 21% max it out…..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/personalcapital/2018/10/16/retirement-savings-by-age-how-does-your-401k-balance-stack-up/#1d3009f047c1

 

 

 

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