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Mar 13, 2013

Fewer workers tapping retirement nest egg for loans: study

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fewer people tapped their workplace retirement accounts for temporary loans or “hardship” withdrawals last year, according to a study released Wednesday by WorldatWork and the American Benefits Institute.

The poll of some 500 companies about employee participation in workplace 401(k) plans found that loans increased in 37 percent of the companies, down from 49 percent of companies in 2008. A quarter of the companies polled said they saw an increase in hardship distributions from plans, down from 43 percent of companies that reported this in 2008.

Mar 12, 2013

Assets climb in 529 accounts, but few use them

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Assets in 529 plans climbed to nearly $200 billion in 2012, but the number of families drawing from their accounts to pay for college was just a fraction of the growing student population, according to a report on the plans released on Tuesday by the College Savings Plans Network.

Last year, 12 percent of 529 account holders took distributions to pay education bills, covering only about 6.6 percent of the total number of U.S. college students.

Feb 26, 2013

As college costs rise in US, parents fall short of saving goals

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) – With rising U.S. college costs
and too many options, parents are saving less than they expected
for their children’s higher education.

American families are failing to reach their educational
goals as short-term budget needs and emergency savings take
priority in the household budget, according to “How America
Saves for College,” a closely watched study released Tuesday
from the education lender Sallie Mae.

Feb 21, 2013

Household debt falls sharply among younger Americans-study

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) – The recession had a strong
impact on young Americans who saw the credit crisis up close:
they are taking on less credit card debt, delaying plans to buy
homes and owning fewer cars, according to a study released on
Thursday.

From 2007 to 2010, the median debt of U.S. households headed
by people aged 35 and younger fell by 29 percent – from $21,912
to $15,473 – while debt of older Americans fell by just 8
percent, to $30,070, according to a Pew Research Center study
titled “Young Adults After the Recession.”

Feb 7, 2013

Advice for the new anti-retirees

7 (Reuters) – We’ve all said it, or at least
we’ve heard it: the claim, made either happily or wearily, that
we are never going to retire.

“I’m going to work forever” can signify worry about scant
savings or it can point to true job love. Whatever the reasons,
a lot of people are saying it, and a growing number of workers
mean it. Roughly 62 percent of baby boomers say they intend to
delay retirement, up from 42 percent two years ago, according to
figures released last week by the Conference Board, an
independent business research organization.

Jan 9, 2013

Is 2013 the year to cut the cable cord?

New York (Reuters) – Like many people paying bills in January, Brad Hill is thinking of eliminating household cable service. “It is an active discussion in my house,” he says. Hill, a freelance writer and former vice president of audience development at AOL, still pays the $128 monthly fee to his Time Warner Cable provider in part so his wife can continue watching one of her favorite channels – HGTV.

This year might be the one in which more people ask: How much am I paying for all these channels, anyway? And why? With the growth of broadband streaming video and its pay-per-show approach, the idea of paying $50 to $150 a month for 1,000 plus channels via a neighborhood cable provider is no longer a slam dunk.

Jan 9, 2013

YOUR MONEY: Is 2013 the year to cut the cable cord?

New York, January 9 (Reuters) – Like many people paying
bills in January, Brad Hill is thinking of eliminating household
cable service. “It is an active discussion in my house,” he
says. Hill, a freelance writer and former vice president of
audience development at AOL, still pays the $128 monthly fee to
his Time Warner Cable provider in part so his wife can
continue watching one of her favorite channels – HGTV.

This year might be the one in which more people ask: How
much am I paying for all these channels, anyway? And why? With
the growth of broadband streaming video and its pay-per-show
approach, the idea of paying $50 to $150 a month for 1,000 plus
channels via a neighborhood cable provider is no longer a slam
dunk.

Nov 29, 2012

Gen Y seeks savings advice in face of down economy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When it comes to saving money, Generation Y is asking “why not?”

Young people are discovering that the earlier they start saving for retirement and the longer they work, the larger the nest egg when they finally want to use it. And they are looking for ways to change their savings behavior accordingly.

Oct 16, 2012

Should you dump your 529 college savings plan?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When is it worth switching to a better 529 college savings plan, and when isn’t it?

These 529 savings plans work like state-sponsored educational piggy banks, using a variety of funds and asset classes to help cover educational expenses. Plans can be targeted for long or short-term savings, depending on how many years there are until college tuition bills start to arrive.

Aug 10, 2012
via The Great Debate

Fifty shades of pop porn

Passing through the maze of lounge chairs at the beach or pool this summer, one best seller and its sequels appear like spots under beach umbrellas; black-sheened paperbacks in the hands of plenty of reclining, rapt women.

Anything that resembles narrative or character in the Fifty Shades series, which starts with the title novel Fifty Shades of Grey, is forgone to get to the meaty stuff; that is, the sex. Our heroine, who is at times compared to the naïve beauty from Tess of the D’Urbervilles (a solitary well-employed allusion in the series), chooses the chiseled, sexy, young Christian Grey for her first, but definitely not her last, sexual experience. Skip to the revelation about Grey’s preferences in the bedroom, and within a hundred pages she is tied up, roped down, spanked, lashed and beaten in the pursuit of Grey’s satisfaction.

    • About Heather

      "Heather Struck is an associate editor of Reuters Opinion and a web producer for Reuters Wealth. She can be reached at heather.struck (at) thomsonreuters.com."
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