Friday bits: Over 90% of Americans make this 401(k) mistake

Over 90% of Americans make this 401(k) mistake
We all know that participating in a company-sponsored 401(k) can be instrumental in saving for retirement. Not only that, but we’re encouraged to max out our contributions year after year to take advantage of compounding and grow our nest eggs in time for retirement. But while saving as much as possible in your 401(k) is certainly a responsible move in theory, your efforts could wind up being seriously hindered if you make the same mistake more than 90% of Americans make: failing to pay attention to fees.

How To Save Your First $100,000
We’ve all weathered economic uncertainty in the last decade as financial institutions, companies and countries have stumbled, struggled and are now working to stand back up. But even in times of relative calm for the global economy, it’s not unusual to worry and wonder about your own financial security. Financial stability, apart from being able to pay unexpected bills and fund your own retirement, gives you the confidence and strength to go through everyday life. By saving money and increasing your income, you can move towards banking your first $100,000. And once you do that, the way to the next $100,000 becomes easier.

Should you let your friends pay their debts to you in installments?
Americans have come up with lots of ways to make pricey purchases and take on debt, including credit cards, personal loans you can shop for online and risky payday loans. In 2017, consumers will be able to get even more creative. A former executive at eBay EBAY, this month debuted an app called INSTO that allows consumers to pay one another in installments. Its tagline? “Afford anything.” Like PayPal’s PYPL, popular app Venmo, the app facilitates “peer to peer” payments, allowing consumers to pay one another directly through their bank accounts or with credit or debit cards.

How Pensions and Social Security Affect Asset Allocation
“I am a retired government employee, and I receive a pension to the tune of roughly $50,000 annually. I have a relatively low risk portfolio; it is a mix of stuff but roughly 20-25% is in stock with the rest in bonds or CDs. I recently met with an adviser who said that my pension is essentially a big bond so it’s a mistake to have such low risk holdings in my retirement accounts. This is the first time I’d heard of this idea before. What do you think?”

9 hidden costs that come with buying a home
If you’re planning to buy a house in the near future, you’re probably getting your credit in order, scouting out your favorite neighborhoods, and saving up for a 20% down payment. But the down payment and the mortgage aren’t the only costs to prepare for when purchasing a new home. There are a mountain of hidden expenses — from maintenance fees to taxes — that can add up to more than $9,000 each year, real estate marketplace Zillow estimates. And closing costs alone can tack an additional 5% onto the initial price of the home.

Equifax, TransUnion fined for misleading ads, tricking customers
All credit scores are not created equal. That’s the upshot of federal enforcement actions levied Tuesday against credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion. The bureaus will pay penalties of $23.1 million as part of a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which said the firms misled consumers into paying for credit scores that might be dramatically different from the scores used by lenders. Mortgage lenders, credit card companies and others generally use the ubiquitous FICO score, calculated by San Jose firm Fair Isaac Corp. But the CFPB alleged that TransUnion and Equifax sold customers their own in-house scores and improperly implied that those were the scores lenders check.

Eight Ways to Save on Travel in 2017
Saving on flights, hotels and other aspects of travel is a question of how much you value your time versus hours and energy spent. You can scour the internet for low prices on rooms and airfares, but at some point you just have to pull the trigger so you can start planning your trip. Keeping that in mind, there are still some great, relatively easy ways to get more bang for your travel buck in the new year. Here are eight things to think about as we boldly forge into 2017.



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