For Jim McCool, Executive Vice President of Institutional Services at Charles Schwab, the 401(k) plan is more than a way to save for retirement; it’s been his life’s work.
Over the past 27 years, Jim has seen the 401(k) evolve into the major source for millions of Americans’ retirement savings. Now, he’s actively driving for the next big evolution in 401(k) plans – combining index funds with low operating expenses with independent, professional advice.
Recently, I sat down with Jim to talk about the 401(k) plan – past, present and future. Over the next few days, the Schwab Talk blog will feature excerpts from our conversation as Schwab launches an exciting new 401(k) offer – Schwab Index Advantage™. More importantly...
On Monday, Jim McCool talked about the history and evolution of the 401(k) plan. Today, Schwab’s Executive Vice President of Institutional Services turns his attention to the current system and how it can be improved...
So far this week, Jim McCool has talked about the past and present state of 401(k) retirement plans. In this final installment of his Q&A, he focuses on the future...
I recently had time to sit down with Dave Gray, head of Schwab Retirement Plan Services’ client experience team, to talk about a new Schwab Retirement Plan Services survey that surfaced a significant gap in what people in 401(k) plans believe they need for retirement, and what they actually are on track to save. Dave shares tips that may help you save more for your post-work years.
Why is there so much talk about retirement savings these days?
If you’re like most people, myself included, chances are you are at least somewhat concerned about saving enough for retirement. We’re living longer than ever before, which means our retirement savings need to last longer than ever before, too. That’s a big reason why around 50 million of us are saving money in our 401(k) accounts.1...(Read More)
If you’re like many working Americans, there’s a good chance you participate in your company’s 401(k) plan. But you may not know that your plan has fees. Even if you do, you might not be sure exactly what those fees are. That’s about to change. Thanks to new government regulations, everyone eligible to participate in a 401(k) plan in which they can direct their investments will be receiving a statement disclosing the fees associated with their plan.
Dave Gray, head of Schwab Retirement Plan Services’ client experience team, explains what’s coming, and how to use the fee disclosure to make more informed decisions about saving for your retirement. Watch the short video...
I know that many of you may be feeling the heat of increased financial pressures this summer, and you might be thinking about borrowing from your 401(k) to help make ends meet. Maybe you have a tuition bill due, or another cash flow challenge. Our research shows you are not alone. In fact, since we started tracking 401(k) loans in 2005, we consistently see more people borrowing from their 401(k) during the summer than at any other time of year.*
While borrowing from your 401(k) may seem like a quick cash fix, it’s almost never a good idea. Here’s why...(Read More)
It’s late December, a time when most of us start making resolutions for the new year. While you might be vowing to eat less or get to the gym more, it’s also important to get your finances in tip-top shape. At Schwab Retirement Plan Services, we believe a great place to start is with your 401(k). Here are some ideas to help get 2013 started on the right foot...(Read More)
Q&A with Tina Valenzuela on Creating Retirement Income with Variable AnnuitiesPosted by Alison Wertheim
Many retirement savers preparing to flip the switch to retirement spending may have some concerns when it comes to which tools and products can help accomplish their goals, especially when markets are volatile and interest rates low. Earlier this week, I caught up with Tina Valenzuela, our vice president of insurance services, to talk about these retirement income planning concerns and how annuities like the new Schwab Retirement Income Variable Annuity can fit into a retirement portfolio.
In January 2012, Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. launched Schwab Index Advantage®, a one-of-a-kind 401(k) plan offer designed to help people better prepare for retirement by cutting investment costs and simplifying investing through independent, low-cost advice services. One year after its debut, I sat down with Steve Anderson, executive vice president of Schwab Retirement Plan Services, to check in on the progress of Schwab Index Advantage (SIA).
Here at Schwab, saving and investing for retirement is one of the most common topics we discuss with clients every day. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted in the end of 2012 of more than 1,000 clients, 69 percent told us that retirement is their top financial priority.*
As you move up the ladder, or change ladders altogether, it’s important to keep track of your retirement savings. Changing jobs often means deciding what to do with your old 401(k) account. Catherine Golladay, vice president of 401(k) Participant Services, has some tips for you in this quick video.
One hundred and twenty years ago many challenged the notion of the first automobile. “Who needs an automobile,” people asked, “when my horse and buggy gets me where I want to go just fine?” Today, our 401(k) industry feels far too similar to the waning days of the horse and buggy. Too often, 401(k) service providers push their own actively managed funds or single-manager, one-size-fits-all target date funds on plan participants. It’s time for a change. It’s time to stop trying to improve the horse and buggy and address the real shortcomings of the 401(k). It’s time for Charles Schwab to do what it does best – lead industry change for the benefit of the masses.
Tim Garcia and Anne Haddad greet me at the front door, offer a cup of coffee, and lead me to their sunny kitchen. I feel like I’ve known this couple for years, but that’s often the case when I’m meeting Charles Schwab clients.
Caitlin Childs’ roots may be in Northern California, but she’s used her photo-advocacy to branch out around the world.
The first time I met Caitlin, we sat around the dining room table in her white frame bungalow in Santa Rosa, just eight blocks from her parents’ home. A few weeks later, I caught up with Caitlin again at a warehouse in Petaluma, where she was videotaping a fundraising appeal for an indie radio station.
Jim Vanek retired as a corporate architect a little over a year ago, but he may never retire from being a hands-on problem-solver. That’s just who he is.
When I ask three different people to describe Jeff Feld, they all say: “He’s a Chicago guy.”
I’m not sure what that means. But when I step off the art deco elevator in his downtown Chicago building, Jeff is there to greet me – looking nothing like Mike Ditka, by the way. When I apologize for wimping out on an earlier interview, he jokes, “Wimping out is exactly what we called it.”
As a Baby Boomer, my idea of the American dream was to have it all. To raise smart and successful kids. To work hard at a rewarding career. To save and invest for a secure retirement. And, along the way, to give back to the community.
If you think that dream isn’t reality, meet Eileen Birge, who believes “the world should be a better place because we were here.”
We all wish we could save more of our hard-earned dollars, but life has a way of interrupting our best intentions. Monthly bills, unexpected emergencies, and the occasional splurge can all make a dent in our progress toward saving for long term goals.
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