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Old 06-19-2013, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Frontline: The Retirement Gamble

Watched this last night. Didn't really plan to, but it was on after something else I saw while surfing and caught my attention.

The Retirement Gamble | FRONTLINE | PBS

It was pretty interesting and caused me to look into a few things. It was pretty negative on 401k's, but mostly in that it can fluctuate as the market does, so retiring after a bubble bursts is pretty unlikely and would cause delays. The biggest thing I took away from it was to inspect my fees. They say they can range from next to nothing to 2% (but could be higher) and that a the difference from getting 7% per year, and 5% (due to 2% fees) will REDUCE your final stash by 63%. It was also a little odd watching some of the representatives for fund management companies squirm when asked certain questions. I don't expect them to know everything as if they were in the trenches, but some of the answers were lame cop-outs.

Personally, I work for a pretty good company. I checked the fees on my 401k allocations: 2 growth funds, 1 company stock fund, 1 index fund. The highest was .05% and the lowest (the company stock fund) was .006%. That was pretty relieving.

Anywho, looks like you can watch it on their site, so do it if you can. I found a good level of value to the program.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That was a great show! I watched it that night and just now saw this thread. I was at the edge of my seat... as much as you can be for a financial show

Anyways, they really exposed the expense of actively managed funds over the course of a 50 year working life. I had never considered the tremendous impact of even a small amount of fees over a long time period.
They completely left out the tax benefits of 401k, though. The extra money in the account may actually offset the extra fees.

One things for sure, I purchased a few low-fee Vanguard index funds the next morning
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