Category : planning

Breaking Down Retirement Plan Jargon

Introducing Retirement Plan Jargon Sampler: What Is a 401k?

If you haven’t picked up our Retirement Mixtape collection, it can be yours for two easy installments of … free. They’re full of hits from the blooom team, perfect for setting the mood in dreaming about the day you decide to retire:

We pulled together the collections because we at blooom LOVE music and a good mixtape.

The idea occurred to us that we should continue the music metaphor to help break down retirement plan jargon. So … welcome to our inaugural retirement plan jargon post. We’ll spin a few of these each month to help translate the relatively unintelligible world of investing, specifically 401k management.

For our first track ….

What Song Explains What a 401k, 403b or 457 Is (AKA … an Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan)?

This required some work on my part.

“The price is what? Life makes echoes … If you see them.”—“Echoes” by The Rapture

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Student loans :(

Faking Your Death to Pay Off Student Loan Debt? 6 Better Ways

How much do you owe in student loan debt? Enough to consider fleeing the country? (All of a sudden I get why many recent U.S. college graduates want to backpack Europe and never return.) Or worse. You contemplating faking your own death?

According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of Americans with federal student loans grew to 42 million in the last decade. (1.) In that same article, they quote a gentleman whose solution to dealing with his student loan debt is to stretch it out until he dies.

Don’t believe me? Read the entire Journal article. (And BTW … only Federal loans discharge with death. Private loans do not.)

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, you may be asking, this isn’t about retirement or my 401k.

Why Are You at blooom Talking About Student Loan Debt?

We’re addressing student loan debt for two reasons.

First, you’re right, we focus a great deal on helping you with your retirement. We want you to wipe out this student loan debt so you can save more for it. But we also recently launched a personal financial advice service that clients can access via mobile or desktop using the chat feature on the bottom-right of the screen.

Once we launched the service, how to deal with student loan debt was one of the most frequently asked questions posed to me and my advisor team.

We’ve seen so many varied inquiries about student loan debt that we’ll be running a three-part series:

  1. Tackling debt: This post will help if you currently have student loan debt and you’re looking to pay it off faster (if you’re exploring forgiveness options, I recommend reviewing the following guide.
  2. Working adults returning to college: Later this summer, we’ll talk about how non-traditional students or working adults who want to go back to school can proactively address (read: avoid or take on as little as possible) student loan debt.
  3. New college students: Our final post will provide tips and resources to high school students and parents on ways to avoid student loan debt.

Who knows? Perhaps we’ll receive some real-world triumphs of people who’ve defeated this insidious whack-a-mole known as student loan debt (Hint, hint. If you’re a victor, message us with your story. Let us celebrate your achievement with a proper victory lap).

First, the Simplest Thing You Can Do to Get Out of Student Loan Debt

Okay. I’m NOT going to be jerk and say the simplest way is by never getting into student loan debt in the first place. Too late for that.

So …

1. One of the simplest things you can do is set up automatic payments. It works for saving and it works for tackling that debt head on. To sweeten the deal, some services even offer discounted interest rates if you set up auto-pay.

Auto-pay

We like it simple here at blooom. Set it and try to forget it.

How About the Most Effective Ways to Tackle Student Loan Debt?

I’ve covered the simplest tip, but what about the most effective. My next five tips could provide the points to pierce that ballooning student loan debt.

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What's your retirement jam?

Awesome Mixtape Vol. 2: Your Retirement Jam Revival

If you haven’t read Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1: How to Master Your Retirement Jam, you should because it’s chock full of tunes goodness. But, oy, we live in a world of perpetual streaming and episode recaps. 

So Mixtape Vol 1. Recap …

  1. Mixtapes are AWESOME!
  2. We at blooom LOVE music
  3. Hearing about a great card game called MIXTAPE on a favorite podcast of mine, The Chalkboard Podcast, got me thinking. The game poses questions like what’s the “best song for riding a unicorn across a rainbow?” and demands you match it with a song. This prompted me to ask the question of the blooom team (and you!): The day you decide to retire or give your notice of retirement, what song plays in your head (i.e. what’s your theme music for this moment)?
  4. So many submissions hit my Slack channel that we’ve created not just ONE (you really should check out Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1: Master Your Retirement Jam the blog post and the Spotify playlist), but TWO volumes (our Engineering ninjas and me get to rock this one out).

The next mix is strictly a three-act affair, crowdsourced by a few of blooom‘s technical maestros, Jeff Durbin and Taylor Johnson, and yours truly (because I want to remain relatively impartial, Director of Client Happiness Chad Beland will offer commentary about each selection in italics):

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Ep. 269 Dough Roller Blog The Money Podcast

Dough Roller Blog: Blooom Helps Your 401k for $10 a Month

CEO and Co-Founder Chris Costello appears on Rob Berger’s Dough Roller Blog “The Money Podcast” to discuss how blooom helps people manage their workplace retirement accounts. Whether it’s a 401k, 403b or T.S.P., we automate the process of selecting and rebalancing your investments.

In the interview, Chris gives an update on recent pricing changes and service offering enhancements at blooom. First, Chris discusses the reasons for the shift toward the low, flat rate of $10 a month.

In addition to the retirement account automation, we also now offer financial planning advice to our clients. They can chat with a representative with financial questions or important decisions. Chris and Rob discuss the feature and how the reasons for blooom’s founding helped shape the advice service offering. Regardless of whether it’s tough choices when saving for a college or deciding on a home purchase or refinance, we can help.

Want to hear the podcast in its entirety …

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Mixtape Vol. 1: Master Your Retirement Jam

Awesome Mixtape Vol. 1: How to Master Your Retirement Jam

Ooga-chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-chaka Ooga-Ooga

That freakin’ opening number in the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix featuring “Hooked on a Feeling!” It set the mood for the entire soundtrack and would most definitely get Baby Groot movin’.

We LOVE music in the office – control of the SONOS is a perpetual war of will! And who doesn’t get hooked on a good mixtape? It’s such the perfect way to communicate a feeling.

It was about a month ago my mixtape nostalgia was rekindled again. I discovered a great card game called MIXTAPE on a favorite podcast of mine, The Chalkboard Podcast.

I immediately ran out and bought it. With question cards like “What song plays as you ride a lion to work in slow motion?” how could I resist?

For me, a child of the 80s and 90s, it’s awesome to see the mixtape culture make a comeback.

But Don’t Call It A Comeback! We Look Forward To Retirement

And that card got me thinking – though I spun the idea of nostalgia … of looking back, into what if we looked forward toward retirement. The day you decide to retire or give your notice of retirement, what song plays in your head (i.e. what’s your theme music for this moment)?

I posed the question to the blooom team. I got enough submissions to create not just ONE, but TWO volumes (our Engineering ninjas get their own – along with my addition).

Without further ado, I proudly present blooom’s Awesome #Mixtape Vol. 1: Master Your Retirement Jam (You can listen to the Spotify playlist for everything but Beyonce and read my commentary about each selection in italics):

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