Piggy bank with gold medal

How Blooom Uses Olympic Skills to go for the 401k Gold

In just a few days the Olympic Games will get underway: The world’s best will be going toe to toe to determine who will take home the gold. Did you know that getting a gold medal pays? For US athletes, it means $25,000 into their bank account. Not too shabby…

$25K is a great payday, but you don’t have to be a determined Olympian to optimize your finances. After all, blooom estimates that its average client saves more than $41,000 in hidden investment fees alone over their working careers*.

Lessons from Olympic athletes

Piggy bank playing hockey

Athlete: Ryan Zapolski

Discipline: Men’s Hockey

401k tip: Blocking hidden fees

 

As goalie for Team USA, Zapolski’s job is keeping the puck out of the net. The more the opponents score, the harder everyone on his team has to work to win. Likewise, when investors are incurring high fees, their investments have to work double time to make up for money that’s being taken out of the account. Just like Zapolski does with the puck, blooom works to keep hidden investment fees out of your proverbial 401k net.

Piggy bank curling

 

Athlete: Nina Roth

Discipline: Women’s Curling

401k tip: Risk tolerance

 

In curling, the goal is literally to get as close to the target as possible. The same goes for retirement. When Roth throws her curling stone, she has to make sure she throws it aggressively enough to reach the target, but not too hard—risking missing it completely. As the stone gets closer to its goal, her teammates work to direct the stone down the perfect path. When you tell blooom your glide path (years to retirement), we adjust your investments and risk accordingly, to help you hit your goals.

 

Piggy bank figure skating

 

Athlete: Nathan Chen

Discipline: Men’s Figure Skating

401k tip: Diversification

 

Chen might be known for his vaunted quad jumps, but it’s not all he does on the ice. He also skates gracefully, mixing in other moves like the camel spin, step sequence and the Salchow. Like a balanced, diversified portfolio, Chen knows it takes more than just one move (or fund) to win the gold.

Piggy bank on a skeleton

 

Athlete: Kendall Wesenberg

Discipline: Women’s Skeleton

401k Tip: Rebalancing

 

When Wesenberg is flying down a patch of ice at over 80 MPH, she knows it’s the little tweaks, like a tilt of the head or shift of the shoulders, that make the difference between winning and losing. The same goes for your 401k. While your path to retirement doesn’t move nearly as fast as the skeleton, blooom regularly makes small tweaks to your investments. This helps your 401k get on the medal podium when you cross the retirement finish line.

Piggy bank speed skating

 

Athlete: J.R. Celski

Discipline: Men’s Short Track Speed Skating

401k Tip: Getting professional help

 

Short track speed skating is riddled with obstacles and other competitors to knock you off track… or out of the race completely. Knowing how and when to react will be an important factor in Celski’s ability to win the race. Much like the chaos of the short track, the stock market goes up, down and all-around over the course of a person’s lifetime. Having a trusted partner to help you read what’s happening and make sense of it all can be the difference in making the right move or crashing out of the race.

Ready to join the team?

Get the 401k Gold

Becoming an Olympian is hard work and so is having a great 401k. Luckily for you, rocking your 401k isn’t an individual sport. Linking up your 401k to blooom is like joining the Dream Team.
U-S-A! 401k!

 

* $41,456 investment fee savings based on median blooom client 401k balance of $47,131. Assuming $5,000 annual contribution, pre-blooom investment expense ratio of .56%, post-blooom investment expense ratio of .22%, and 30 years until retirement as of January 9, 2018. Blooom is limited to the funds available in your employer sponsored retirement account. There is no guarantee blooom can or will reduce your fund expenses.

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blooom’s Year-End Checklist

The end of the year is a great time to reflect on your financial situation and plan ahead for next year. Here are some tips from one of our advisors:

  1. Update wills/trusts and beneficiaries.
    Get married this year? Have kids? Get divorced? Big life events mean it’s time to make sure legal docs like your will or trust, powers of attorney, life insurance policies, and account beneficiaries are all up-to-date. Forgetting to make these updates can be disastrous for families at some of the worst possible moments in their lives. Get in the habit of reviewing these things annually so nothing is missed.
  2. Get a handle on your debt and plan ahead for next holiday shopping season.
    Lay it all out there to get ready to tackle debt in the new year. If you’re like most Americans, you probably racked up some credit card debt you aren’t proud of this holiday season. What can you learn from that going into next year? Figure out how much of a holiday spending budget you need to plan for, divide that by 10 or 11 months and automate your savings into a savings account dedicated to holiday spending.
  3. Use your raise (and possibly your bonus) to increase your 401k contributions.
    Starting this year, get into the habit of taking a portion of any raise you receive and dedicating it to your 401k. For example, if you get a 5% raise, consider bumping up your contributions by 1% or more. Your paycheck still goes up, but your 401k also gets a boost. This habit can help you work toward maximizing your contributions over time, while having no real impact on your cash flow or budget. Also, see if your employer will allow you to contribute all or part of any year-end bonus you may receive toward your 401k. This can help reduce your taxable income come tax season and it also means you avoid the extra tax withholding on bonuses for that money.
  4. Set aside time for a year-end financial review.
    Look back on the year and take note of what you were able to accomplish financially and what setbacks you may have had. Use this past year as an opportunity to continue making smart financial decisions in the new year and learn from any of the times you may have stumbled. If you have a family, talk about upcoming trips, savings goals, and any other things you need to focus on next year. Set goals and even plan to celebrate financial accomplishments as a family throughout the year. Make money fun and before you know it, you’ll feel the freedom that comes along with financial security and eventually, financial independence!
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