Tag Archives: 401k

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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Is your 401k naughty or nice?

The year is almost over and it’s time to evaluate how you have done for yourself financially. 401k included! Much like Santa’s reindeers, your 401k can be the driving force for a jolly retirement. Here are some easy ways to find out if your account has been naughty or nice.




If your 401k looks like it could use a little more jingle, no worries! Blooom can get you back on track. Here’s to a happy holiday and a healthy new year!

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6 Pitfalls Why You Don't DIY Your 401k

6 Pitfalls of Going it Alone with Your 401k

In this day and age of DIY tutorials and life-hacks, you might be tempted to do your 401k all by yourself. But be wary, brave traveler! There are several pitfalls you could get into if you follow this path.

Pitfall #1: Being Too Conservative

The old rule of thumb was that if you subtract your age from 100, then that should be the percentage of stocks in your portfolio. For example, if you were 20, then 80% of your portfolio would be in stocks, and 20% in bonds.

With Americans living longer, and empirical evidence of higher long-term returns from stocks vs. bonds, this framework is a bit outdated. Instead, raise that number to 110, or even 120. So, your portfolio would have 90-100% of stocks.

To find out why, read some friendly tips from Investopedia, and a blog that our CEO wrote.

Pitfall #2: Being Too Aggressive

We know, we know. You literally just read not to play it too safely. But here’s why you shouldn’t be too reckless with your investments. Say you’re less than 5 years away from retirement. We recommend that around 40% of your 401k get invested in bonds, with the other 60% in stocks.

As folks start getting closer to retirement, their nest egg needs to be safer from a market crash or a decline in stock prices. That’s why blooom continually monitors and periodically rebalances our clients’ accounts as they get closer to retirement, bringing down the percentage of stocks and increasing bonds.

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Bad Boss Good 401k

That Son-Of-A-Bitch Boss Taught Me the Importance of My 401k

It was a Saturday morning and the creative team was huddled in the office of the Executive Creative Director. The night before, he’d scrapped all the work we’d done the previous two weeks. So all ten of us waited there in his office at 8 a.m.

Bob walked in and said, “Well, the creative work for the pitch sucked. I need three new TV campaigns, outdoor and radio by Sunday night for the pitch on Monday at 8 a.m.”

Poof. There Goes the Weekend

Ted, a budding Art Director asked, “Bob, what was wrong with the work we did last week?”

Bob responded, “There’s a toilet in every room, huh?” Insinuating Ted was a bowl of crap…or his work was. I’m not sure.

I knew at that minute there had to be a better job for me. Have you ever felt this way?

This situation I was sitting in wasn’t anything new. Bob would call and tell me to get to the office for the next client pitch on a regular basis — always after hours. And – of course – it was always due yesterday. I’d work nights and weekends. I’d pulled all-nighters. And as a young 22 year old, I took the beatings and berating. And I produced.

As much as I wanted to quit, I also had to put food on the table, pay the bills, and try to keep my head above water. The bills were still coming and I couldn’t afford to leave. Plus, even if I jumped to another job, I could end up with the same or worse problems.

Have you ever felt stuck? You’re not alone. Many people stuck are in “dead-end” jobs. In fact, 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work.

There Are Solutions to Getting Out. For Most: It’s Your 401k

I wish I could say some bolt of lightning hit me and I knew that my 401k was my path to salvation. But the truth is, I just signed up for it because my dad had always told me “pay yourself first, son.”

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