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Tight-Wad Tuesdays ~ The Average Person Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?

The Average American Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?.

I know I haven’t done a Tight-Wad Tuesdays post in like, years, but Personal Finance is still dear to my heart. (I just prepared a year ending financial report card for my family New Years day ~I am such a nerd).

I ran across this easy to read article today (its has pictures!) by the Motley Fool on doing a report card on your 401K’s. And while it is a Thursday I still thought I might lob a Tight Wad post out to help educate, enrich or inform. …or bore

Of course, a big part of YOUR family’s financial report card isn’t savings per se, but also resources built up for your retirement programs sponsored by your employer and to some degree, your bank.


That is what a 401K is, Free Money, if an employer matches your contributions, dollar for dollar. It is free money in YOUR pocket. (sorry, does anyone like the sound of that as much as I do?) Then you should ind some good or reliable mutual funds to invest your hard earned money in and watch that free money grow! It is one way to pad your nest egg as you head towards your days of not working any more.

vacation 2But 401k’s are not enough. As an ex-financial adviser I can tell you, you need more than money being saved in a 401k to live a standard of living you are used to in retirement. I mean a 401k contribution is what, 4% or 5% of your annual wages in most cases? Coupled with the employer’s match its maybe close 10% of what your check was last week. Is 10% of that paycheck what you want to live off of when you finally have the time to LIVE and travel and spoil your grandkids?

The Beverly Hills Housewives type wedding for your grands

The Beverly Hills Housewives type wedding for your grands

That’s where a few good DRIPs (Dividend Reinvestment Plans) can come in handy to add a lot of value and cash flow to your nest egg. Contributing to a DRIP account regularly in small amounts is a safe, slow and steady way to build wealth over time, with guaranteed growth through reinvested dividends.

dripWhen you retire simply chose to accept the quarterly dividends as cash payouts instead of reinvesting them. And if you begin funding a DRIP account when you are younger instead of older that quarterly dividend will be larger than that of what your employer generously gives you matching your 401K contribution right now.

So how do YOU want to live in your retirement?

vacation 3

Your 401K may not be enough. Check out this easy read by the Motley Fool and see how your 401K stacks up to those of your peers saving. Their graphs are broken down by ‘savings per age’ and ‘savings per income’ using simple Medians (average) and Mode (most common) illustrations.Fooltmf234x60_13001

All you have to do is know how much you and / or your household has it its 401k balances right now.

The Average American Has This Much Saved in a 401(k) — How Do You Compare?.

Do you know?

Do you trust that your balances will magically be enough?

MS-Nest Egg

If you have any questions or concerns or ideas about your savings plans, just ask. I don’t need to know how much, or where, or even get paid. (its just nice to know I got you seriously thinking about it) I just need to know your goals and how you feel about risk in your investments.

School’s Out!

Yes, once upon a time I knew and celebrated Alice Cooper’s song religiously. There was nothing like the feeling of the last day of school.

Now it takes on a whole new meaning.

Dylan’s last day of school was Friday. She didn’t quite understand what it meant. I didn’t know why she wasn’t as excited (for her) as I was. I told her it is a last day to see your friends at school. Its a day of celebration. There won’t be any work to do. No more teacher, dirty looks.I said the day will be loud and it will be noisy and fun. Let a summer full of playgrounds, riding bikes, swimming pool begin!


Sure enough, as I held Dylan’s hand walking into school as a Kindergartener for the last time on Friday, the halls were stripped bare of decorations and accolades. Kids were running a muck in the hallways where I am used to them sitting quietly along the walls in the hall. And the noise level was a good bit ‘enhanced’.

Remember those days?

OK, good, cause that was just my desperate attempt to tell you all about Dylan’s report card one last time. We received that when she came home from her last day of school Friday. Forgive me if you are tired of me bragging on our girl but (proud daddy at work) she received all A’s again! Yayyyyyy!

take the picture daddy

A quick ‘scan’ down the report card revealed all 4’s. They do a numerical 4 point grading system. We were not disappointed! The second page is my favorite page however. Where the first page suggests the intelligence or willingness of the student to learn to second page rates more the character of the student; something possibly harder to teach.

Our Dyl received all 4’s again in such things as:

Takes on Responsibility

Respects others

Follows Rule and directions

Uses time wisely (oh isn’t that an important one grown-ups?)

Participates in class discussions

Exercises Self-control

Atta girl Dylan! The teacher goes on to write    “….She has continuously been a leader and role model in class (!!!).  She is exceeding grade-level standards and expectations independently.  She has solid foundation to enter the first grade and we expect the transition to be smooth”.

Well that is a good cause to take our little girl out to her favorite pizza place tonight!

And while we always enjoy seeing and reading of her accomplishments she actually brought home a little gem for us. She handed us a few writing journals where they are asked to put forth their thoughts or ideas on paper each day. It looks like most days the writing has a theme but some days they can ‘freelance it‘  if you will. And we found a few gems in there.

So if I have not bored you to death yet, or thinking about hitting that back arrow button, here is a sampling of one such gem we found from our little girl. I hope to offer a few more of these in the upcoming days as 3D tries to regain a pulse.  Spelling (this time) will not be edited so I can show you a truer nature of these kindergarten essays:

Journal entry:

“Next time i will look at the bored before i think that i no what to do. I am sorye and i apoligey. That is a nother word for sorye. I bet you alredy no that alredy. I no that to.”

Thanks everyone for dropping by!

Have a GREAT summer vacation!

Report Card Day

Friday was a big report card day here in 3D.

Dylan received her first ever report card from Elementary school. I guess you all know how proud we are of our little school girl. She has continually flashed signs of brilliance in most things she does.

It was also 'Crazy Sock Day' at school

It was also ‘Crazy Sock Day’ at school

To our surprise then we found out she did not get all ‘A’s on her report card.

She got a ‘B’ in Writing as well as Music and Art.

Now her writing is not what you and I do. It is simply learning how to write upper case and lower case letters, as well as making sure they are placed on the ruled line. And to be honest she has trouble with this. If she would have gotten an ‘A’ here it may have made the others grades suspect. But we are so very proud of her, ‘B’ and all!

Her teacher says she is a real joy to have in class. She says she is a good helper. And when I walked into school this week I found Dylan’s picture on the wall outside her classroom.

Lifeskill award

Dylan’s teacher spotted D. using the ‘Lifeskill‘ of Responsibility and gave her an award for it. Atta girl Dylan!

Plus those Parent Police out there may be happy to know she has replaced the Buffett CD with her favorite Disney songs CD for our ride to school in the morning.

Skylar, on the other hand, did not receive any report card Friday. But she did attend a preschool Arts and Crafts session at our local library that day. She cut out materials to make a paper pumpkin that she is so proud of.

She evidently behaved so good at the library that our nanny decided to take her to the mall for a soft pretzel. OK, this may have been as much for the nanny as it was for Skylar.

While sitting at the mall eating their pretzels a lady at the near by both asked is Skylar wanted her hair curled? After a little negotiating Skylar got herself a brand new ‘dew…until bath time later that same afternoon.


She is so cute and mastering that ‘Say Cheese pose’ at such an early age! 

Her nanny confides Skylar is doing quite well in her own school work at home and do a lot of the things Dylan is asked to do in Kindergarten right now. Go Skye!

And I had my first report card of sorts, as related to my cancer treatment. I had an appointment with my cancer doctor Friday. It wasn’t so much to see where I was at with my cure but to take a pictures of all the seeds that were inside me.

Its funny, when you think of ‘seeds’ and you may think of Spring or Growth or Life. With my seeds, it is quite the opposite! These nuclear bad boys are to kill existing cancer cells. The ‘weeds’ in my prostate so to speak.

They checked my vitals. Took a quick scan of my mid-section via a CAT scan machine. And then gave me 20 minutes of face time with my doctor.

He smiled and told me everything looks great, just the way it is supposed to look. All the seeds were properly in place. And that these darn side effects affecting my urinary tubes, pee’ing and getting up several times at night should start to wear off about now.

So I was all smiles and left in a pretty good mood. They didn’t have to stick me (yet) or insert anything anywhere or test anything. Just a few pictures.

So, feeling pretty good, I decided to celebrate at my favorite restaurant that just happens to sit at the end of the road from the doctor’s office…


That’s right, a dozen Halloween donuts from Dunkin Donuts, including my favorite…the Boston Scream!

So Friday was a great Report Card day all around!

I have talked a lot about Dylan’s techno-savvy skills her lately, between Internet searches and skills on Mom’s cell phone. So I wanted to leave you with a cute video from December 2010. Dylan was about 2 1/2 years old I think. You all know the Hookie Pookie, right?

Back then that was Dylan’s favorite song and we had a video I bookmarked on Youtube where we could do a crazy dance to it once a day. Lots of fun! OK, several times a day.

So if you are familiar with the Hookie Pookie you know how the dance goes,

“…you put your left leg in, left leg out, left leg in and you shake it all about.

You do the Hookie Pookie and you turn yourself around. That’s what its all about”

Well we just got done playing with the song on the computer and I must have walked away.

I say this because I went to record some Christmas videos a few weeks later and found one video on there I didn’t remember making.

What is this I thought?

So I played it. Here Dylan climbs up on top of my chair in front of the computer. Remember, she is two and 1/2 now. She then plays the video again on youtube, without anyone’s help  (2 1/2). Then she decides to pick up Daddy’s video camera and film herself doing the Hookie Pookie…sort of.

In the video, she is dancing and turns the camera on and then holds it to her eye like she has seen daddy do time and time again. If you take a look keep in mind she is dancing while filming this and so the movements of the camera represent her ‘shake it all around’ and so on. Take a look…

Oh, and she is innocently singing the song too while she is dancing…and filming with camera to her eye…while standing on top of the chair…with nobody around to see her. She’s just in her happy girl mode!

The sippy cup sitting there illustrates how young she was then. Yes, that’s my Dad, her Grandpa, chiming in there at the end. He is turned around and facing the other way watching TV. He just heard her singing to herself. He didn’t realize what she just did.

Have a GREAT rest of your weekend everyone!

I hope you find that happy innocent inner child too and do a Hookie Pookie with someone! Or alone like little D.

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