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Looking for a way to spur your savings? Calculate how much income you'll be able to draw from your 401(k) when you retire.
That's the takeaway from a recent study in which workers received brochures showing how raising their 401(k) contributions would increase their retirement income. The employees who got income forecasts and changed their contributions set aside $1,150 a year more than did those who didn't get a pamphlet.
"For some people the projections helped overcome the tendency to procrastinate about saving," says study co-author Gopi Shah Goda, senior researcher at Stanford.
The U.S. Labor Department in May asked for comments on new rules that would require 401(k) plans to give workers retirement income projections; a MetLife study found 28% of large plans do. You can also run the numbers for yourself on T. Rowe Price's retirement income calculator.
Are your money market savings safe?
After earlier efforts to make money-market funds safer stalled, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a limited set of reforms in June.
One SEC proposal for money funds held by individuals: To head off mass withdrawals in financial crises, funds could add a 2% distribution fee. They could even block all withdrawals for up to a month.
But a requirement that money funds keep a cash cushion -- suggested by a presidential working group and previously floated at the SEC -- has been dropped.
The SEC's plan won't make money funds safer -- especially those that are stretching for yield, says University of Mississippi securities law professor Mercer Bullard.
Your best bet in another meltdown? Have cash in FDIC-insured accounts.