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Hello Fools This is my 1st post(thank you for invitation 2aruba) So I'll start with a foolish(dumb) question. I am 59 and up to now have done a poor job preparing for retirement. I need to start catching up, so I'm wondering your opinion on which of the premium sites would be best for me Stock Advisor or Rule Your Retirement. I am at 2nd year in new job that has 401K. Am I best to hit that as hard as possible or 1 of the IRA's Thank you so much for any help.
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Join the crew. I was late also, but a bit ahead of you.

Perhaps, in time, others will join in.

When do you plan to retire? Age 67?

You might want to max out your 401(K), or at least contribute as much to receive an equal contribution from your employer. You may wish to go to the "Personal Finance - Tax Strategies" Board and give them a holler. If your income is not toooooo much, you may be eligible to also contribute to a ROTH IRA. Also, remember, you can contribute to a taxable brokerage account.

Donna
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No. of Recommendations: 7
I'm wondering your opinion on which of the premium sites would be best for me Stock Advisor or Rule Your Retirement.

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend either. It's not that these are bad services. But they charge money. You'll get just as good advice from this FREE board as you would with one of TMF's pay service. The only difference is that you won't get official TMF stock picks here.

And that's OK. Specific stock or mutual fund picks are not going to make or break your retirement. Putting money away on a regular basis and leaving it alone until you retire is the key. And the free boards can help you with that just as well as the paid boards and newsletters.

--Peter
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I am 59 and up to now have done a poor job preparing for retirement. I need to start catching up, so I'm wondering your opinion on which of the premium sites would be best for me Stock Advisor or Rule Your Retirement.

At 59, with little saved/invested for retirement, I would suggest you will probably be better off just perusing the free boards here and actually investing the money you would have spent on a premium service into low cost-index funds.

I am at 2nd year in new job that has 401K. Am I best to hit that as hard as possible or 1 of the IRA's

My suggestion would be to do both your 401(k) and an IRA, assuming that your 401(k) has a reasonable selection of investment choices and reasonable expenses. Even better would be a 401(k) that provides a match.

Every dollar that you put into a 401(k) now saves you money in taxes for this year. Since you have 'done a poor job preparing for retirement', it's a pretty reasonable assumption that your income in retirement will be significantly less than your current income, and therefore, your taxes in retirement are likely to be significantly less. So putting off taxes from today provides you with additional capital to invest, and will let you pay lower taxes on your investments than you would pay now.

If you are eligible for a deductible IRA, then the same reasoning applies. If you are eligible for a Roth IRA, there is no difference in taxes this year, but you are setting up a tax-free income stream for future years. So either option has value.

At 59, you are eligible to contribute $16,500 to a 401(k) plus a $5,500 'catch-up' contribution, and $5,000 plus a $1,000 'catch-up' contribution to an IRA. As a late starter, you need to try to get as close as possible to these maximums. Accomplishing this will also help you learn to spend less, which is the other thing you need to focus on as a late starter.

AJ
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Start by getting these two books;

1) "The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning" Read the reviews on Amazon;

http://www.amazon.com/Bogleheads-Guide-Retirement-Planning/d...

2) Go to a used book store or library and find any of the general Motley Fool books from ten years or more ago and see they said about subscription services and newsletters then.

Greg
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Hello Fools This is my 1st post(thank you for invitation 2aruba) So I'll start with a foolish(dumb) question. I am 59 and up to now have done a poor job preparing for retirement. I need to start catching up, so I'm wondering your opinion on which of the premium sites would be best for me Stock Advisor or Rule Your Retirement. I am at 2nd year in new job that has 401K. Am I best to hit that as hard as possible or 1 of the IRA's Thank you so much for any help.

I'd like to second what's already been said. Why get involved with Premium site stuff at all? There is plenty of personalized advice here on the free boards. And you've already been receiving it.

I was also a pretty late starter in investing myself ... started about 10 or 11 years ago when I was about 53. I've never bought anything from TMF, but I've learned A LOT from these free boards, and I continue to learn.

I very much like the idea of the 401(k). (I hope yours has some reasonably good investment choices -- and low fees.) The contributions come even before your paycheck from the company is cut. I don't miss the money because I never even see it(!) And I don't have to try to scrimp and save up money for investment. Getting the money automatically subtracted from the paycheck enforces a kind of saving that I find relatively painless. If there is a company match, you want to invest at least enough to get the full match. That might be the very first thing to do. (The 401(k) that I have has no match. I started it with a pretty low amount taken out of my paycheck, and when I saw how easy it was, I increased the amount regularly.) Another nice thing about the 401(k) is that when you go to pay your income taxes, that amount is not taxed (since you never really received it as income). This makes your tax bill go down. (Of course, when you're retired, and tapping into these funds, your income from these funds will be taxed -- but you'll also probably have a lower overall income in retirement, so that you'll end up paying less tax than if you took your full pay now.)

One thing that's happened as I've grown older (and maybe more experienced in investing, and definitely closer to retirement), is that I've become much more conscious of the need for capital preservation as opposed to the idea of making home runs or finding super-winning investments. According to the greatest living investor, the two chief rules of investing are (1) Never lose money, and (2) Never forget Rule One. Notice that there is nothing said about chasing performance, making killer investments, etc.

It's worthwhile visiting the Fool's School: http://www.fool.com/school.htm?ref=G02A06

And there is also a ton of useful information here: http://www.investopedia.com/ -- including a dictionary of financial terms and phrases, articles, tutorials, etc. etc.

But feel free to ask your fellow Fools any questions you may have.

--SirTas
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