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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:

And there is also a ton of useful information here: -- 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.

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