Top 5 Retirement Savings Tips from John Oliver

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John Oliver again tackled personal finance on his HBO show Last Week Tonight, this time exploring retirement savings. (He previously covered credit reports.) Here is the full video link, embedded below:

It is truly hard to present this stuff in an entertaining manner, so I was interested to see how they would approach things and who’d they pick on. It’s not bad considering it runs 20 minutes – quite long for an internet video. If you skip to roughly the 17:55 mark, you’ll get the best bits – a satirical reply to widely-promoted Prudential commercials (one, two) and his top 5 retirement savings tips:

  1. Start saving now.
  2. Invest in low-cost index funds.
  3. Ask if your adviser is a fiduciary.
  4. As you get older, gradually switch some of your stocks into bonds.
  5. Keep your fees under 1%.

Nothing new to most financially-savvy folks, but hopefully it helps steer some people in the right direction.

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Comments

  1. Jonathan, if you’re stuck in a 401k with high fees, would you recommend putting money in a non tax advantaged brokerage account instead?

    • The short answer is that it depends on how bad the fees are and how long you think you’ll be stuck with those high fees (better plan over time, switch jobs and rollover to IRA, etc). The idea is that I would accept high fees for a short time if it meant tax-free compounding for 30 years. Average plan fees are dropping every year as consumers wise up. People are also staying at their jobs for a shorter time period.

  2. That was painful.

    How you Yanks can bear the inanity of this smug, self-satisfied twit, I haven’t a clue.

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