The Best Alternatives to a 401(k)

The well of creativity is barely a trickle at this point. Our muse went to St. Tropez with someone younger and better-looking, and that was months ago. Is she ever coming back? We’ll leave a light on. Spend more time at the gym. Buy more flattering clothes. Vacuum the house once in a while. Damn, it would have been so easy to keep her. Cinderella were right, you don’t know what you got (till it’s gone).

So here’s the latest in what’s become a weekly series, our recycled Investopedia pieces. We still write for them, by the way. In fact, here’s our latest, give or take. But here’s a piece from many months ago. Still timely, mind you. Much like the nightly sports highlights can show only still photos from pay-per-view events, we’re allowed to show you no more than a sample paragraph from our vintage, nay classic, post. Here’s one that comes complete with a 96-year-old pop culture reference:

With an IRA, the world is your investment oyster. You can invest in just about any security or financial instrument whose value can be measured precisely and daily. What it doesn’t include is things like collectibles. Your mint-condition Inverted Jenny 24¢ stamp might be worth $925,000, but that’s only an estimate based on the price the most recent profligate rich person paid. It could take years to find a comparable rich person. One hundred shares of a stock, however, carry a value that you can calculate to the penny.

Here’s the original in its entirety. (We can’t explain the low-resolution stock photo. That’s Investopedia’s deal, not ours.) Enjoy.

An Investopedia Repost About Lockouts and Such

From our Investopedia files, a piece about sports labor strife. Which doesn’t pertain to your life unless you’re an athlete, an agent, or maybe a team owner, but it’s an entertaining read. Trust us, we wrote it. Here’s an enticing sample:

By 2011, pro football had metamorphosed from popular sport into national obsession. That spring, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement had expired. The owners attempted to implement some draconian new measures, including an extended season (two additional chances to suffer a career-ending injury!) and a tight salary cap for rookies. The union decertified, several players filed an antitrust suit, and the league locked them and their teammates out. Within a month, a judge invalidated the lockout. By late July both sides agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement, too late to save the first exhibition game, but guaranteeing a decade of labor peace.

Full version here. Enjoy.

Another Investopedia Repost

Planning to retire? If you don’t plan to retire, that means you retire to plan. Wait, that makes no sense. Sorry, keeping our metaphors straight is not our strong suit. That would be recycling old posts.

One of our favorite Investopedia pieces is the one we wrote about different retirement systems throughout the world. Which countries are “generous” with redistributing wealth, which are less so. We concluded that in the short term, but absolutely not in the long term, Greece would be the place to live out your dotage:

Greece['s] government promised its citizens benefits that defy math. Greek retirement age can be as early as 50 (not a typo), depending on your profession. There’s a special category for “arduous and unhealthy work,” which includes the grueling physical demands placed on…wait for it…trombone players and pastry chefs.

If you want to read the rest of the post, here it is in its original incarnation. You can blame our Investopedia editor for removing all the profanity and sex jokes.