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Maybe as important as health care is, individual freedom and private property are indispensable, too.
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Question: I'm 57 and I think there's a good chance I'll be laid off this year. If that happens, I'll have to move my 401(k) balance to an IRA. On the recommendation of a finance professional, many of my former co-workers have transferred their 401(k) savings into annuities. Do you think this is the way to go? -- E.Z., Deer Park, N.Y.
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Question: I worked for the same company for more than 27 years and then was laid off eight months ago. Although at age 57 I have lots of experience, my employment prospects look bleak. My 401(k) has gone down the drain the past two years and is currently worth about $320,000. As I approach retirement, I wonder: Will this be enough to live on? --David, Los Angeles, Calif.
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Question: I'm nearing retirement, but would like to continue investing in stocks and bonds. My question: Should retirees continue to put money into the markets even after they have retired? --Lee Benge, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Question: My husband and I are in our late '50s and haven't put anything away for retirement, although we do own our home. We figure we'll work another 10 years or so before retiring. Do you have any helpful suggestions for us so we won't have to live solely on Social Security? --Peggy, Rockvale, Colorado
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Question: I'm 36 and have saved only about $20,000 for retirement. How much per year should I try to save for the next 30 years to assure I'll have a reasonable retirement? --Beth, Grove City, Ohio
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Question: I'm 47 years old and would like to begin participating in my company's 401(k) plan. But I don't know if this is the right time to do so. Do you think I should start now or wait until the economy gets better? --Frank, Brighton, Mass.
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Jason and Patty Simkins, both 40, have saved next to nothing for retirement in the past year. They were rattled by the rocky market, which caused the value of their portfolio to tumble 40% at its low point.
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Question: The 4% rule seems to have become the conventional wisdom for drawing money from your savings in retirement. But I believe the rule is flawed. I think it might make more sense to choose a percentage of your savings that you will withdraw annually and then just apply that percentage to your savings balance at the beginning of each year so you would have more money to spend in years when investment returns are good and less to spend in years when returns are bad. What do you think? --E. W., East Lansing, Michigan