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(April 29, 2018) I did a rough check of my 401k and IRAs. It appears I broke through the $401k barrier (or milestone) when I add up my accounts. Note I have worked in the US since Oct. 2000, if my memory is correct, I started contributing since 2001 (or 2002, I know I need to be precise, but I may no longer have paperwork or electronic record). I usually contribute 15% of my salary (which is usually within the IRA annual limit).

I did probably $ 5k IRA total, which is also combined with two 401k accounts rollover. I did not do fantastic on that account, because I traded some not-so-good stocks. The account has since staged a comeback, as I traded the Huntsman Corp and recently with the Okta stock. All my other 401k and IRA accounts are in low-cost stock funds.

Note compared to 2008 (in the middle of financial crisis), I recall my 401k did become 201k (halved literally from 40 to 20k, or something like that). My total amount was about 40k (combined with the IRA accounts). So basically my retirement savings increased 10 fold when I think about it, due to the new contributions and the capital gain/dividend reinvest in last 10 years.

(March 2014) 1/3 of American have saved $1000 or less for retirement. More on this later.

Retirement calculator
AARP retirement nest egg calculator

Finra Retirement Calculator

myNestEgg ~ the retirement calculator (made by uudaddy, aka yours truly).

The following two, along with the AARP retirement calculator (the top one), are recommended by Consumer Reports Feb 2011 issue “15 ways to never run out of money”.

T. Rowe Price

529 plans

I have created collegeFund app for college savings calculating.

Youd kid(s) shall know the truth and truth will make her/him free*. When I grew up in China (1970s, 1980s), we did not have much, but my parents tried their best to send us (3 kids) to colleges.

Tax deduction:
federal income tax (same for all state plans); state income tax (varies from state to state)
State tax break for 529 plan (Peterson’s)

Other good sources:
SEC 529 plan intro:

College Savings Plan Network:

The Pros and Cons of College Savings Plan (Peterson’s)

FinAid | Saving for College | Section 529 Plans

Continue the discussion on college cost. The following are from “Paying for college – PBS NBR special”

planning 101 paying for college

coping with college costs (100402)

College Savings Calculator

Ultimate List of College Cost Calculators

Guidebook to College Savings and 529 Plans

Financial Aid for Online Colleges

Guide to College Savings Plans

Student’s Guide to Affordable Schools

Financial Aid for Online Schools

Guidebook to Saving for Retirement

Credit card offers 529 rewards
Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards® American Express® Card

Earn 2% on purchases to invest in one or more Fidelity 529 accounts, and the money will have the potential to grow tax-deferred toward your college savings goal. Family members can link cards to your Fidelity-managed 529 account – great for grandparents.

Other Credit Card offers
US Airways up to 50,000 miles (40,000 miles upon first purchase, 10,000 miles from balance transfer).

Chase Sapphire Preferred 40,000 points. (mymoneyblog)

NFL Extra Points Card 40,000 points. (Fatwallet)

Difference between United Mileage Plus Select card (the original UA credit card) vs. United Mileage Explorer card (previously Continental One Pass card):
UA purchase: 3x miles for Select card vs. 2x miles for Explorer card
2x miles for grocery for Select card
5,000 miles annual bonus for Select card
First checked bag free (2nd checked bag free for international) for Explorer card
Priority boarding and 2 UA club passes for Explorer card

*…shall know the truth and truth will make her/him free…This is inspired the similar slogan I saw at UT-Austin tower: You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free.