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Lessons learned from sad 401k story

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WSJ ran an interesting article “Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short” over the weekend (link here, if not work please google the article to get it). I felt sorry to read this:

…Gloria Moss has been contributing to a 401(k) since 1985, when she went back to work after having children. Especially after divorcing, she wasn’t able to contribute as much as she wished and when her children finished college, she focused on repaying college loans. She says she lost more than half her savings in the recent financial crisis, then shifted heavily to bonds and missed the stock rebound…

Two things quickly came to my mind:

1) It’s hard for people nearing retirement age to hold on their investment when the market drop like a rock, during the recent financial crisis (Fall 2008 to Spring 2009) I knew I would not hold on to my 401k if I were 20 years older. In order to sleep better at night, they sold their investments at the market low, because they just could not take it any more. I can fully understand the emotion here. For instance, someone used to have $600,000 in his/her retirement account before all this happens, and in financial crisis it dropped to $300,000, the person still prefer to have $300,000 over the potential “nothing left”.

2) The second point, by the same token, people who bailed out at low are unlikely to jump back into market, when the market turns. On the other hand, people who are in the loop (wall street?), and young people are more likely jump back in. The former took the cue from all the government and fed actions, the latter can take more risk because they have more time (to invest and recoup the loss).

Long story short, it seems the boomers got squeezed in this financial crisis. One plus side they have, is for those near retirement age, they can be sure the social security will still be there.

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Announcing iPhone app myNestEgg ~ the retirement calculator

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(Update Oct-22-2010) The version 1.1 was released yesterday Oct 21, 2010. This link is the same. Release notes is attached at the iTune store description as well.

(Original) iTune store link here.


Product support page here.

What is it (myNestEgg)?
myNestEgg is a retirement (savings/income) calculator iPhone app. It runs on iOS 3.1.2 or later.

How much does it cost?
99 cents in the US (Apple tier 1 price, CA$0.99 GB£0.59 EU0.79 € AU$1.19 NZ$1.29 etc.)

Any special promotion for new product launch?
Yes, you can. If you can find a significant bug or suggest a meaningful feature, you can email me at , and I will give you the refund (via Paypal). And if you like, I can send you the Ad hoc version of my future products for free as long as you send me the feedback (note you will need to send me the UDID of your device for the Ad hoc version).

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Looking for a few good reviewers and bloggers for iPhone app

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I am looking for a few good reviewers and bloggers for my 1st iPhone app, myNestEgg ~ the retirement calculator. Here are a few basic requirements for the reviewer/blogger:

1) An iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad device with iOS 3.1.2 or above.

2) Has an iPhone app review site or a personal finance blog web site. More importantly, are willing to try out my app and write independent reviews.

How to get the app?
The app is at “Wait for review” stage. I can build ad hoc version of the app and send it to you (about 500k). Email me if you are interested. My email address is .

What you will get besides the app?
Well, I can not promise anything significant because they will affect your opinion. But I can come up with something appropriate later after seeing the review.