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Personal finance tips: Smart career moves for 2014, and more
Three top pieces of financial advice — from how to stash your emergency cash to how to avoid oversaving
 
“You want to be playing chess, not checkers, with your career.”
“You want to be playing chess, not checkers, with your career.” (Thinkstock)

Are you oversaving?
Believe it or not, it's possible to put too much away for retirement, said Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo. According to new research from Morningstar Investment Management's David Blanchett, our "retirement prospects aren't as bleak" as everyone says. He takes issue with the "80 percent replacement rule," which urges retirees to replace that much of their pre-retirement income. By his analysis, that formula "could lead some workers to oversave for their golden years by as much as 20 percent." That's no excuse, however, for splurging on "a Caribbean cruise with your IRA money." The fact remains that "most Americans aren't saving enough for retirement." But figuring out how much to sock away "will require a lot more planning than punching a few numbers into a calculator."

Stashing your emergency cash
Should you invest that emergency fund? asked Andrew Blackman in The Wall Street Journal. The "common rule of thumb" says to stash your ready cash in a savings account, but particularly for wealthier investors, "keeping all your emergency fund dollars in cash may be a bad idea." If you're willing to take some risks, "you could make your emergency fund grow more quickly, while still having access to the money when you need it." Consider putting part of your emergency fund in a Roth IRA, which allows you to withdraw your contributions at any time without taxes or penalties. If you're willing to take a bigger gamble, invest in diverse funds "that allow speedy, penalty-free withdrawals."

Smart career moves for 2014
"Now is the time" to think about boosting your career in the new year, said Donna Rosato in Money. Employers are struggling to find workers "with expertise in accounting, IT, mobile application development, business analytics, and regulatory compliance." That means you can stay put and leverage your employer's fears of losing you into a raise. If you like your company, "be an 'intrapreneur.'" More than 40 percent of new jobs go to internal candidates, so "let the decision-makers know what your goals are and sign up for cross-departmental projects that will expand your network." If you want a change, make your next job "a good stepping-stone," using career sites like LinkedIn to research your predecessors' career trajectories. "You want to be playing chess, not checkers, with your career," said career expert Rusty Rueff.

 
Sergio Hernandez is business editor of The Week's print edition. He has previously worked for The DailyProPublica, the Village Voice, and Gawker.

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