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Personal finance tips: How to save enough for retirement, and more
Three top pieces of financial advice, from the best back-to-school computer to betting on boomerang employees
 
If possible, spring for both.
If possible, spring for both. (Illustration by Sarah Eberspacher | Photos courtesy iStock)

Saving enough for retirement
"It doesn't take a heroic savings effort" to boost the eventual size of your nest egg, said Walter Updegrave at The Wall Street Journal. Setting aside an extra 1 percent of income each year on top of your existing savings can "appreciably boost" your retirement balance. In a recent survey of 3.5 million employees with 401(k)s, the average worker in his 20s reported saving 7.6 percent of his salary. The savings rate rose with age, topping out at 13.4 percent for workers in their 60s. If the average worker in his 20s, earning $50,000 a year, boosted his savings rate by just 1 percent on top of the age-group averages in the survey, his 401(k) balance would increase from an eventual $1.1 million to $1.2 million by age 65. Boost the savings rate another 1 percent each year, and the account's projected value rises to almost $1.3 million at retirement.

The best back-to-school computer
For college-bound students, choosing between a laptop or a desktop computer can be a tough decision, said Devin Coldewey at NBC News. Each option has its pros and cons. Laptops can be handy for their portability, allowing students to "type out notes in class" or "work from a coffee shop off campus." But theft is a risk, and when it comes to storage, life span, and entertainment options, a desktop may be a better bet. Students with the means might consider both. These days, "there are inexpensive options that give you the best, not the worst, of both worlds." A nice Chromebook laptop costs less than $200, while a decent desktop and monitor can be had for $600-$700.

Betting on boomerang employees
Are you interested in returning to work for a former employer? asked Alina Tugend at The New York Times. Though "there is no hard data on how frequently employers rehire workers who've left to go elsewhere," experts say bringing back so-called boomerang employees is a growing trend. Thanks to social media, it's easier for companies to keep track of former workers, and "it's often cheaper to rehire them because firms can bypass the search process." Plus there's less risk, since "employers know what they're getting." But there are pitfalls, and experts say potential boomerangs should consider carefully why they left in the first place. If you had a rocky relationship, were underpaid, or lacked growth opportunity, "there is no guarantee" those problems will be resolved.

 
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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