CHARLOTTE - February 25, 2010
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced that the company’s online Retirement site has been enhanced to help people plan for this important time in life. New interactive tools on the site can help savers select the IRA best suited to their needs and calculate the cost of taking cash from a 401(k) account left at a previous employer. A new, age-based organization of the site allows users to focus on information relevant to their life stage – whether they are in their 20s or retired.
"Whether we like it or not, we all are in charge of our own retirement today and Wells Fargo would like to help people plan effectively," said John Papadopulos, president of Wells Fargo Retirement. “Preparing for retirement can be an overwhelming concept for many, and it takes some personal initiative to get answers to various questions. We want to be part of the solution. One way we can do this is by delivering useful, updated information through wellsfargo.com."
Wells Fargo’s enhanced Retirement site was built based on customer research and is designed so that users can easily find information that is relevant and useful to them.
“Planning for retirement requires different strategies depending on your age and the stage of retirement planning you've already gone through,” said Kelley Doherty, senior vice president, Internet Services Group. “We've created a site that simplifies a sometimes complex topic and takes into account how effective retirement planning varies, depending on age. The enhanced retirement site is now organized so that users can easily zero in on the education, checklists and other information that’s most relevant to their stage in life.”
Features of the online resource:
- Choosing the Right IRA
The IRA is an important resource for building tax-advantaged retirement savings. Since there are different investment approaches within an IRA, the Retirement site now offers a decision tool for comparing and selecting the best IRA choice. The tool walks a user through brief questions to determine if a full-service brokerage IRA, a CD IRA, a mutual fund IRA or a discount brokerage IRA should be selected for their goals. Check out the tool, which includes questions to help determine whether to choose a Roth or a Traditional IRA. The Retirement site also offers a tool for selecting the right IRA in a 401(k) rollover.
- What's the true cost of taking cash out of an old 401(k)?
A 401(k) left at a previous employer can be tapped for cash, but this could be costly as there may be taxes and a potential IRS penalty when cashing out. By visiting the cost of taking cash out of an old 401(k) calculator, savers can see the consequences of this move.
- Small Steps to Retirement Savings
Small adjustments in spending can translate to sizeable dollars that can be invested for retirement. One site enhancement is a simple worksheet for analyzing spending today to save for retirement. The Small Steps tool uses some basic information like current age and planned retirement age to show how much a small change (like bringing lunch to work or borrowing books from the library) could save users over a year, and calculates how much this saving might equal at retirement.
- Calculate your IRA Potential
In addition to helping savers select the Wells Fargo IRA that best suits their needs, the site offers a tool that allows users to calculate the impact of increasing (or decreasing) contributions to their IRA. Users of the tool can increase or decrease the age at which they plan to retire, as well as their current contribution rate, and immediately view the baseline savings as well as the potential cumulative savings they could achieve over time.
- Wells Fargo Retirement Survey
In November 2009, Wells Fargo released survey findings about the retirement preparedness of Americans age 50 to 59. Of this group, 67 percent said their expectations for retirement had changed from those held a year ago, and 56 percent expected to work longer by an average of three more years.
Respondents said they expect to need $800,000 for retirement, but have saved only $300,000 (median amounts). This group also had not assessed how long their savings would last in retirement. They expected to live nearly 21 years in retirement, but planned on spending nearly 10 percent of their savings every year in retirement. The industry recommendation is to withdraw no more than 4 percent annually.
Wells Fargo is committed to helping people learn how to better prepare for and manage their retirements. More information can be found at Wells Fargo's retirement site.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.