finance

Americans collectively are losing billions of dollars a year out of their retirement accounts because they're paying excessive fees, according to researchers studying thousands of employer-sponsored retirement plans across the country.

The rearchers say part of the trouble is that many employers that offer 401(k) plans to their workers are outgunned by financial firms that sell them bad plans loaded with hefty fees. That's especially true, they say, for small and midsize employers that don't have much financial expertise in-house.

David DesRoches / WNPR

As a junior in high school, Michael Beale had a candy business that was pretty successful. But it wasn't exactly a school-sanctioned activity.

"Let's just say it was off the school's books," Beale said, speaking at a recent financial literacy event in East Hartford. Eventually the school shut down his black market sweets operation, but it didn't stop his desire to learn more about personal finance.

Four companies running urgent care centers in New York have agreed to disclose more fully which insurance plans they accept, following an inquiry by the state's attorney general that found unclear or incomplete information on their websites that could result in larger-than-expected bills for consumers.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The president of Hartford's City Council is calling for the termination of the city's development director, after a deal to build a new professional soccer facility collapsed and the city apparently overpaid for work at Dillon Stadium.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

The plan to build a professional soccer stadium in Hartford is now officially dead, but the controversy around it isn't.

On Campus, Older Faculty Keep On Keepin' On

Oct 9, 2015

Ken Nickerson could have retired from his job as a professor of biological sciences at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln 10 years ago, when he turned 62.

He could have retired five years ago, when the university offered faculty a year's salary to step down as part of a buyout to encourage more of them to leave.

He could have retired last year, when, in yet another buyout offer, administrators dangled the equivalent of 90 percent of one full year's salary in front of faculty who would finally agree to go.

But Nickerson stayed.

Momoneymoproblemz / Creative Commons

General Electric Co. has established an energy company that combines its LED, solar, energy storage, and electric vehicle businesses and a software system to help customers improve efficiency. 

Thomas Autumn / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

airbus777 / Creative Commons

The annual cost to operate Connecticut's bus-only system is rising as transit planners build out the route beyond its Hartford-to-New Britain corridor.

Back9Network flickr.com/back9network / Creative Commons

It was January 2012. The PGA golf association was hosting its merchandise show in Orlando, Florida – and the Back9Network was there.

Yale University / Creative Commons

Yale University reported that its endowment grew to a record high $25.6 billion based on an 11.5 percent return for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

DigiDreamGrafix.com / Creative Commons

Connecticut hospital executives are asking the General Assembly to intervene and prevent $63.4 million in new cuts to state Medicaid payments to their health care facilities.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s new budget is just three months old, but the Malloy administration has just announced that it must make emergency spending cuts. 

"On FanDuel I've won over $62,000 — try FanDuel today."

"This is DraftKings. Welcome to the big time. You can play when you want with the team you want. Just pick your contest, pick your team, and pick up your winnings."

The plan for a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox in Providence has hit a roadblock. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses how this field of dreams turned into a nightmare.

epSos .de / flickr creative commons

Recently Yale economist Robert Shiller said in an essay in The New York Times that no one can say for certain what the stock market drop means. He did, however, say we'd all be right to exercise great caution now.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig met his self-imposed goal of crowdfunding $1 million by Labor Day, and Sunday on ABC announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Lessig, an activist with a grass-roots following among some progressives, says he's running on a singular platform — the Citizen Equality Act of 2017. It would expand voting access, ban gerrymandering and institute campaign finance reform.

Emilie Foyer / Creative Commons

One of the top economic issues for voters is the vast economic inquality in the country, according to Gallup polling.

Thomas Autumn / Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy says he last visited with General Electric two weeks ago, as the conglomerate prepares to make a decision about relocation. The governor spoke for the first time about the possibility that GE might leave.

Stocks opened Monday with a swan dive: The Dow Jones industrial average plunged about 1,000 points, or 5 percent, in just minutes.

By midday, enough brave buyers had waded back in to push up prices — up to where losses were only around 1 percent or so.

But that didn't last. Around 3 p.m., the Dow dropped again, sliding nearly 700 points.

Stress-filled minutes ticked down until 4 p.m.: CLANG, CLANG, CLANG.

The closing bell rang. Brows were wiped, and commentators scrambled to explain why investors had seen both panic selling and panic buying.

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

Student loans have become an issue in the presidential campaign, especially on the Democratic side. And it's no wonder. There are more than 40 million Americans with some $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

But people who study education finance say one widely popular proposal to help lessen the debt load may not be as good as it seems.

The first problem: the debt load

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced that he will step down, paving the way for early elections following a bruising battle over austerity measures linked to a European bailout package that caused a major split in the leftist ruling party.

Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

The governor of New York is reported to be courting General Electric to make a move across the state border. 

In a 24-hour marathon session, Greek lawmakers approved the draft of an 85 billion euro bailout reached earlier this week with international lenders — agreeing to many of the austerity measures that voters rejected in a referendum last month and sparking a rebellion in the ruling party ranks.

StockMonkeys.com on Flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit against General Electric is being closely watched in boardrooms around America, as the company defends its decision to shut down its retiree health care plan.

Debora Timms

Members of Connecticut’s Puerto Rican community met in Hartford on Friday with U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal to discuss Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Ninety-five people will lose their jobs at the state Department of Labor as Connecticut officials attempt to save $16 million a year in costs.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Aetna has reported second-quarter earnings of $731.8 million, a 33 percent bump on the same time last year, and a number that exceeded analysts’ expectations. 

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