From NPR News

401(k) statement

More Americans are saving for retirement through their employers’ 401(k) programs. That’s because in recent years they’ve been given a strong nudge — more companies are automatically enrolling workers in retirement savings programs.

Some firms are also automatically increasing the amount employees contribute. That’s just as important, experts say.

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Sweetwater Teachers Avert Strike After Tentative Deal Reached

People with Sweetwater Education Association hold signs and rally in Chula Vista on March 21, 2014.

After more than six months of contentious negotiationsSweetwater Union High School Districtand the teachers union, Sweetwater Education Association, reached a tentative deal late Thursday night.

The union, which represents 2,000 educators in the Chula Vista district, announced the agreement via Facebook: “SEA is pleased to announce that we have reached a Tentative Agreement tonight with the District.”

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CalSTRS says pension funding gap has grown to $73.7 billion

CalSTRS said Thursday that its long-term funding shortfall has risen to $73.7 billion, a stark reminder of the financial issues facing the teachers’ pension fund.

The newest tally reflects CalSTRS’ financial condition as of last June 30. The pension fund said the shortfall grew by $2.7 billion in the 12 months since the previous valuation of June 30, 2012.

CalSTRS’ latest calculation comes as the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown continue to debate how to fix the teachers’ retirement fund. Brown originally said the Legislature could enact a funding plan for CalSTRS in 2015, but he also supported the decision by Senate and Assembly committees to hold hearings last month on the issue.

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$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap

Every month that Gregory Zbylut pays $1,300 toward his law school loans is another month of not qualifying for a decent mortgage.

Every payment toward their student loans is $900 Dr. Nida Degesys and her husband aren’t putting in their retirement savings account.

They believe they’ll eventually climb from debt and begin using their earnings to build assets rather than fill holes. But, like the roughly 37 million others in the U.S. saddled with $1 trillion in student debt, they may never catch up with wealthy peers who began life after college free from the burden.

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Capitol Alert: Dan Walters Daily: Legislators avoid California’s teacher pension woes

Billions in unfunded liabilities for teacher retirement grow every day, but California lawmakers just keep putting off the problem, Dan says.

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From NPR News

Pink piggy bank with glasses standing in front of a blackboard with simple college savings chart.

Among Americans ages 25 to 32, college graduates earned $17,500 more than high school graduates in 2012 — the largest pay differential ever, according to Pew Research. When it comes to earnings, “the picture is consistently bleaker for less-educated workers,” the Pew study concluded.

But even as the value of a college diploma has been rising, the cost of tuition has been increasing even faster — far beyond the reach of most young people. The cost of four years of tuition, room, board, books and fees can stretch up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the pace of increase has accelerated throughout the recession and slow recovery.

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Personal Finance: Answering questions about long-term care

It’s a frightening prospect. You fall and break a hip and need several months of nursing home care. Or you’re recovering from a stroke and need help bathing and getting dressed each morning. Or your husband is slipping into dementia and requires assistance with daily activities.

Those scenarios are the type of care covered under long-term care insurance, known as LTC insurance.

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