Monday Night Finance- Volume 78

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Average TSP Balance By Age- Surprising TSP Statistics You Need To Know Now

The Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP, is a type of retirement account, similar to a 401(k) but only available to federal employees or members of the US military. For many years, the investment company Vanguard set the gold standard for average 401(k) balances by age with their annual “How America Saves” report. This report contains aggregate information from all of the different retirement accounts they manage. However, much less information is available for people with different types of retirement accounts, like the TSP.

According to the US Census Bureau, just under 50% of Americans age 55-65 have no money saved for retirement. Only 25% of Americans aged 55-65 have more than $100,000 saved.

Therefore, if you have just $1.00 in your TSP, you’re doing better than half of Americans at retirement age. Since the government gives FERS employees an automatic 1% contribution (even if you contribute nothing), you are doing much better than the average American when it comes to retirement savings.

~Sam @ GovernmentWorkerFI

This post by Sam at GovernmentWorkerFI, breaks down data provided by the Federal Thrift Retirement Investment Board about TSP participants. While it was not possible to create all of the data in the “How America Saves Report” for federal employees, GovernmentWorkerFi provided a wealth of information about TSP participants. Some of the most surprising facts? Two thirds of employees have less than $50,000 in their TSP. On the other end of the spectra, the top TSP balance dropped by $4,000,000 in 2022 alone.

9 Scientific Facts to Improve Your Finances

If you’re reading a finance blog, you’re probably interested in improving your finances. But sometimes wanting to improve your finances is different from actually improving your finances. It’s kind of like flossing. We all know that we should floss every day. But how many people actually floss daily? So if you want to really improve your finances in 2023, you’ll want to check out this article by Jesse Cramer of the best interest blog.

The science: Habits make or break us. This quick article covers the basics of habit formation perfectly.

Personal finance, like many New Years’ Resolution-y behaviors, are largely a function of stopping bad habits and forming good habits. Perhaps the most hyped book of 2021 was James Clear’s Atomic Habits. So hyped, in fact, it turned me off. It’s obviously overhyped…

But then I read it, and…yeah, it was really good. It’s a great resource to help you improve your habits.

Jesse Cramer

In this article, Jesse shares 9 facts that are scientifically proven to help you improve your finances. One of my favorite facts was to “automate” everything. We are constantly having to make decisions throughout the day. This “decision fatigue” can make tire us out and lead us to make suboptimal decisions as we move through life. By automating good financial decisions, we’ve set ourselves up for success after only making one good decision. Check out the article for 8 more excellent tips.

Grubhub To Pay $3.5 Million for Deceitful Marketing Practices, Are You Eligible?

While Grubhub has been around since 2004, its prominence really took off during the pandemic when many restaurants closed their doors to customers. When restaurants pivoted to a food delivery model, companies like Grubhub and EatStreet were major beneficiaries. If you’ve ever used one of these apps, you might have noticed that you end up paying a lot more than you thought you might for your meal. While it’s no surprise that it costs more to deliver food than to serve it in a restaurant, it turns out that many Grubhub consumers were hit with hidden fees.

Past customers of the food delivery service Grubhub are in for a nice start to the new year as settlement credits hit their accounts. As for anyone without an active account, A.G. Racine had this to say. “Those with active Grubhub accounts will receive a refundable credit and if the credit is not used within 90 days the money will be sent to customers in the form of a check.”

Rebecca Holcomb

Recently, the Attorney General of Washington, DC won a lawsuit against Grubhub for deceptive marketing practices. As a result, Grubhub has been ordered to pay more than $3.5 million dollars in fines. Of the $3.5 million in fines, $2,700,000 will be returned to customers who were impacted. More importantly, Grubhub will now need to be more transparent in their fee structure and now stick customers with hidden fees in the future. Note- this lawsuit only applies to residents in the DC area, and only residents of the District of Columbia are eligible for the credits. If you are a DC resident who has eligible for a refund, check out this article for more details of the settlement.