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On this episode of Jargon, we invest in learning the lingo of retirement planning

Welcome to another episode of Jargon, the new show from Digital Trends that deciphers the complex lingo of various industries into words and concepts the rest of us can understand. We’re live each week on Tuesdays with a new set of jargon from a different industry.

On this episode, host Myq Kaplan invests some time to figure out the complicated jargon of retirement account planning. With the help of Tadas Viskanta, director of investor education at Ritholtz Wealth Management, Kaplan breaks down the various confusing terms that are often thrown around when talking about savings and retirement, and how the views of retirement have changed over the past 20 years.

Jargon we define on this episode:

  • Investment horizon: Before you can plan for the future, you need to know what things are going to look like down the road. “What will the future look like as far as work and retirement? Will Social Security be a thing? Will pensions still exist?” In a world where they are now testing autonomous cars at retirement communities, Viskanta helps contextualize the questions that help build the vision of how a person wants to save for the future.
  • Annuity: An annuity is a form of insurance or investment that gives the investor a series of annual sums. In other words, what you contribute to the fund is converted into periodic payments that can last for your lifetime. An annuity is designed to protect you from the risk of outliving your income.
  • 401(k): 401(k)s are probably the most widely known way an employee can start saving money. According to Viskanta, they are “a great way (and often the easiest way) to start saving. It’s money that comes right out of your paycheck and won’t be missed.” He also notes that employers often match your contribution, because many 401(k)s are sponsored by businesses.
  • IRA: As opposed to the 401(k), an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is not sponsored or controlled by an employer. With an IRA, the individual “has complete discretion and is in complete charge of the account and where their money gets invested,” Viskanta notes.
  • Mutual funds: While there are many types of funds, a mutual fund refers to “broadly diversified portfolios and securities,” Viskanta says. They are groups of stocks, as opposed to individual company stocks.  Because not even experts can foresee what will happen to any one individual company or business sector, it’s important to have a wide range of companies and industries to invest in, so all of your money isn’t riding on one thing.

On next week’s episode, we’re going to spark up a conversation with the jargon of cannabis, with expert guest Danny Danko, the Senior Cultivation Editor of High Times magazine.

For past episodes of Jargon, go to

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