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The world lost an investing giant on Wednesday with the passing of John C. Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group. If you’re saving for retirement -- and I hope you are! -- tip your hat to him for pushing down the fees on your mutual funds. Jack, as he was known, created the first retail index fund, a low-cost mutual fund that passively tracks the broad stock or bond market. The fees on these funds, which were slow to catch on but then adopted widely, are much lower than those of actively managed funds. As the old saying goes, you can’t control the market, but you can control your investment fees. And control you should: fees can take a big, silent bite out of your returns over the decades, eating into your hard-earned savings and your retirement security. Learn more about 401(k) fees, and Bogle’s legacy, in today’s edition.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth

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News timeLY RETIREMENT NEWS, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE
Jack Bogle, Who Revolutionized the Way Millions of Americans Save and Invest, Dies at Age 89

Bogle, who popularized the index, helped Americans keep billions a year in savings that might well have gone to Wall Street.

A Big Tax Break for Charitable Giving Disappeared. Here’s What You Can Still Do

Your options will depend in part on your age.

Sears Just Narrowly Escaped Death. Here’s What the New Owner Has in Store for Shoppers

What the dramatic takeover bid means for you.

READER INSIGHTS

Many thanks to all who have participated so thoughtfully in our book club talk on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande! We’ve covered some serious ground over the past week. One topic we discussed was the best way to make sure your wishes for end-of-life care are honored. While it’s important to have advance directives such as a living will -- which outline measures that you may or may not want, such as a breathing tube to help you breathe if you can’t on your own -- those documents aren’t enough, members said.

For one, it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario that might arise and address how you might like to respond if it does. And secondly, sometimes the protocol of the medical community overrides such intentions. One member wrote how her elderly father was brought to the emergency room despite his “Do Not Resuscitate” order. He was coded right after entry and it took much persistence on her part for the doctors to back off. “Once the wheels of medical protocol are enacted,” she writes, “it is challenging to divert.”

Your best bet? Appoint a trusted proxy to be your health care power of attorney, and to make medical decisions on your behalf when you can not make them yourself. Discuss your wishes frequently as they evolve. That person will be the one whom medical professionals turn to in moments of crisis. Give your health care proxy a copy of your living will to keep in his or her glove compartment, so it will always be on hand for an emergency trip to the hospital.

RETIREMENT NEWS FROM AROUND THE WEB

A Controversial Startup That Charges $8,000 for an Anti-Aging Blood Transfusion Says It’s Up and Running Across the U.S.

But will an infusion of “young blood” really turn back the clock?

No Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 2020, Early Data Suggests

Early measures of inflation are low, leading to predictions of no Social Security raise for seniors next year.

An Attitude Adjustment Could Make You Richer

Studies show that optimism pays.

The Least Expensive Medicare Option Isn't Always Your Best Choice

Depending on your circumstances, it might make sense to stick with Original Medicare.

ABOUT ELIZABETH

Elizabeth O'Brien is a senior writer at MONEY, covering retirement and health care. You can email her at elizabeth.o'[email protected] and follow her on Twitter at .

 
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