Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:
The touchy-feely CEO retreat
Tech entrepreneurs are seeking to optimize their emotional skills at weekend boot camps, said Allison Levitsky in Protocol. "T-groups — where the 'T' stands for training — are well-known to Stanford MBAs, around 85 percent of whom participate in one" before graduating. But these "touchy-feely" retreats are catching on more broadly as a way for startup founders "to practice empathy, vulnerability, and giving and receiving feedback." The downside: T-groups encourage a level of sharing "that would make many people cringe." Many utilize "feelings charts," an uncomfortable tactic for tech types "who aren't used to talking" so openly. The nonprofit Leaders in Tech, which runs T-groups for startup executives, counts the CEOs of MasterClass, Good Eggs, and Change.org among the alumni of its retreats — which run $6,250 for a weekend.
Don't let retirement funds "leak"
A new study found that "leakages" from tax-preferred retirement savings accounts reduce wealth by almost a third, said Alicia Munnell in MarketWatch. "Leaks" out of 401(k) and IRAs come in three ways: "cash-outs when participants change jobs, hardship withdrawals, and the failure to repay loans." The government discourages leaks by imposing a 10 percent penalty on withdrawals before age 59, but we've always known people still take out money more frequently than they should. "Research has shown that the ability to access funds encourages people to participate" in retirement accounts and make larger contributions. Early withdrawals can also help "smooth over financial shocks" in life. But it's important to keep in mind how much leakages can reduce balances at the point for which they're intended: retirement.
Child care is the hot office perk
More companies are trying to lure workers back to the office by offering subsidized onsite daycare, said Jeff Green in Bloomberg Businessweek. "With only 17 percent of workers wanting to return to the office full-time," some companies want to eliminate child-care concerns for young parents as a reason for staying home. On-site day-care leader Bright Horizons now counts more than 1,000 companies as clients. Subsidized child care was so appealing to Bryce Hunt, a customer success director at software maker Podium Corp., that she drives out "to drop her 2-year-old at the company's subsidized day-care center before returning home to work remotely."
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