It's a tough job market for chief executive officers, too. This year through the end of November, 1,361 CEOs left their posts, according to consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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It’s a tough job market for chief executive officers, too. This year through the end of November, 1,361 CEOs left their posts, according to consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s already more than all of last year, and it’s within striking distance of the one-year record set in 2006.

One surprise: Most of the CEO turnover is coming not from banks (156 moves so far this year) but from the health-care industry (258). Those leaving the corner office are also getting younger: In November, the average age of departing CEOs was 56, down from 59 a year ago.

Stuffing the retirement stocking

There’s still time to sock away some retirement savings and get a credit on next year’s tax return. For 2008, singles earning up to $26,500 can get up to a $1,000 saver’s credit after investing in an Individual Retirement Account or 401(k) plan, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Married couples earning $53,000 or less can get a credit of up to $2,000. The credit is on top of deductions investors can take for IRAs.

Contributions to a 401(k) must be made by Dec. 31; for IRAs, investors have until April 15, 2009.

Last year, among the taxpayers who qualified, single filers received an average credit of $128, while married people filing jointly received an average of $213.

Bleeding less

Investors pulled a net $41.48 billion out of mutual funds in November, according to Morningstar estimates, far less than the $111.27 billion investors yanked out in October. Among big fund companies, Vanguard was one of the few to actually see inflows — $2.1 billion, compared with a $5 billion outflow in October.

The Associated Press