News of the Day: Financial Worries, a Big Day for Health Care Reform…and Roth IRAs? What are those?

USA Today featured a big story today on a survey from AARP that showed that Americans aged 45-64 are worried about having enough money for retirement and continued difficulty in paying for basic items such as food. Check out the story for all the startling statistics – there’s a lot of anxiety out there about money these days.
In what some are calling a serious setback for President Obama, the Senate Finance Committee voted against the public health care option in Sen. Max Baucus’ health care reform bill.
A Roll Call article reports that the White House has been “secretly drafting its own health care legislation that it may unveil at some point during the debate if officials believe it would help secure passage of a bill.” Maybe that bill is an answer to the squabbling Democrats who are looking to the President to be the final arbitrator of the public option.
In retirement news, we are edging closer to January 2010, when the law enacted in 2005 – which will let anyone with a qualified retirement plan, such as a traditional IRA or 401(k) left behind at a former employer, shift those funds into a Roth – goes into effect. However, the WSJ reports that many people are confused about how Roth IRAs work. Check out the statistics – only 7% of survey respondents said they will be converting to Roth come January… I bet that number would be a lot higher if more people understood how they worked! Do you understand Roth IRAs? How did you go about learning the ropes?