Money and Work

As a senior editor for AARP Media, Carole Fleck covers personal finance, the economy, older worker, retirement planning and other news affecting people 50-plus.

Data Breach Hits Major Banks

JPMorgan Chase and at least four other major U.S. financial institutions are reporting hack attacks by cyber criminals who lifted customers’ personal information, according to published accounts. The attacks, which apparently took place in August, stole customer data that could be used to drain checking and savings accounts, Bloomberg News said, citing sources briefed by law enforcement. News accounts didn’t name the other banks targeted in the cyber theft or disclose how many customers may be at risk. Banks must …

Add Adjusting Your 401(k) to End-of-Summer Plans

Now that we’re past the midyear of 2014, it’s a great time to review your retirement savings plan to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not contributing enough or haven’t rebalanced your portfolio since George W. Bush was in office, you have the remainder of the year to make some adjustments. You probably already know that you can sock away as much as $23,000, which includes $5,500 in catch-up contributions for people 50-plus, in your 401(k) plan. However, if you’re using …

It’s August, So It Must Be Make-a-Will Month

So August is National Make-a-Will Month. Who knew? Getting a will isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, and consequently, too few people do it. A recent survey of more than 2,000 people by the online legal service Rocket Lawyer found that 64 percent don’t have wills. The biggest reason cited by folks: They just never got around to it. Some said they didn’t want to think about death. You might believe that only wealthier families need a will. You’d be …

Fed Report Paints Dreary Retirement for Some

Five years after the Great Recession, many Americans say they’re still struggling to get by financially. Nineteen percent of adults ages 55 to 64 say they have no retirement savings or pensions to fall back on, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve. Also troubling was that an additional 20 percent of people age 60 and older say they’ve given no thought at all to planning for their retirement. That was also the case for about 19 percent of …

Kids’ Best Financial Adviser: Grandma or Grandpa

Grandparents apparently hold more sway over their grandchildren’s saving habits than they know. According to a survey by TIAA-CREF, a New York-based financial services firm, most young adults (73 percent) say their grandparents do influence their money decisions and more than half call their elders excellent savers. Yet few grandparents capitalize on their standing: Only 8 percent say they’ve had or are likely to have a conversation with their grandchildren about money. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Among …

Your New Retirement Number: $58,000

Financial experts seem to speculate endlessly about boomers’ projected lifestyle in retirement based on their savings and spending patterns. Now a new survey that polled recent retirees about their standard of living has found that, for some, you don’t need a lot of money each year to retire comfortably and live happily. According to the survey by Baltimore-based investment firm T. Rowe Price, recent retirees report living on 66 percent of their pre-retirement income on average – $58,000 annually – and …