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Carole Fleck

Biography:

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

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Carole Fleck'sPosts

Want Paper Social Security Statements? They’re Back

Posted on 04/23/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsFor those of you who liked getting your estimated Social Security benefits statements by mail, you’re in luck. The Social Security Administration says it’s planning to send out paper statements once again, beginning in September. Not everyone will get one, however. Only workers who haven’t signed up to review their statements online will be getting the paper version — and those will be mailed out only every five years rather than annually, says SSA spokeswoman Dorothy Clark. Related: When Should You …

The New Older Workers: Women

Posted on 04/21/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkThe U.S. workforce has been turned on its (graying) head. New research finds that workers at or near retirement age are taking up a bigger share of the labor pool — a trend that’s driven mainly by women. And in this ever-evolving jobs landscape, older men and women are projected to be working more in the next decade. Using the latest Census Bureau data, the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute looked at workers’ labor force participation rates over the last four …

High Fees Can Sap Over $100,000 From Your 401(k) Plan

Posted on 04/17/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsSome 52 million Americans rely on their 401(k) savings plans as a key part of their retirement. Now, the Washington-based Center for American Progress says in a new study that high investment fees could cost the typical worker $100,000 or more over the course of a four-decade career. That may force some to stay on the job at least three years longer than they’d planned just to make up for that loss. Given the fact that many older workers are having a difficult …

Defaults Rise in Parent PLUS Loans

Posted on 04/11/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsParents who’ve taken out federal student loans to help pay for their children’s college education are increasingly finding themselves in serious financial trouble. Default rates on Parent PLUS loans have tripled in the last few years, according to federal data released this month. Some 5.1 percent of loans that originated in the 2010 fiscal year were in default three years later, according to U.S. Department of Education data released last week. Default rates were highest, at 13.3 percent, for Parent …

More Investors Choosing Target-Date Funds for 401(k)s

Posted on 04/1/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsTarget-date funds are growing in popularity among investors in workplace retirement plans because they’re so easy to manage. You pick a retirement date, and the mix of investments automatically adjusts to a more conservative allocation as you move closer to that date. No muss, no fuss. If you’re not investing in a TDF, chances are you will be. A new study says that by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all 401(k) savings contributions will go into these funds. TDFs have become …

Workers Say Employers Getting Stingy on Pay, Benefits

Posted on 03/26/2014 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIf the economy’s improving, why do workers say that their employers are getting stingier with pay or benefits, possibly compromising their financial security now and in retirement? In a survey of 5,070 U.S. workers, 76 percent said their company made one change or another in the last two years that weakened their retirement benefits, reduced pay raises, increased out-of-pocket health care costs or premiums, cut back on hours, laid off workers or involved a major restructuring. The survey, conducted by …