Who’s Tapping Their 401(k) to Pay Off Debt?

Too many workers are using their 401(k) savings plan as a piggy bank, tapping it way before retirement for reasons such as to pay off debt, remodel their home or take a vacation they couldn’t otherwise afford. New research from the financial services company TIAA-CREF finds that one-third of 1,000 Americans surveyed in May have taken out a loan from their retirement savings plan. And 44 percent say they now regret it. The survey looked at what situations caused workers to tap those …

What’s Dad Worth? $24,103

Sure, dads are priceless. Who else is going to kill flying stinging insects, plug leaky pipes and repair the family car? For all that dad does around the house, Insure.com’s annual Father’s Day Index calculated his value for 2014: He’s worth $24,103, up slightly from last year. Dad’s worth is measured by the typical household tasks he performs and the average wages paid for those duties based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those jobs include plumber at …

Which Retirement Personality Fits You?

The notion of retirement, in which decades are devoted solely to leisurely pursuits, is evolving. In the future we’ll be hard-pressed to find older folks perpetually lazing on the beach, taking up their days with golf or tennis, or lounging around the house. Instead, most retirees will be working. At least, that’s one of the findings from a new Merrill Lynch/Bank of America survey of 7,078 people, including 1,856 working retirees and about 5,000 who are nearing retirement or retired …

Who Is Taking Early Social Security Benefits?

Financial planners have been advising us to wait as long as possible to collect Social Security to maximize the benefit. A new study finds that many middle-income workers haven’t heeded that call. They were more likely than higher earners to claim their benefit early and live on a permanently reduced payout for the rest of their lives. According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, workers took their benefit early for a variety of reasons: They didn’t expect to live …

Tech Firms Discover Boomer Market

Scoot over, millennials. You’re no longer the predominantly sought-after demographic for Silicon Valley start-ups. Boomers are about to become the new target market for tech-company entrepreneurs, Slate.com reports. In the past, tech firms seemed to ignore the $750 billion boomer market, which accounts for half of all discretionary spending in the United States, Slate notes. Now a new generation of start-ups is poised to tap into that wealth by focusing on how technology can meet the needs of older adults. For instance, Rock Health, …

IBM Halts Practice of Disclosing Ages of Fired Older Workers

At IBM, older workers who believe they were fired because of their age may have a harder time proving their claim under a new company policy, Bloomberg News reports. The New York-based tech company is no longer providing fired workers over age 40 with the ages and job titles of other older workers dismissed in a group layoff, the report said. That disclosure is important because it helps fired employees assess whether IBM has potentially demonstrated a pattern of age discrimination …