Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape. Here’s what you need to know: What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between …

Making Social Security Work for Women

Social Security is gender neutral, meaning men and women earning the same amount in their careers should receive the same size benefit. In reality, a woman’s benefit on average is lower than a man’s — $1,103 vs. $1,417 in 2012 — because her work and personal experiences are rarely the same. Women tend to earn less — an average of 78 cents for every $1 a man makes. They are more likely to be in low-paying jobs without pensions and to …

7 Social Security Quirks You Should Know

Note: Join AARP expert Jean Setzfand today, Friday, October 24, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for a live Facebook Chat with Yahoo! Finance about Social Security claiming and ask Jean or another expert your own question here: https://www.facebook.com/yahoofinance. See Setzfand’s advice in a story from Yahoo! Finance just posted today as well: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/3-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-benefit-163853751.html. As I travel and talk with folks about planning for their future, “when to claim Social Security benefits” is, hands down, the most frequently asked question …

The Danger of Acting on Stock Market Headlines

Over the past five years, U.S. stocks have tripled in value. For example, the Wilshire 5000 total return index increased from 27.50 to 82.62. Yet paranoia about the market has caused many investors to miss out. The chart below shows the return an investor would have received just by owning a total U.S. stock index fund and reinvesting the dividends. A total U.S. stock index fund essentially owns every publicly held company based in the U.S. Though the chart tracks …

AOL Reverses 401(k) Policy After Blowback

Like boomers (and all workers, for that matter) don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to saving enough for retirement. Now actions by AOL’s Tim Armstrong may be setting a dangerous example for other companies to follow. First, the chief executive of AOL told employees Thursday he was changing the company’s 401(k) match to a year-end lump sum contribution rather than contributions throughout the year. Leave before Dec. 31, 2014 (voluntarily or involuntarily), and you lose out on …

Tools to Shore Up Retirement Savings

The road to retirement may seem uncomfortably short, particularly if you’re in your 50s and haven’t saved much. The latest Federal Reserve data shows that households with people ages 55 to 64 have accumulated a median $120,000 in retirement savings. That amounts to about $400 to $500 a month in income, according to a CNBC report, on top of the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,294. If you’re 10 to 15 years out from your projected retirement date, it’s …