Americans’ Financial Plan Is Not to Plan

Some people might prefer bathing the dog to sitting down and creating a financial plan. However, adults who take the time to develop a comprehensive financial plan are more likely to manage their money successfully, and are more confident about reaching their goals, like saving for retirement or paying off credit-card debt, according to a report released Wednesday. Unfortunately, they’re in the minority. Only one-third (32 percent) of some 1,002 people surveyed say they’ve created a comprehensive financial plan. And …

New Thinking about Budgeting for Your Second Adulthood

This is a guest post by Bart Astor. For years financial planners have been preaching that in your retirement years you should plan on spending about 70% of your current income. This number was based on a number of factors, including: You don’t need to continue to save for your retirement years You won’t be paying into Federal Insurance Contributions Act Tax (Social Security and Medicare) You won’t have commuting and work expenses Your house will be close to or already …

1 In 4 Older Adults Can’t Come Up With $2,000

The deep recession ended four years ago, but the financial fallout remains for many older Americans. Some are so strapped that if an unexpected expense like a  major car or house repair arose in the next month, more than 1 in 4 adults age 55 or older couldn’t muster $2,000 to pay for it. Tapping into their home equity for financial help isn’t an option for 1 in 12 in that age group. They owe more on their home than …

A Retirement Reality Check, Courtesy of Gallup

Thinking about your eventual retirement? If you’re relatively well-off, you’re probably confident that your tax-deferred savings will provide your major source of income. But if you’re at the other end of the income ladder, you’re more likely to count on Social Security benefits to tide you over. Those are some of the findings of a newly released Gallup poll that reveals glaring contrasts between how nonretired Americans from different income levels expect to fund their retirement years. The key takeaways: Among …

Jean Chatzky’s 12 Essential Money Rules

“Rules. A life without rules is exhausting and emotionally fraught.” That’s how Jean Chatzky opened her hour long session on financial security and retirement at Life@50+ today. She admitted that rules don’t seem fun – and the audience agreed. But soon she brought the crowd around to the virtues of boundaries, planning and delayed gratification. “Once you start planning, and get the numbers down on the page, things may not be as bad as you think they are,” said Chatzky, …

Financial Makeover Helps One Woman Plan an Independent Future

More than 20 years ago, Celia Nathan’s mother became very depressed. As she was flying from Maryland to Savannah, Ga. to see her mother, Celia read a book a friend had given her about depression. The book described recreation therapy and how it helped those with depression. Celia, always an active person, said she was immediately hooked. “I thought here’s a profession where you’re helping people and also involves recreation!” she told me recently. So she kept exploring the field and …