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 …

Three Generations, Three Different Retirements

So it seems that boomers and the Generation X that followed them believe a traditional retirement, the kind where you clock out of the job permanently at age 65 to travel, play golf, visit the grandkids or relocate to a sunnier destination, isn’t in their future. Yet Millennials, the oldest among them in their mid 30s, are much more hopeful. They predict they’ll retire at or before they reach their mid 60s, according to a survey released Wednesday by the nonprofit …

It’s Tax Day! Don’t Forget to File

If you’re rushing to get your taxes done before today’s midnight deadline, take some comfort that you’re not alone. The Internal Revenue Service expects to receive about 35 million returns in the last week or so before the filing deadline. At this point, the time for most moves to lessen your tax bite is long over, although even on this deadline day you may have one more opportunity. It’s still possible to make a 2013 contribution to a deductible individual retirement …

Why Your Children Should Help Pay for College

Spring means college admissions, and we still recall the agonizing wait for the mail carrier. A thin envelope brought bad news, a thick envelope acceptance. Today, though, the “envelope” arrives via email – and that’s not all that’s changed. These days, the sticker price for private colleges starts at about $40,000 a year, going much higher for a prestigious institution; in-state schools run about half that. Nearly as soon as the anxiety on the admissions front dissipates, it’s replaced by …

Who’s Feeling Better About Retirement?

Last year’s rising stocks and recovering real estate market appear to have increased workers’ retirement confidence as well. According to an annual survey of 1,000 workers by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 18 percent say they were very confident they’d be able to retire comfortably. That may not seem like much, but it’s a 5 percentage-point jump from a year earlier. Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s research director and an author of the study, says the rise in confidence was among those …

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 …