Tips for International Travel

Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I’m planning a trip abroad. Phoning home. How I am going to communicate? I mainly use Skype. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make international calls. There are similar applications for phones, including Viber and WhatsApp, that allow you to text, call and send photos and …

What Happens to Your Pension When the Company Goes Bust?

Studebaker auto workers found out the hard way in 1963. When the Studebaker Corp. shut down its plant in South Bend, Ind., workers who had been promised pensions saw their hard-earned benefits vanish in an instant. Instead of receiving fixed payments throughout retirement, thousands of employees were forced to take one-time lump sums worth a fraction of what they’d earned. Thousands more received no benefits at all. The Studebaker Corp. had been promising pension benefits to its employees, but in …

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 …

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 …

Should Older Workers Have to Pay More for Their Pensions?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the advice again and again: If you are close to retirement age, you should max out your contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans. But requiring older employees to contribute more than younger ones to a pension fund is another matter entirely, a federal appeals court in Baltimore held last week. “Certain older Baltimore County employees were forced to pay more for their pensions than younger co-workers,” David Lopez, the general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said …

Bogus Bank Calls Are Back

Don’t “bank” on the authenticity of phone calls or text messages that claim to be from your financial institution, warning that there’s a problem with your account, debit card or credit card. This old scam is back, with a new wave of these bogus bank alerts. In the past week, according to news reports, thousands of people have been targeted in at least five states – Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Missouri. But there could be many more. The scam works …