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 …

Retirement Crisis: Are We There Yet?

It seems like you can’t open up a newspaper (or twitter feed) without reading about the impending “retirement crisis.  The word crisis, used to describe so many things, may get the public’s attention, but is it accurate?   Many retirees today struggle to make ends meet and others face dire situations triggered by job loss or unexpected health expenses.  But the prospect of a broader retirement crisis depends on your frame of reference. Because of the protections Social Security provides, …

Ronald Reagan’s 9 Wisest Words About Social Security

The following is a guest post by David Certner, AARP legislative policy director. The last time we made significant changes to Social Security — including adjustments to benefits — was the 1983 Social Security amendments. At the time, Social Security had less than a year’s worth of solvency, and a bipartisan agreement to put Social Security on sound financial footing was essential. That legislation, negotiated by President Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, focused on what was needed protect …

Why Inflation Matters for Social Security

One of Social Security’s great strengths is that it offers meaningful protection against inflation. Each year, the program considers how prices are rising [as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers]. If prices go up, the Social Security benefits people have earned tend to be adjusted as well. For a typical household, this protection is huge – a point I tried to emphasize in my book, “Social Security for Dummies. It helps people keep …

Digging Deeper on Changes to the Social Security COLA

No one with any common sense wants to see our politicians take us over the fiscal cliff. And I think most people with common sense also realize that Social Security, and the tougher issue of Medicare, are worth thoughtful debate and discussion so these vital programs can be put on stronger footing for future generations. However, when budget cutters take aim at today’s Social Security recipients, it’s time to ask questions and dig deeper into the fine print. A proposal …

Rambling Retirees Buck Aging-in-Place Trend

“You get to fall asleep with the rocking of the waves and the wind, and with the Internet, you can home-office from just about anywhere,” says Ian Morton, an American semi-retiree who spends half the year on a houseboat outside Montreal, Canada. Morton, 51, one of several “rambling retirees” profiled by Reuters in a piece on boomers who are bucking the “aging in place” trend. Though exact stats are hard to come by, evidence points to a growing number of grown-ups trading houses and retirement communities for houseboats, RVs and strangers’ sofas.