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, …

Recession Will Haunt Us Into Retirement

Older boomers, many at retirement’s doorstep, lost more than quarter of their net worth during the recession. Yet they may be the last demographic to retire with enough savings to live comfortably, according to a new study. Younger boomers (in their late 40s and 50s), and Gen-Xers (in their late 30s and early 40s) are on track to retire with skimpier savings. Consequently, they’re likely to face a pared-down lifestyle in retirement. Put another way, they’ll be the first two …

How Much Income Will Your 401(k) Provide?

You may be throwing money into your employer-sponsored retirement plan — let’s hope you are — but do you know how much estimated monthly income your plan will provide over your lifetime? Employers are required by law to provide an outline of what workers can expect to get in estimated monthly retirement income from their traditional pension plans. But that’s not the case for 401(k) and 403(b) plans. [Find out if you're saving enough for retirement with AARP's calculator]. Maybe …

Retirement Gamble: Wake-Up Call on 401(k) Fees

Worried about how you’re going to pay for retirement? Join the club. A PBS Frontline documentary called The Retirement Gamble shows that you’re in good company. The silver lining: a brighter spotlight on hidden fees, plus information to help make the most of whatever you can sock away. Kudos to journalist Martin Smith, who ‘fessed up to the common mistake of saving for his kids’ education at the expense of his own retirement security (more on why it’s okay – and …

Why the Chained CPI is Wrong for Social Security

Yesterday, the President included Social Security cuts in his budget through a proposal called the “chained CPI. Let’s take a minute and break down exactly what that means: The chained CPI would modify the way the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security is calculated, cutting benefits by $127 billion dollars over the next 10 years alone. That comes out to over $2000 in lost benefits for the average senior. Some have tried to defend this unprecedented inclusion of Social Security benefit …

Changing Jobs? Beware of Bad Information About 401(k) Options

About to change jobs? If you have a 401(k) account, you’re at risk of getting bad information when you ask the company managing your retirement plan about your options. Turns out that, in some cases, the people who give advice over the phone push departing workers toward rolling over their 401(k)s into a privately owned individual retirement account (IRA) that the investment company sells. What these plan providers also don’t disclose to workers are the fees associated with that move or other …