The Democratic Platform: A Guide-at-a-Glance for 50+ Voters

Delegates at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., went on record today as committed to keeping the “promise” of Social Security and Medicare for older Americans. But their 2012 platform is short on details of their own plans to maintain the financial strength of both programs. The Democratic Party’s 40-page platform, released last night, touches on the major issues of importance to older Americans. Here are highlights (also read the Election 2012 guide to the GOP platform): Medicare …

The GOP Platform: A Guide-at-a-Glance for 50+ Voters

The voice vote is in, and Republicans have an official party message: overhaul Medicare and Social Security and make some tough-love changes in both public pensions and private pensions, which are backed by the U.S. government. The politically loaded word “privatize” appears nowhere. Some of the calls for action in the GOP’s 62-page party platform, approved today, have broad implications for older Americans. Here are highlights (also read the Election 2012 guide to the Democratic platform): Medicare Move to a …

Income For Near Retirees Fell More Than Any Other Group

Many of us edging closer to retirement have taken yet another hit to our retirement security. A new report says boomer households (ages 55 to 64) are earning nearly 10 percent less than they did three years ago, when the economic recovery officially began. What’s more, no other age group has suffered financially as much as this one. Just when we most need our salaries to remain strong, at the end of our work lives, the report shows that median …

Hispanic 50+ Voters: We Need more Information on Future of Social Security and Medicare

At AARP, we look at life after 50 as an exciting opportunity to enjoy a second youth. Retirement itself should then be seen as a hopeful journey rather than stepping into the unknown. Unfortunately, a new series of surveys commissioned by AARP shows that a key group of Hispanic voters 50+ are looking at the coming November election with a high level of preoccupation. This seems to be driven by economic anxieties that extend well beyond the single issue of …

Older Voters Blame Washington Gridlock for Economic Woes

Boomers are so disgusted with our stubborn political leaders that they blame them more often than they blame the economy  for their own precarious personal finances. I was amazed to learn from a new AARP survey that 78 percent of people aged 50-plus feel that Washington gridlock has harmed their money situation compared with 77 percent who cited the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The prolonged political stalemate, and growing concerns over retirement security, drove up an “Anxiety Index” that …

Social Security: Bad Deal or Critical Retirement Security?

The AP reported a so-called “historic shift” yesterday. According to one analysis, some of today’s retirees will have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. So is Social Security a bad deal? No way! Just looking at a few examples misses the bigger picture. When you put money into Social Security, you’re buying inflation-protected, guaranteed lifetime income that is not subject to market risk. That’s not something you can get …