$900 Million and Counting

Have you ever been hit with sticker shock when you open your utility bill? This winter, many Americans faced skyrocketing energy costs, with bills doubling and tripling in just a month. Meanwhile, some seniors on fixed incomes still have to make tough choices between paying their utility bill or buying other necessities like food and medication. That’s why AARP is fighting, in states across the country, for fair and reasonable utility rates. We’re off to a strong start in 2014, …

Fees Can Sap Over $100,000 From Your 401(k) Plan

Some 52 million Americans rely on their 401(k) savings plans as a key part of their retirement. Now, the Washington-based Center for American Progress says in a new study that high investment fees could cost the typical worker $100,000 or more over the course of a four-decade career. That may force some to stay on the job at least three years longer than they’d planned just to make up for that loss. Given the fact that many older workers are having a difficult …

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 …

There is Nothing ‘Fuzzy’ About Social Security Benefits’ Positive Impact on the Economy

The idea that Social Security benefit payments help support local and state economies and the national economy is obvious to all 57 million beneficiaries who spend their dollars at stores and to the merchants who sell them goods and services. But it is not obvious to many in Washington. In a town focused only on what Social Security payments mean for the federal budget, a new report by AARP’s Public Policy Institute highlights, in actual dollars and jobs, what Social …

Retirement Analyses May Send Chills Down Your Back

For those of you who are about to retire, brace yourself.  New research suggests this just may be the worst time in a generation to exit the workforce. Why?  The Employee Benefit Research Institute blames a prolonged period of low-interest rates, plus declining returns on investments, which can be particularly problematic at the start of retirement. So acute is the problem that one in four boomers retiring today – folks who under normal circumstances would have adequate retirement income – now risk running …

New Thinking about Budgeting for Your Second Adulthood

This is a guest post by Bart Astor. For years financial planners have been preaching that in your retirement years you should plan on spending about 70% of your current income. This number was based on a number of factors, including: You don’t need to continue to save for your retirement years You won’t be paying into Federal Insurance Contributions Act Tax (Social Security and Medicare) You won’t have commuting and work expenses Your house will be close to or already …