Retirement Roundup: A digest of timely information and insight about finance, investing, and retirement.
Americans get one thing right when it comes to retirement saving: They would like Warren Buffett to be their personal advisor. That shows they are paying attention to personal finance on one level, but they show a lot of gaps otherwise. Discouraging findings released in a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Age Wave show that, in general, Americans have no idea how much they need to save before quitting work; they want to live a long life in retirement but are financially ready only for a short one; and they know they should save more but don’t.
Like surprises? Retirement – for better and worse – will change your life more than you anticipate. That’s the consensus of those who should know best: retirees themselves. As part of a discussion about changes in later life, the Wall Street Journal asked readers for help: What has surprised you in retirement? What did the experts neglect to mention? What would you tell would-be retirees to watch for?
The answer, in short: almost everything. The surprises ran the gamut, from the wonderful to the devastating. Many readers were surprised that their savings are holding up fine, although several said that household expenses – and Medicare premiums in particular – have been steeper than they anticipated.
A study, Required Retirement Savings Rates Today, from researchers at Morningstar Investment Management, The American College and McLean Asset Management, indicates that those saving for retirement will need to increase dramatically the percent they save for retirement if they want to fund their desired standard of living in retirement.
Consider: Americans presently save on average 5.5 percent and 401(k) plan participants deferred, on average, 6.8 percent of their salaries into retirement plans in 2015. But those savings rates are far below what’s needed to fund retirement given today’s markets. The researchers showed that a 35-year-old couple with household income of $50,000 would need to save pre-tax about 11.1 percent to 13.1 percent to maintain their standard of living.
Preparing your 2016 tax return may feel a lot like filing last year’s did, because there are very few changes in the new rules. But you’re completing this annual chore against a backdrop of uncertainty, as President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans contemplate a sweeping overhaul of U.S. tax laws.
How to proceed? Keep an eye on the doings in Washington, of course. But as you prepare for the tax deadline, focus first on what you can do today to trim your tax bill for 2016. They key is to home in on the special breaks for people in your particular situation – whether you are, say, building a nest egg or paying for college or celebrating a joyous event like a marriage or birth.
The arc of women’s lives is changing – reaching higher levels when they’re younger and stretching out much longer – according to two new analyses of census, earnings and retirement data that provide the most comprehensive look yet at women’s career paths. Most striking, women have become significantly more likely to work into their 60s and even 70s, often full time. And many of these women report that they do it because they enjoy it.
Most baby boomers can receive the full amount of Social Security they have earned at age 66. However, retirees who will turn 62 in 2017 need to wait an extra two months to collect their full Social Security payments. Starting this year, the retirement age begins a gradual increase toward 67.