Retirement Roundup: A digest of news from publications around the nation about finance, investing, and retirement
Millennials may bear the brunt of bad press, but Gen X is arguably in worse financial shape. Insider recently teamed up with Morning Consult to survey 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for its new series, “The State of Our Money.” According to the survey, exactly half of Gen Xers, defined as ages 39 to 54 this year, don’t have a retirement savings account. That’s only slightly less than the 54 percent of millennial respondents who don’t have one, and it’s particularly concerning considering the three-decade span between the youngest millennials and oldest Gen Xers.
Discount prescription cards promote savings of up to 80 percent off prescriptions by simply waving a free plastic card (or your phone) in front of the cashier at the pharmacy. Completely separate from your health insurance, they are more like convenient online coupons for prescription medications. They are generally free and have no additional fees. But keep in mind that insurance and discount cards cannot be used at the same time for the same purchase. You can use one or the other, deciding which is better on a case-by-case basis.[Open Enrollment ends on November 7. Learn more about PERACare for Retirees – 2020 here.]
In-home care costs rising faster than any other long-term care setting | Home Health Care News
Home-based care is often lauded as an affordable — and preferable — alternative to skilled nursing care. But that characterization could be changing, as in-home care costs are skyrocketing to become more expensive than ever. That’s according to the latest annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey, which tracks the cost of various forms of long-term care nationwide, including home care, home health, adult day services, assisted living and skilled nursing.
The Social Security Administration will happily forecast your future monthly retirement check. Trouble is, it’s often off the mark. Understanding the sometimes-flawed assumptions underlying the estimate can help you make smarter decisions about when to claim your benefit. For people who worked at certain government agencies or were employed abroad and get pensions from jobs that didn’t pay into Social Security, the “windfall elimination provision” could reduce their Social Security checks significantly. Lawmakers intended the provision, and the related “government pension offset,” to keep people who didn’t pay much into Social Security from getting more than those who did. But the reductions aren’t always well publicized or explained, and can come as a shock to affected people who were counting on the amounts Social Security promised.
In the face of declining profits, General Electric (GE) recently announced that, to help reduce the company’s debts, it will freeze its pension plan for about 20,000 salaried employees and offer lump-sum payments to about 100,000 former employees who have not started receiving benefits. The offer to “un-annuitize,” or provide lump-sum payouts, is concerning to advocates for automatic annuitization of at least some portion of 401(k) balances. Retirees with ongoing monthly pension benefits are much more secure than those who have to decide how to allocate their retirement assets over an uncertain lifespan. With traditional pensions, retirees will not outlive their benefits and do not have to worry about the ups and downs of the stock market.