A digest of timely information and insight about finance, investing, and retirement.
4 ways you might be sabotaging your own retirement plan | Time-Money
Successfully preparing for retirement is hard enough, given today’s rapidly evolving economy. But several recent retirement surveys suggest that many of us are also making retirement planning more difficult through self-defeating behavior.
Plan on growing old? Then the Medicaid debate affects you | The New York Times
A majority of people who are lucky enough to grow old cannot and do not pay for themselves in old age. One in three people who reach age 65 end up in a nursing home at some point. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, among the people living in a nursing home today, 62 percent cannot pay the bill on their own. And when that happens, Medicaid pays. The very Medicaid program that stands to have hundreds of billions of dollars less to spend if anything like the health care bills on the table in Washington come to pass.
IRAs fall short of original goal | Squared Away Blog
Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs hold nearly 8 trillion dollars, or nearly half of all the value held in the U.S. retirement systems, which includes pension funds and 401(k)s. IRAs were created to offer individuals without retirement plans at work the opportunity to save for retirement through tax-deferred accounts. But IRAs “have drifted very far from their original intent” of helping those who need them most, research for the Center for Retirement Research conclude in a new study.
This is the most helpful thing you can do for your family before you die | Marketwatch
One of the most necessary tasks a person can do in his or her life is getting every personal record in a designated place. Bank and credit card account information, social media emails and passwords, doctor and lawyer contact information, former addresses and employment – might seem daunting, but it can help loved ones efficiently manage their duties, reach out to necessary people and save time in the midst of personal turmoil. And it can even make you more financially fit.
Ill-funded police pensions put cities in a bind | The Wall Street Journal
Police pensions are among the worst funded in the nation. Retirement systems for police and firefighters have just a median 71 cents for every dollar needed to cover future liabilities, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of cities of 30,000 or more. The combined shortfall in the plans, which are the responsibility of municipal governments, is more than $80 billion, nearly equal to New York City’s annual budget. And yet any attempt to bring police pensions into line with today’s municipal budgets and stock-market performance runs into the reality that many officers won’t stand for it – and they often have the public behind them.
Where did baby boomers go wrong? | Marketwatch
Retirement is right around the corner for many baby boomers – if they haven’t already entered it – yet many are unprepared. Those born between 1946 and 1964 expect they’ll need $658,000 in their defined contribution plans by the time they retire, but the average in those employer-sponsored plans is $263,000, according to a survey of 900 investors by financial services firm Legg Mason. Older boomers, who are 65 to 74, have an average of $300,000.
Americans across the country, and all age groups, are drastically under-saved for retirement. Only a third of Americans who have access to a 401(k) plan contribute to it, and previous research suggests the typical middle-aged American couple only has $5,000 saved for the future. There are a multitude of reasons people may not have enough for retirement. Still, not saving enough was the biggest regret among older Americans, according to a survey of 1,000 participants by personal finance site Bankrate.com.