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Retirement Roundup: Why retirement is a flawed concept

Couple With Financial Advisor At Sofa

A digest of timely information and insight about finance, investing, and retirement.

Why retirement is a flawed concept | Harvard Business Review

Every day there’s another article about how all of our retirements are doomed. The entire concept of retirement is starting to feel flimsy at best – it’s a Western invention from days gone by that’s based on broken assumptions that we want – and can afford – to do nothing. But we don’t actually want to retire and do nothing. We just want to do something we love.

GAO questions DOL retirement income advice | Forbes

How much income will you need in retirement compared to what you’re earning now? Though typical recommended replacement rates ranged from 70 to 85 percent of income in 52 articles and reports reviewed by the Government Accountability Office, recommendations ranged anywhere from 43 to 476 percent. The GAO looked at the issue because the Department of Labor is supposed to help Americans estimate their retirement savings needs. GAO recommendations that the DOL plans to meet by June 2017 include providing additional examples that affect income needs in retirement and a way to adjust rates.

How to get better returns on savings | The New York Times

Savers were encouraged last year when the Federal Reserve began raising rates. But interest paid on the lowest-risk federally insured accounts remains lackluster. Consumers willing to jump through some hoops, however, can get much better returns on their savings.

The gig economy is powered by old people | Bloomberg View

After barely changing between 1995 and 2005, the share of U.S. workers in alternative work arrangements jumped from 10.1 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent in 2015. Economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger argue that all the net employment growth in the U.S. economy over the past ten years appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.

The share of older (ages 55 to 75) and better-educated workers in alternative work arrangements has continued to rise at a pace faster than the rest of the workforce. This may mean that the growth of the gig economy is being driven not so much by struggling millennials lining up gigs online as by 60-year-olds working as independent contractors. What’s not clear is whether they’re doing this because they’re semi retired and value freedom and flexibility, or because they’ve been downsized out of a full-time, full-benefit job.

Shopping for Health Care: A Fledgling Craft | The New York Times

 Health care operates very differently from anything else we buy. Shopping today, we have endless information. Except in health care. We have very little information about quality and almost none about price. And we find out the cost afterward. This is a problem for patients with high deductibles, and it’s a huge problem for the country.

(Read how PERACare Select provides cost predictability and high quality care for hip and knee replacements to some PERACare participants.)

Keeping drug costs down in retirement | CNBC

Health-care expenses for a couple at age 65 will range between $275,000 and $295,000 – and they’ll spend anywhere from $13,000 to $15,000 out of pocket for prescription medication. But from shopping online at internet pharmacies to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there may be ways to keep those drug costs down.

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