Study Shows Americans Want and Need Financial Education

Jun 22, 2018 /

Recent Research from Raddon®, a Fiserv company, reveals that Americans are generally overconfident in their financial acumen and the vast majority have never attended a financial education program, although many think such a program would be extremely or very valuable.

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Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?

Jun 19, 2018 /

It’s taken as a given these days: The current state of affairs with respect to Social Security solvency and Americans’ retirement savings rates inevitably means that Americans will have to work longer, whether that’s to the Social Security Full Retirement Age, or to age 70, or even later. But’s it not that simple: Workers will need to be healthy enough to continue working, and they’ll need jobs available for them.

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Try Your Hand At Fixing Social Security

Jun 13, 2018 / 1 Comments

The release of the Social Security Trustees Report last week has led to dozens of articles from across the politcal spectrum. It’s clear that some sort of reform will be needed. But what kind? You can try your hand at Social Security reform with a game from the American Academy of Actuaries.

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2018 Trustees Reports Available

Jun 8, 2018 /
The big news this week was the release of the 2018 Trustees Reports for both Social Security and Medicare. Read more ...

Consider a Trial Run Before Relocating for Retirement

Jun 5, 2018 /

Many American workers dream of punching out for the final time, packing their suitcase, hopping on a plane and permanently relocating to a new city or even state in retirement. What those retirees probably don’t anticipate are the variables and unexpected costs that inevitably come with moving: housing costs, taxes, insurance and access to quality medical care. Then there are the intangibles: Does the community offer the amenities I’m looking for—a mix of interesting dining options, for example—and will I fit in politically, socially and culturally?

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Parents and Adult Children On Different Pages When it Comes to Money

May 31, 2018 /

Emotions sometimes make us say things we shouldn’t. But when it comes to the needs of aging parents, emotions often prevent both parties from speaking up. That silence can be costly, potentially leading to conflict and loss over legacies, money management, financial fraud, and other issues. Wells Fargo recently conducted a survey of older Americans and those old enough to be their children around feelings about financial issues. The results show that a lot more conversations need to happen.

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The Extinction of the Early Bird Special

May 29, 2018 /

Writer Jaya Saxena ventured into South Florida’s east coast a few years ago and decided to go “full old person” for the weekend. That included taking part in a beloved American tradition, the early bird dinner. But she found that baby boomers and the ailing middle class are killing the value meal mascot. The following is excerpted from her article “The Extinction of the Early Bird” on

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Autopsy of a Retirement Plan

May 25, 2018 /

As Eastern Connecticut State University professor James W. Russell approached age 65 after 37 years of university teaching, he took stock of what his retirement income would look like. The numbers were disappointing, to say the least. In the article “Autopsy of a Retirement Plan,” he examines his saving and investing practices over the years, to see what he could have done differently. What follows are some of the article’s highlights.

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Top 10 States With the Highest Average Social Security Benefit

May 22, 2018 /
Retirement benefits from Social Security aren’t all that high on a nominal basis. The program isn’t designed to make seniors rich. In fact, there’s a monthly maximum benefit of $2,788 at full retirement age in 2018. As of March 2018, SSA data shows that the average retirement benefit was $1,409.91 a month, or about $16,919 a year. Though this average benefit is above the federal poverty level for a single taxpayer of $12,140, it doesn’t exceed it by much. Read more ...

Overcoming Hurdles at the Social Security Office

May 18, 2018 / 2 Comments

Every month, 61 million Americans collect some sort of Social Security benefit. So the process to file for and receive benefits must run like a well-oiled machine, right? Not necessarily. While the majority of Social Security beneficiaries enjoy a relatively simple and painless process when they apply for benefits, not everyone is quite so lucky. For some beneficiaries, the path to receiving monthly benefits may be littered with unexpected hurdles, pitfalls, and snags.

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Half of Americans Fail a Simple Social Security Quiz

May 15, 2018 /

Almost half of adults ages 50 and above—47 percent—failed a simple 5-question Social Security quiz that mutual life insurance company MassMutual recently sent out in an online survey. But there's a silver lining in that those results are actually an improvement from a similar survey conducted three years ago. That 10-question quiz resulted in a failure rate for 72 percent of the general population and a 62 percent defeat for those ages 50 and up.

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The State of Retirement: Healthier, Wealthier, and Living Longer

May 11, 2018 /

According to a new report from United Income, current retirees are healthier, wealthier, and living longer than any previous generation. The report, called “The State of Retirees: How Longer Lives Have Changed Retirement,” used a wide range of data from other surveys concerning retirees’ health, finances, time use, politics, and geography.

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Advisors Need This New Approach to Aging Clients

May 8, 2018

There are more people alive today than ever before, and those individuals are living longer on average and demanding much more in their later years than any generation before them. Speaking at the 2018 Health and Wealth Leadership Forum, Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab, explained how these factors are going to fundamentally change the way advisors work with aging clients.

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Missing Accounts Cost Retirees Billions

May 4, 2018 /

It’s time to retire. So what exactly has become of that pension you earned decades ago and the 401(k)s you left with former employers? The answer may not be as straightforward as you think. Your former employer may have gone through a bankruptcy, merger or spin-off, making it tough to track down your retirement plan. Perhaps an employer transferred its pension liabilities to an insurance company, which now owes you an annuity—but the insurer has lost track of your contact information. And if you left a smaller 401(k) balance with a former employer years ago, it may have been transferred to an IRA without your knowledge or consent.

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New Survey Shows Pre-Retirees Are Ignorant About Social Security

May 1, 2018 /

Nearly two in three (63 percent) future retirees admit they are not confident in their knowledge of Social Security—and it shows. A quarter of U.S. adults (27 percent) in retirement say their Social Security payment is less than expected, and one in four (26 percent) future retirees believe they can live comfortably in retirement on Social Security alone.

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Retirees are Less Confident About Having Enough to Live On

Apr 27, 2018 /

The economy is strong and stocks are near record levels. But a long-running survey shows retirees’ confidence in having enough money to cover basic living expenses has dropped over the past year, due in part to concerns about medical expenses. Released Tuesday by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute, the survey shows that 80% of polled retirees are optimistic about their ability to afford basic expenses, down from 85% last year.

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Where Should I Retire? Questions to Ask Yourself

Apr 23, 2018 /

It’s one of the most basic questions people ask themselves when they start planning for retirement: Where am I going to live? It’s also one of the most crucial questions, and one that, surprisingly, many people don’t give a lot of thought to. Sure, they ask themselves some cursory questions—especially about the weather and affordability. But they rarely delve very deeply, even though making the right choice can offer a greater chance of having a more fulfilling life. With that in mind, here are nine questions people should ask themselves before they answer the big question about where.

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Don’t Forget About Taxes in Retirement

Apr 17, 2018 /

Are your clients aware of what retirement income will be taxed and what won’t be? Most people assume their tax bill will go down in retirement. But that’s a dangerous assumption to make.

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Retirement Surprises: What Retirees Wish They Had Known

Apr 13, 2018 / 1 Comments

Retirement isn’t exactly as expected for many, with surprises including a younger-than-expected retirement age and higher health care costs, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

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Medicare Policies for 2019: What You Need to Know

Apr 10, 2018 /

On April 2, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its finalized policies for health and drug plans in 2019. Its aims are to lower the cost of drugs for beneficiaries and to provide additional plan choices. Here are 5 takeaways from the policies, as analyzed by the American Journal of Managed Care.

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