Saturday, October 31, 2009

Best Ways to Save for Retirement!

By Eric Gursky
If your a young college student like me and the rest of our class you are probably wondering what are the best ways to secure a safe future. In order to best prepare for your eventual retirement there are keys steps that need to taken which will ensure a smooth ride to the finish. Start early: You can't predict market downturns or what happens to Social Security. But you can control how much you save, and the sooner you start, the easier it is to build a rock-solid nest egg

Save regularly: Saving $4,000 might be a stretch if you're just getting on your feet. But putting away even small amounts now can make a difference.

Say you land a job making $45,000. You sign up to contribute 3 percent to the company 401(k) plan, or about $52 every other week. If you do just that for the next 40 years, you'd have about $400,000 as you near retirement

Don't Confuse Saving with Investing.

I am sure many of you are intent on saving for a house, a car, higher education or something else. By all means, continue saving, but don't invest your savings in stocks and stock mutual funds if you plan to make a large purchase within the next four to five years. Remember, investing will work wonders for you, if and only if, you put time on your side. Time periods of less than five years may not give you enough time to recover from a substantial market drop.

Though some of you have never experienced a sustained down market ( otherwise known as a "Bear Market"), let me assure you that they are not a thing of the past.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Retirement Readiness Falls on Housing Market

By: Eric Gursky

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Fewer U.S. households are prepared for retirement after the value of their homes and investment portfolios declined in the recession, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. said.

Fifty-one percent of Americans would be unable to maintain their standard of living if they retired at age 65, compared with 44 percent in 2007, the insurer said today in a statement, citing the National Retirement Risk Index it developed with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The estimate is “conservative” because it doesn’t include medical costs or long-term care, the insurer said.

“The real problem behind this is that so many households were dependant on their home values,” Paul Ballew, a senior vice president of customer insights and analytics at Nationwide, said in an interview. “Once home prices came back down to normal levels, we wake up one day and realize we don’t have adequate savings.”

Americans are facing a decline in the value of their homes and other assets at the same time the U.S. government is pushing back the age that retirees qualify for full Social Security benefits. The average 401(k) retirement savings account fell by almost one-third in 2008, and people aren’t saving enough to make up the difference, Ballew said.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is Working Through Retirement the New Trend?

By: Eric Gursky
When people think of retirement they imagine the days playing golf and sipping on an umbrella drink somewhere warm. That society norm was 10 years ago, now that our economy has rapidly changed and people's 401k futures are less secure we are seeing an increasing number of 65+ workers still playing a major role in the workforce.
In fact, Marc Freedman, author of Prime Time, describes how the baby boomers will transform how society views retirement -- bringing about a new image of aging, retirement, and the role of older Americans in our society. He cites statistics that show that in just a few years the number of folks over age 50 will surpass a quarter of the U.S. population. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that baby boomers are reaching the age of 60 at the rate of one every seven seconds. Many of these folks will be searching for something beyond a leisurely retirement. Whether you work after age 65 will depend on many factors -- whether you have a defined-benefit plan or retiree health insurance, whether you are in good health, whether you can find work. But make no mistake about it: Some of you will work past age 65 and earned income will play a significant role in your finances. Of course, this new reality is often a function of need, particularly with the recent downturn, Freedman said. "But social norms are fast changing," he said. "Many folks simply want to continue to go to work to engage with other people. It makes them happier and gives them a greater sense of purpose." After all, earning a paycheck in your latter years can make a huge difference in retirement living standards. Pocketing even a slim income often allows retirement portfolios to compound over a longer period of time.

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Best Countries for Retirement

By: Eric Gursky
If you could move to any country of your choice to retire with the most secure pension benefits, which would you pick? By and large, experts who study pension systems say no country is a retirement Shangri-La, though certainly some places do better than others in providing for retirees' financial security.

"I am having a hard time dredging up a country where things are copacetic," said Olivia S. Mitchell, a professor and director of the Boettner Center for Pensions and Retirement Research at The Wharton School. "Everyone pretty much has been hit by the global financial crisis and virtually everyone is confronting the aging revolution."

Others agreed. "We always regard this as a dreaded question: Which country has the best pension system?" said Edward Whitehouse of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which this summer published a definitive examination of pensions in 30 developed countries.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Singers Never Retire

Posted By Shawn Gao

Many people plan to make their retirement in their golden year; however; some of people may not want to retire. These people are singers who are enjoying making their music. Even though these people are making millions of money for one year, they don't even think how they will do after they retire. The most famous rap singer- Jay- Z announced that he would never retire. Also, some of singers, like Tom Jones, said no to retirement. Why are singers so different from residents? Why don't they want to have early retirement?
Singers like Tom Jones who are nearly 70 years old, are enjoying their musical journeys, and have no plans to make. Tom Jones said that the older he gets, he enjoys what he has done and what's happened through his career. Most of singers have the same ideas as Tom Jones has. When they get elder and elder, they want to keep making more music as they could. Also, they do not want to make their fans sad.
Some singers, like country singer Garth Brooks, has announced he is ending his semi- retirement and signed up for an extended run of dates in Las Vegas. Many singers retire in their middle career, and return to the platforms later on.
For those fans, they are lucky enough to follow their never ever retired singers.

Work Keeps You Healthy In Retirement

Posted by Shawn Gao

A new study informs it is better to continue to work after retiring, as it helps in having fewer diseases and fewer functional limitations than those who quit work completely.

The study published in the October issue of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology shows, a part-time job or self-employment or ‘bridge employment’ is generally good for health after retiring officially.
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Friday, October 16, 2009

When Early Retirement Is The Only Option

By Quang Nguyen

Many people have their life plan mapped out since they are in their 20s. People like artist Richard Freund knew that he would work until he was 70 years old while his wife, a psychotherapist planned to work until she turned 62. They planned how their retirement was going to be with all of their investments and work benefits. And then came the recession. People just simply can't find work. For the more educated and wealthier group of people, things might come easy as they have the resources to work out a deal somehow, but for the majority of the labor market, things do not look too well. For many of them, retirement is the only option. It is a terrible situation to be in, but there is nothing they can do about it.

People are feeling scared. This is the first time since the great depression that put people into this situation. Some might try to find another job and get back to work. Most economists would suggest people to try to find another job to get that extra income that they don't have. Some are thinking of getting their social security benefits. However, they must work at least 10 years in order to qualify for the benefits. One good thing about the social security system is that they adjust the money amount into today dollar. For example, if you earn $5,000 in 1967, it will be $39,000 today.

The government is also doing its best to improve the situation. In October, President Obama called for Congress to approve $250 payment to as much as 50 millions seniors to make up for the fact that Social Security will not increase next year. The White House estimated that the cost to this plan will be $13 billion. Although $250 might not be that much, it would really help those who are in trouble. Although the result of this program is not yet to know, it sure would calm people down and support them through this difficult time.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is the Recession Helping Us Live Longer?

posted by Jameel Murray

Last week I posted an article discussing the effects of the recession, which are forcing citizens to work through retirement. Because employees do not have the proper savings to retire due to the recession, many are forced to work past the retirement age minimum. Even though it may sound a bit difficult, it may actually be a great thing for most. Recent studies have shown that those who work temporary or part time jobs after the retirement age are physically and mentally healthier than those that are fully retired. Researchers interviewed an estimated amount of 12,200 people every two years over a six-year period. This may not seem surprising for most but can we actually give credit to a grueling recession for keeping our citizens healthy?
Retirees who continue to work past the retirement age function better daily and suffer 17 percent fewer diseases than those who actually retire. Studies have also discovered that those who do tend to fully retire often die sooner. According to Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational psychologists at the University of Lancaster, if one’s mental wellbeing is depleted it will affect you physically. In conclusion, the recession has condensed our wealth, however it has proven to complement our health.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Retirement: When time IS an issue

By Jonathan Tse

It is very important to start saving up for retirement early on in one's life because unexpected things can happen later on, so one must be prepared to have enough money to last until long after retirement. For those who started later, there are still ways to live comfortably and not have to save massive amounts of money in the last few years of work.
In this type of situation, one must continue to invest no matter what the amount. Also, the investment should contain a good mix of something like 50% stocks, 40% bonds and 10% cash. One should not only rely on stocks because it is very risky to only rely on stocks, so bonds should also take up a big part of one's portfolio. Even though stocks are not earning as much as they did, having a diverse portfolio of stocks and holding them for a longer time will still give one decent profits in any type of economic situation. Holding too much of only one company's stock would be risky no matter how well a company is doing because of the uncertainties of business, so diversification helps reduce these risks. Some other things that can be done is to max out one's 401(k) and to take advantage of the $5000 provision for people over the age of 50. Try to find more ways to get the most out of investments and savings by finding and switching over to ones with the most interest rates and lower fees.
It pays to start early and save as much as one can when one has the ability to earn more.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The right way to unretire

Posted by Quang Nguyen

Tom Wogan loves working with his hands, especially building fishing rods and restoring World War II Army knives. So when he retired in June 2006 at age 60 from his $110,000-a-year job as a shift manager at the Florida City nuclear power plant near his home in Palmetto Bay, Fla., he looked forward to spending carefree days puttering around his garage working on his hobbies. With a retirement portfolio worth $1.1 million, Wogan thought he was all set.

Then the bottom fell out of the stock market. Wogan's cool million plummeted 36% in a matter of months; since then, as he's tapped savings to meet living expenses, his portfolio has dropped further and is now worth just $630,000. That's hardly enough to last Wogan and his wife, Pamela, 55, into ripe old age -- especially since her job as a graphic designer pays only $32,000 a year and the Wogans still pay a mortgage and aren't done with college tuition for three of their four children yet.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Millionaires in the making: The Rodrigueses

posted by Jonathan Tse

Only 27 years old, prodigious savers Gina and John Rodrigues are determined to retire with a million-dollar nest egg by the time they turn 40. Here's the odd part: They just might make it.

(Money Magazine) -- John and Gina Rodrigues have always been good with numbers. John is a software engineer who manages a team at Microsoft, and Gina spent years processing mortgages at Wells Fargo and Countrywide Home Loans. But the numbers they are especially good at are the kind with dollar signs in front of them.

At age 27, John and Gina already earn a combined $174,000 a year, save half of what they make and have built a formidable portfolio of $380,000 in stocks, mutual funds and cash. Their goal: to become millionaires and retire by the time they turn 40, just 13 years from now.

To make that dream a reality, they have become black-belt practitioners of an art rarely practiced in America these days: While others with their earning power might indulge in fancy dinners, luxury vacations and designer wardrobes, the Rodrigueses live like young couples did before the era of easy credit. They rent the house where John grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area for a mere $650 a month; rarely travel; split an entrée on the rare occasions they eat out; and spend almost nothing on clothes (John wears free Microsoft T-shirts, while Gina gets hand-me-downs from her sister).

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Gulf Between Rich And Poor Seniors Could Widen

by Ashlea Ebeling
posted by Jameel Murray

The current downturn will likely sharpen the financial gulf between the most affluent, best-educated retirees and the poorest ones. That, at least, is the conclusion suggested by new data from the Social Security Administration and a new study by Phillip Levine, chair of the Department of Economics at Wellesley College.

For all their bellyaching about declines in the value of their 401(k)s, the best-educated older workers, whose skills are most in demand, usually have a way to make up for their losses: work longer. The less educated, particularly during a recession, often do not have that luxury and end up forced into an early retirement.

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During Retirement, You Can’t Afford to Coast

Posted by Alma Zhumagulova
Published: October 10, 2009

FOR those of us who, thanks to the market’s recent climb, are now feeling slightly better when we look at our retirement accounts, Daniel R. Solin offers this splash of cold water in the face:
Skip to next paragraph

“How you invest during retirement is as critical as how you invest in preparing for retirement.”

And he contends in “The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read” (Perigee, $21.95) that we are not prepared for that second phase of our investing lives.

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How to have you dream retirement come true!

By Alma Zhumagulova

In this current situation almost everyone is worse-off: recent graduates, who can’t find job, middle-aged people being laid-off, even the older generation that cannot leave their jobs and retire as planned.
In order to learn from the older generation’s mistakes, you should start saving for retirement as early as you can and save regularly. The dollar that you did not save in your 20s becomes $8 you have to save if you start saving in 50s. When you are just starting to acquire the basic fixed assets such as home, car, or are paying of student loans, it is fine to save only 3% of income, but as time goes on you should progressively increase the share of income you are putting aside to about 10-12% which is the optimal desirable amount.
If, however, you procrastinate saving early, it is not too late to start saving 15 years before your retirement. At this moment you should establish a financial plan for saving and retiring, gradually get rid of any debts, and try to pay off your mortgage. According to CNNMoney, one should aim for 80% of their income before taxes for heir retirement income to maintain the same level of life. Everyone is unique and everyone has their own “dream” retirement vision, so adjust your savings not only according to your income but also to your desired lifestyle after retirement. Always have a cushion, i.e. save more than average for your income level, just to be on the safe side.
When you are very close to your retirement, try to use up your benefits provided by your employer and take the vacation days you haven’t taken either as cash or a nice break. Decide on how you will withdraw your savings, sign up for Social Security and Medicare and then start enjoying your retirement.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

It is not late to start your retirement planning

posted by Shawn Gao

When people are fifty or more years old, they are wondering whether they start their retirement saving too late.
One recent research by HSBC shows that only 13 percent of people around the world have already prepared for their retirement saving, and another 43 percent of people have undertaken some planning without clear mind of how much income they have from the plans.
Depending on the current situations, elder people have to deposit more than teenagers and adults. Since elder people have already passed their golden years of working, they need to consider more about their saving plans.
However, during the downturn economy years, financial advisors offer some special retirement plans for those elder people who didn't start their retirement savings early. It is fair that elder people need to expand their working years with enough saving s for another 15 years. Financial advisors suggest that elder people could be in self- employment or part- time in order to increase their income and expand working years. To build enough wealth to support their rest of lives need to set more time and meaningful amount of money.

Retirement planning for late starters

Posted by Shawn Gao

If you're in your 50s and haven't set aside money for your retirement, you may have a big problem.
If you're in your 50s and haven't set aside money for your retirement, you may have a big problem. But you're not alone. Across all age groups, only a few people have actually prepared for their golden years.
According to a study by HSBC, just about 13 per cent of people around the world feel they are very well prepared to cope with their retirement. Although 43 per cent have undertaken some planning, they lack a clear sense of what their retirement income will be like.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Retire in Style

By Quang Nguyen

During this economics downturn, many people are struggling just to live by. It's easy to read on the news that many people are considering working after retirement. However, there are a number of people are living it up and enjoying the best that retirement brings. These people are the one who save through their working years after years. It is estimated that in order to have a good time during retirement, you should save as much as 80% of your salary. And that is just for people who make under $100,000 a year. For others, who made around $250,000, they save as much as 88% of their salary toward retirement. The advice is that give yourself some cushion for the golden ages.

The average age for retirement is 65. However, many executives, professionals, and business owners retire at 60 or earlier. Some people who work for large organizations even get a better deal to retire in their mid-50s when the companies are looking for ways to downsizing. When you retire at age 65, the only benefit you get is the full benefit from Social Security, which is around $1,200 a month. For people who have saved and invested for their retirement, this money is sure nothing compare to many years in their early retirement.

So what options do you have when you get into the old people's world with money in your pocket? Well there is the continuing-care retirement community that you can check in. This amazing place offers gourmet restaurants, infinity pools, gyms, spas and concierges. Some even have cinema and putting green. The greatest luxury of it is health care for life. There are currently 1,800 continuing-care retirement community in the country, and right now is the best time to get into one. For the past couple years, applicants have to be on a long waiting list and some never actually get in. What is the cost you might ask. Well there is an up-front cost that ranges from $20,000 to $1 million, and it averages out to be $250,000. And this is just for getting in. Once you in, there's a monthly cost of around $2,750. You can also pay around $7,000 to $8,000 a month for the skilled nursing care. So assuming a person is going to live 15 years at the community, and spends around $2,000 for the monthly fee, it will be $360,000 plus the entrance fee. How can people afford this you might ask. Most sell their house for the entrance fee, and their saving for retirement works perfectly fine with the monthly fee.


Recent findings show that many Americans are planning to work past retirement

By Jameel Murray

When it comes to financial planning, retirement can be a scary thing to think about for most people. Given that most citizens are not familiar with their own retirement planning, retirement is becoming a problem for many employees. According to a recent study conducted by Bankrate, more Americans are planning to work past retirement. While 39 percent of citizens are planning to work past retirement because they simply enjoy working, 55 percent of retirees worry that they have not saved enough and would be required to work in order to have a substantial living situation. Because of the recent economic turmoil, 40 percent of Americans are planning to postpone their retirement. Other percentages display that 40 percent of Americans are solely investing for retirement while 27 percent receive aid from a financial adviser.
Even though the financial crisis has altered the retirement plans of many Americans, studies have also discovered that the majority of workers worried about their retirement plans are those with a high school education or less. These recent findings have outnumbered historical statistics and therefore provide us an example of the importance of financial planning. It is required that employees get some source of aid or advisory when making their retirement planning decisions.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Roth IRA, the savior of retirement funds?

by Jonathan Tse

Traditionally, the Roth IRA accounts were only open to people with incomes of less than $100,000. But beginning January 1, 2010, people with incomes greater than $100,000 can transfer their assets to Roth accounts. Unlike most other IRAs, the money grows tax free and there is no tax on withdrawals after the age of 59.5. The only problem is that no one knows about these benefits of the Roth, so there are very few people who would know to take advantage of this. Many employers are now trying to promote this to improve on their own offered retirement packages. Normally, in the IRA system, money placed in its account will grow tax free, but withdrawals made will be taxable.

For younger people who want to start saving up for retirement, Ross is very useful when used in conjunction with a pre-tax 401(k)plan so that they will have access to both a taxable and tax-free source of retirement funds. For younger people, since they are usually starting off in low income bracket, Ross benefits them greatly.

Many people are contemplating transferring the money in their 401(k)s directly to Ross accounts, but professionals warn that there are dangers to this. A danger is that the transfer may lead to IRA accounts being dropped. One would receive a tax bill with more value at the time of conversion, but may also later end up with an account that is worth significantly less. Although there are dangers to doing this, the benefits would mostly outweigh the dangers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Now's the time to apply online for retirement

by Chuck Stovall
posted by Jameel Murray

If you’re planning on retiring sometime early in the new year, now is the time to apply for retirement benefits. The most convenient way to apply for Social Security benefits is online—from the comfort of your home or office. Just go to

Our website will walk you through the online retirement application process. We will tell you what information you will need to answer the questions on the application. Further, we will describe the documents you might need to present once you have submitted your application.

Before you start your application, we recommend you get an estimate of your retirement benefit. This too, you can do on the Social Security website at The Retirement Estimator uses your personal employment history to estimate your retirement benefit. It also will help you to answer some of the questions on the retirement application.

You can use the online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouses benefits if you:

Are at least 61 years and nine months old;
Want to start your benefits in the next four months; and
Live in the United States.
You will want to be fully informed of your options and their consequences before applying. The website will tell you everything you need to know about the Social Security “basics” so you’ll be ready to retire when you apply online.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

When the golden years include a commute

Posted by Quang Nguyen

At an age when many people start envisioning retirement, John Hanna was thinking about how he could keep on working.

“I didn’t want to retire,” he recalls.

Hanna, who is now 83, held on to his full-time job as an insurance broker until finally retiring at age 72. But without work, the Lititz, Pa., resident soon found that he was bored and restless.

nd so, about a year later, Hanna went back to work as a notary for a car auction company. He continues to work two days a week and has no intention of giving it up.

“I see what happens to guys that retire and just sit around,” Hanna said. “You know, we turn to mush.”

A combination of good health, economic necessity and the other rewards of work are pushing some Americans to stay in the work force long past traditional retirement age. About 7 percent of people age 75 or older were in the labor force as of June, up from about 5 percent a decade ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to more than 1.1 million people working past age 74, up from 750,000 a decade ago.

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Time to move the nest egg?

Changes in Roth IRA rules next year could benefit your retirement fund
Brian J. O'Connor / Detroit News Finance Editor
Posted by Jonathan Tse

Having money means having choices, and soon the two or three people left in the U.S. with any kind of sizeable income will have to make one: whether to convert their IRAs.
Starting in 2010, high-income savers can convert their regular Individual Retirement Accounts to Roth IRAs. This allows them to pay taxes on the accounts now and forever escape taxes on future investment gains.
The timing couldn't be better for anyone who's seen their IRA balance drop in the market meltdown, since many personal finance experts expect tax rates to go up in the next few years. Converting a regular IRA to a Roth now allows savers to trim their tax bills two ways: They pay taxes on their temporarily lower balances now and do it at the current lower tax rates, instead of paying higher tax rates on bigger balances later, when their accounts have (we hope) regained their losses.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tips for young investors who hope to retire some day

By Alma Zhumagulova

If you've ever calculated how much you'll need for retirement, you know the number can be big.

So it's no surprise that with stocks still down some 30 percent from their peak in 2007, few people are confident about their savings.

Even Social Security is feeling the strain: With more people out of work, the program is on track to pay out more in benefits than it collects in 2010 and 2011, according to reports last week.

What's a young investor to do?

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Employees are getting early retirement

Posted by Shawn Gao

Since GE went bankruptcy, there have been many blue collars brought their package back to their home. Things did not just happen recently. The previous, many blue collars went to street and strike on the bankruptcy of GE.
Till now, things didn't go so well. Still, many companies were announcing cut down employees in order to help themselves getting out the recession. It is true that cutting numbers of employees will reduce cost of one company; however; how about the people who just got their” early retirements”? Actually, people are still respecting what US government could make. After many polices came out, the way of living during the recession was not better. Even if some developed counties announced the economy is getting better. Many people didn't find the way to get their jobs again. So far, job markets doesn't seem as it pass the recession time. Not only those blue collars, but also the graduated students will get their early retirements. What else will the governments do for future years? The question has many answers, but people need their jobs back. It is the way to figure out their debts.

Ways to prepare early for your retirement

posted by Shawn Gao

You can buy a "Retirement Countdown Clock" online for about $30. You program the kitschy timepiece to count down the number of days, minutes and seconds until your desired retirement date.
It's cute, but to be truly useful it needs an additional feature: an alarm that goes off periodically to signal you that it's time to take care of pre-retirement business.
Until someone invents a clock that helps you with your actual planning, you can use Consumer Reports Money Adviser's timetable to keep your retirement plans on track.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Social Security During This Big Wave of Retirement

By Quang Nguyen

The current economic downturn has forced many Americans to lose their jobs. With big job losses and early retirement from laid-off seniors making it difficult for the Social Security to pay out benefits. It is expected that for the next two years, the Social Security will have to pay out more benefits than it collects in taxes. The deficits will be $10 Billions in 2010 and $9 Billions in 2011. Even though it will not affect the payments to retirees since the surpluses of Social Security is $2.5 Trillions from previous years, it will add to the overall federal deficit. According to the Social Security, the application for retirement benefits are as much as 23% higher than last year, and claims for disability also increased to 20% higher.

Furthermore, the high number of baby-boomers getting to their retirement plus the number of other unemployed people chosen to retire early have added up to a 19% jump in 2009. There are approximately 2.6 million people entering to the Social Security benefits this year in comparison to 2.2 people in 2008. Just during last August, the government has paid out $6 Billion in benefits more than it took in taxes.

Social Security officers commented that they have already had prediction on the high number of retirees due to the great number of baby-boomers, however they did not think it would be this high. The people who retire early have to cut out a big portion of their benefits. Many of whom do not have a choice since they lose their jobs and could not afford to raise a family. Some people tried to find another job but the current economy does not guarantee it.


Recession Gets in Way of Retirement Planning

by Jameel Murray

The recent economic downturn has affected our living. Because of the recent recession, Americans are seemingly more responsible with their money. Since the recession, people’s savings have drastically increased, fearing the idea that the recession is not going to end anytime soon. Even though people are starting to save more, the investment in retirement has been somewhat stalled. According to the 2009 Benefits and Talents survey, 87% of respondents have stated that they are delaying retirement plans, due to the economic conditions. Employers have also taken the same attitude toward their retirement planning programs, but due to the high cost of company required contributions, companies are not changing their pension, benefit programs anytime soon.
Although stalling retirement planning may seem like a bad thing for employees, studies have shown that most of these employees have little or no knowledge of the amount of money needed to retire. Many believe that retirement would eventually become a challenge for many Americans in the future because very few employees know how much to save for retirement.

Baby boomers in their retirement

By Alma Zhumagulova

Currently there are around 77 million baby boomers that are at or near their retirement age. The 401(k) retirement plan along with the two financial crises in the 2000s is going to turn their retirement planning into a nightmare. Thousands of savers lost huge parts of their savings in the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2000 and the current recession. According to Associated Press about 20% of their retirement savings were lost in the crisis, and even though they were restored to some extent, they were still 2.6% lower than in the previous year. Additionally, many of the baby boomers have not been saving enough throughout their careers. This is causing the baby boomers to continually postpone their retirement and to give up on their “dream” retirement: travelling, buying a second home etc. In order to maintain the lifestyle they were used to after they stop working many elderly people are forced to work longer than they expected. In 2008 around 25% of Americans in the age bracket of 65 to 74 were employed, and at this moment, around 9% of Americans between the ages 75 to 84 are still working.

Around 66 million workers in the US are currently covered by a 401(k) retirement plan which was not even initially designed as pension plan but instead as “a tax shelter for end-of-the-year bonuses for bankers”. Many experts now argue that the 401(k) plan is very difficult to arrange even for professionals let alone the baby boomers that were used to the old defined-benefit pension plan. They don’t know how much they will need after retirement, how much to put aside, and what to invest in. In order to prevent these retirement problems for the future generations of Americans it is necessary to either alter the retirement planning system or to teach them how to save so as to have the dream retirement they deserve.

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