Stanford pushes the envelope for higher ed on midlife career change

Dr. Philip Pizzo,  founder of Stanford's Distinguished Careers Institute.

Is college wasted on the young? Dr. Philip Pizzo might not go that far, but he does hope to turn the world of higher education on its head by getting universities to focus on an older student body – much older than the typical twenty-something undergraduate. Pizzo, a pioneering oncologist and former dean of Stanford […]

Debunking the top 10 myths about Social Security

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Social Security is going bankrupt. It’s a Ponzi scheme. The program’s trust fund contains nothing but a bunch of worthless IOUs. Those are just a few of the comments we hear frequently from journalists, politicians, and policymakers about Social Security. But they’re all false–and that’s a big problem. Social Security is one of our most important […]

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Who would pay more if we lift the cap on payroll taxes?

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Progressives have been arguing for some time now that one of the best ways to close Social Security’s long-range funding gap would be to lift the cap on maximum wages subject to payroll taxes. This year, the cap is $118,500; there’s a basic fairness argument here, in that a wage-earner below that figure is taxed […]

Romney’s huge IRA makes a comeback in Obama retirement proposal

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It was a memorable moment in the 2012 presidential race. In their October 16 debate, Defending his blind trust investments, Gov. Romney said: ROMNEY: Just going to make a point. Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United […]

State plans for low-income retirement saving gain momentum

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss.

My home state of Illinois is not the first place that comes to mind for innovative approaches to retirement savings. We are much more infamous for our pension plan for state workers, which is the worst-funded in the country. But Illinois just became the first U.S. state to adopt a promising new approach to a […]

Why pension plan lump sums are a trap for the unwary

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If you work for a company with a pension plan, don’t be surprised if you get an offer soon for a lump sum buyout – a deal where you accept a pile of cash in exchange for the promise of lifetime income when you retire. The price tag for these offers is especially attractive right […]

Social Security to the max: Strategies for affluent households

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A friend who plans to retire soon asked me recently whether he should delay filing for Social Security. He’s reached full retirement age (66) but doubted it would make sense to wait longer–he’s been a high earner most of his career and assumed he had already “maxed out” his “full” benefit. Not so. Social Security’s […]

Defending Social Security should be next on Obama’s to-do list

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Since the midterm elections, President Obama has taken decisive action on immigration reform, climate change and relations with Cuba. Now, the new Republican-controlled Congress has handed him another opportunity to act boldly – by leaving a legacy as a strong defender of Social Security. House Republicans signaled this week that they are gearing up for […]

More on Silicon Valley’s workplace discrimination problems

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The New York Times weighed in this week on Silicon Valley’s monoculture with a feature article exploring gender discrimination written by Jodi Kantor and a Joe Nocera column on high technology’s ethnic and racial diversity problems and lack of real meritocracy.  I’ll just chime in by noting – again- that Silicon Valley also has an age discrimination problem. […]

Thinking of an IRA rollver? Think twice

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John Turner wondered if he should roll over his federal government retirement account into an individual retirement account. So he called 15 IRA providers to get some guidance. That may sound like overkill, but Turner wasn’t really contemplating a rollover. He was calling IRA providers to test the truthfulness and value of their advice on […]