Social Security will resume mailing paper statements for some workers

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Paper Social Security benefits statements, which used to be mailed out every year and then fell victim to budget cuts, are going to make a partial comeback. Starting this September, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will resume mailings at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to view their statements online, an agency […]

Long-term care: Why your location really matters

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Location, location location: Not only is it key to the value of real estate, it’s also a big driver of the cost of long-term care. A study of long-term care costs in the United States released this week shows that the cost of long-term services and support varies dramatically by location. For example, the national […]

Time to raise – or scrap – the Social Security payroll tax cap

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It’s Tax Day, and a small number of wealthy Americans will have something to celebrate: They’ll be done paying Social Security taxes for the year. The payroll tax that funds Social Security is levied only on a certain amount of income. This year it’s capped at $117,000. That means most wage earners will pay 6.2 […]

Considering retirement abroad? What you need to know

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Are you thinking of retiring abroad? It’s a growing trend: the number of retirees, spouses and widows receiving Social Security benefit payments outside the U.S. rose 26 percent to 542,451 between 2006 and 2012, according to the Social Security Administration. And that figure likely understates substantially the number of retirees living abroad, since many retirees […]

Out of work and under 65? Here’s how to retool your retirement plan

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We reached a milestone last week when the government reported that the U.S. economy has regained all the jobs lost during the Great Recession. Yet for many older workers the recession never ended; long-term joblessness has morphed into de facto premature retirement. Now, millions are performing financial triage on retirement plans that had been based […]

Getting a handle on health care in retirement

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Health care is one of the largest expenses most Americans will face in retirement – and it’s among the most difficult to predict. At the recent Morningstar Individual Investor Conference, I joined a panel discussion of strategies for meeting health-care funding needs using Medicare, Medigap, long-term care insurance health savings accounts – and the Affordable Care Act. […]

Surviving mid-life jolts, some people bounce back stronger than ever

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Midlife is prime time for unexpected life jolts. It’s the season for sudden job loss, divorce, the deaths of loved ones, and all manner of unexpected health issues, disasters, and near-misses. Hollywood may love a good story about the stereotypical life-changing “midlife crisis” brought on by the emotional turmoil of getting older, but research shows […]

It takes villages: Boomers’ alternative approach to retirement living

Beth Baker

Where do retired recreational vehicle enthusiasts go when they get too old to hit the road? Some are parking – permanently – at the Escapees Care Center, an adult day-care center in Livingston, Texas, where they can live in their RVs and pay monthly fees that cover whatever care they may need and commune with […]

Medicare reform redux: How Ryan’s new plan would squeeze seniors

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Imagine a Medicare reform plan that boosts your premiums 50 percent. If you like your doctor, you won’t be able to keep her. The wealthy will subsidize healthcare for poor seniors. An Obamacare takeover of Medicare? Nope. It’s the latest iteration of “premium support,” the plan for Medicare unveiled this week by U.S. Representative Paul […]

Corporate pension plans are healthier, but they’re still dying

Josh Gobtaum, director, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp.

This should be good news: At a time when worry about the retirement security of American workers is rising, traditional pension plans finished 2013 in their best shape last year since the financial crisis of 2008. Yet that may only be setting the table for more corporations to stop offering them. The funding deficit of […]