Medicare doc fix: something for everyone to dislike, but a needed reform

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Congress is headed toward a bipartisan solution to the long-standing threat of sharp reductions in Medicare’s payments to doctors. But the so-called “doc fix” will be expensive, and Medicare beneficiaries will pay part of the bill. The big questions: How much? And, could a doc fix be achieved without hitting up seniors to pay part […]

Lump sum pension offers: Don’t count on your employer for advice

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If you are due a pension from a former employer, there is a good chance you were or soon will be offered a lump-sum payment in exchange for giving up that guaranteed monthly check for life. Should you take it? Probably not, but making a smart decision depends on a complex set of assumptions about […]

Aging in place is popular, but does it always make sense?

Stephen Golant

It’s been a mantra in recent years: most Americans want to stay right where they are in retirement. Aging in place is the preference expressed by older Americans in most surveys – a view that springs, in part, from rebellion against the notion that retirement communities in the Sunbelt states or institutional settings like nursing […]

Building retirement security by avoiding job burnout: A Q&A with Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon

If you are counting the days to retirement because you hate your job, career expert Kerry Hannon has a message for you: “Stick with it.” Burnout is one of the biggest problems in the workplace, especially for older workers. An annual survey on retirement by the Employee Benefit Research Institute consistently finds that about half […]

How Your Social Security Benefit Is Calculated

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If you’ve checked your annual Social Security statement lately, you probably know the size of the benefit you’re projected to receive in retirement. But do you know how that number is calculated? Social Security determines your initial benefit at full retirement age (FRA) using a complex formula that takes into account your earning history, wage […]

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Time for progressives to embrace working longer and a strengthened retirement safety net

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It’s time for progressives to sort out a question about retirement policy: Is it possible to advocate for progressive ideas like an improved social insurance system and preservation of defined benefit pensions, but also acknowledge the benefits of longer working lives? I count myself as a progressive who is able to hold both these ideas […]

Company stock in your 401(k)? Proceed with caution

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401(k) plans have made great strides in recent years–reducing costs, simplifying investment menus, and automating portfolio allocation. But a surprisingly large number of plans still include one feature that really should go: offering the plan sponsor’s own shares to workers. Research consistently shows that owning your employer’s stock in a workplace retirement plan is risky. […]

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IRA providers are waving cash; should you take it?

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Back in the day you could walk into a bank to open a new account and walk out with a free toaster. Today, you can walk into the office of a big mutual fund company or bank and get a wad of cash if you open a retirement savings account. You can get anywhere from […]

White House fiduciary embrace is a turning point for retirement security

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Let’s say you’ve finally decided it’s time to get serious about planning for retirement. You stop in at the local office of a bank or brokerage firm. Perhaps you call an investment or mutual fund company you saw advertising on tv. The person you’re talking to calls himself a “financial adviser” – but most likely, […]

The Boomer entrepreneurship trend: Slowing or just getting started?

Nancy Kessler

Nancy Kessler spent much of her career as a museum curator, but she also has had a lifelong love of working with older people that dates to her childhood. At very young age, she would visit a 90-year-old neighbor who would tell her stories about her life. Kessler’s interest in oral history and folklore grew, and […]