MyRA won’t close the nest egg gap, but maybe the states can


If states are the laboratories of democracy, they need to start some retirement savings experiments – quick. About half of Americans haven’t been able to create nest eggs at all, and the labs working the problem in Washington haven’t found solutions. That’s my take on MyRA, the retirement saving program PresidentBarack Obama announced during his […]

Why boomer balance sheets are a mess

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Conversations about retirement readiness usually focus on portfolios–how much you’re saving, your investment mix, and whether you’ll accumulate assets sufficient to last a lifetime. But those conversations are missing a bigger-picture question about retirement readiness: How are household balance sheets shaping up as families approach retirement? Research by the AARP Public Policy Institute provides answers. […]

Thinking of rolling over your 401(k)? Think twice


Regulators are sending a clear warning: Beware the IRA rollover. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which self-polices the brokerage industry, issued a regulatory notice late last month warning member firms against overselling clients on shifting retirement dollars from 401(k)s to individual retirement accounts when they retire or change jobs. Likewise, a report last year by […]

The problem with investing glidepaths


Investors should reduce their equity exposure as retirement approaches—that’s the conventional wisdom, and it’s the fundamental premise of the current 800-pound gorilla of workplace retirement investing: the target date fund (TDF). But conventional wisdom can be wrong—and a handful of well-respected researchers set out to prove it in recent papers questioning the current glide path […]

Why your health insurance may soon resemble your 401(k)


Are you ready for the 401(k)-ization of health insurance? If not, get ready, because there’s a good chance it’s coming to your workplace soon. That was the consensus of some of the nation’s top employee benefits experts, who gathered last week for a conference in the nation’s capital. What we’re talking about here is a […]

Why minorities are losing the retirement race


The issue of retirement inequality has caught fire in Washington, D.C., and a report issued this week turns up the heat. The report zeroes in on the appalling gap in retirement security among racial groups in America. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), a non-profit research group, found that workers of color – especially […]

With stock market soaring, your 401(k) may need a tune-up


Stocks are in record territory, which probably is great news for your 401(k). Fidelity Investments reported Thursday that average account balances hit a new high in the third quarter, propelled mainly by surging equities markets. This might be news to you if you don’t track the market closely and rarely check your account balance. In […]

How to navigate benefits if you’re working past age 65


It’s no secret that Americans are working longer. But some are working well past traditional retirement age: the fastest-growing segment of the labor force is workers over age 65, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – and the growth is especially pronounced among workers over age 70. Working longer certainly can boost the […]

Three income tax reforms that would give retirees a needed break


Congress probably won’t produce a broad overhaul of the U.S. tax code anytime soon. But if and when it does, lawmakers shouldn’t overlook some of the oddities of the way we tax retirement income. Many Americans are stressed out about their economic security in old age, and tax code writers could ease their pain. My […]

Retirees get a slim COLA boost next year


Seniors and retirement savers finally got the word last week on three critical inflation adjustments for next year – and the word was — not bad. The burst of fall cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) announcements was delayed by the recent government shutdown. Now the COLA figures for Social Security, Medicare and limits on contributions to retirement […]