Resolution: Rethink your retirement spending plan

David Blanchett, head of retirement research, Morningstar

This is the time of year when many of us take stock of our financial plans. New Year’s resolutions are in place, and tax season is just around the corner. But when it comes to retirement planning, the resolutions shouldn’t just revolve around how much you’ll sock away this year. It’s just as important to […]

How delaying your Social Security filing can boost portfolio longevity


A delayed Social Security filing can boost your monthly benefit income substantially. But did you know that a smart Social Security strategy also can boost the longevity of your portfolio? My July column for looked at an array of resources that can help individuals and couples optimize their benefits. That sparked a comment thread […]

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Will middle class lose out in fight over financial advice?

Sheryl Garrett, Garrett Planning Network

If average Americans haven’t been kicked around enough this past decade, now we have this: the middle class is serving as a pawn in Wall Street’s high-stakes lobbying battle against stricter rules for brokers. The fight centers on the so-called fiduciary standard under consideration at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of […]

Half of all workers retire earlier than expected – and not by choice


Just under half of all workers retire earlier than they expected – and not by choice – according to new research by LIMRA, the insurance industry research firm. The most commonly cited reasons included health problems, job loss or burnout and negative work conditions. The LIMRA numbers confirm annual surveys by the Employee Benefit Research […]

Retirement spending: Why rules of thumb don’t work


We’ve all heard the rule-of-thumb: To retire comfortably, you need to replace 70 percent to 80 percent of pre-retirement income. Add a couple of percentage points for inflation every year, and you’ll have what you need to meet your expenses in retirement. But the rule-of-thumb never was meant as a way to think about spending […]

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Employer worry about worker retirement readiness is growing

The market crash of 2008 was a wake-up call for many 401(k) account-holders. At Aetna Inc., it raised awareness that some of its own employees might lack the financial preparation necessary for retirement. “The crash put a magnifying glass on 401(k)s and account balances,” says Carol Klusek, head of retirement and financial benefits at the […]

Boomers aren’t working forever, after all

Baby boomers have been talking a good game for years about working longer and reinventing the last third of life. Now that it’s game time, their retirement decisions look somewhat conventional. More than half the oldest boomers – those born in 1946 – had fully retired by the end of the year in which they […]