Your Retirement | WYPR

Your Retirement

Thursdays at 3:04 P.M.

From WYPR 88.1 FM.  Anirban Basu reviews retirement news.

Elyce Feliz/flickr

Data seemingly indicate that many people are resigned to the notion that their retirement income will largely come from Social Security. For instance, a recent study by the non-partisan US Government Accountability Office or GAO indicates that as many as half of all households with Americans 55 years old or older have no retirement savings at all.

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A piece published earlier this year by writer Dan Caplinger indicates what many of us know – the oldest members of the baby boom generation have now turned 70 and thousands reach standard retirement age each day. Rather than approaching retirement with enthusiasm, many boomers are simply terrified given the paucity of their savings and prospects of expensive needs registered during retirement. While boomers are likely to be more concerned about their retirement prospects than younger Americans, younger folks have reason to be concerned as well.

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Recent data indicate that Baby Boomers are now retiring in droves. As reported by Bloomberg, the number of Americans aged 65 or older that aren’t in the labor force rose by 800,000 during the fourth quarter of 2016. The pace of retirement in America has been heading higher for more than five years. There are many implications stemming from this massive pace of retirement, including for the U.S. labor force participation rate, which continues to be suppressed by retirement and remains near a four-decade low.

Millennial Savers

Feb 3, 2017

A lot of us like to complain about Millennials, those young adults who are increasingly coming to dominate the labor market. Employers frequently complain about their elevated need for flexible time, their intense desire to work from home, and their questionable social skills and emotional intelligence. But the fact of the matter is that Millennials represent an enormously talented bunch and that many of us could learn much for them.

Retirement Savings

Jan 26, 2017
401(K) 2012/flickr

Saving for retirement requires sacrifices. People have to watch their spending now in order to generate the savings that will sustain them in the future. It’s hardly a secret that collectively Americans are still not saving enough. As reported by Bloomberg, the typical Baby Boomer, whose generation as now begun to retire in large numbers, has a median of $147,000 in all of his or her retirement accounts according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

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Most people rely upon Social Security to at least a certain extent to pay for their retirement expenses.  According to US News, 84 percent of people qualify for Social Security payments and an easy majority of retirees, 60 percent, receive at least half of their income from Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security is the only major source of retirement income for a third of retirees.

401(K) 2012/flickr

A US News article identifies 10 major retirement blunders.  Here they are. 

#1 – not having a plan for your money once you retire. Many people prepare for retirement, and then don’t take steps to manage their cash flow during it.

#2 – forgetting about inflation while you are making your plans. 

#3 – failing to save enough money for retirement – ok, that one is obvious.

Charleston's TheDigitel/flickr

Many people approaching retirement or already retired are scrambling for income. With interest rates still often hovering around the rate of inflation, many older Americans are trapped between safer investments that yield little income and riskier investments that could generate higher returns but which could also ultimately undermine their savings.

Rob Bixby/flickr

Since 1998, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has conducted a national survey of U.S. businesses and workers regarding their attitudes toward retirement. Key highlights from the most recent survey administration indicate just how unnerved many Americans remain regarding retirement prospects.  61 percent of workers indicate that they have not fully recovered from the Great Recession, including 7 percent who believe they may never recover.  40 percent of Baby Boomer workers expect a decrease in their standard of living when they retire.

One of the advantages that public sector workers have over many private sectors workers are defined benefit retirement plans. Unlike defined contribution retirement plans, which specify how much money will go into a retirement plan, defined benefit plans identify the specific benefit that will be payable to employees at retirement. 

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