Archive for the 'Working in Retirement' Category

Baby Boomers Entering Retirement

Time for Baby Boomers to Grow UpBaseBall-Square

USA Today, October 21st, 2013

As hard (and in some cases, as depressing) as it may be to believe, many of the people from the so called “Baby Boomers” era are turning 65.  And “Boomer” or not, many seniors are having a tough time making the transition from employee to retiree.  The struggle can range from anywhere between planning out your retirement finances, all the way to finding things to do to fill your newly wide-open schedule.

Not to fear retirees!  There are many different kinds of services available to you to help you get into your retirement groove.  From talking with a retirement coach to help set goals and make plans for your retirement, to speaking with a certified senior adviser to help inform you on things like senior housing or health care, you have options.  Read the article at the link below to learn more about the services that are out there to help you maximize your comfort in retirement.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/01/15/preparing-for-retirement-baby-boomers/1823723/

Can You Teach a Young Dog New Tricks Too?

Is Our Youth Finally Learning?

Market Watch, October 24th, 2013

In today’s high expense society, an alarming percentage of seniors are having a difficult time transitioning into their retirement years, financially speaking.  More and more are struggling to make ends meet on their 401K’s and Social Security alone.  And while many people in this age bracket like to talk about the “ignorance of youth,” is it possible that our younger generations are taking notice of the struggles they see their parents and grandparents are going through?  And beyond that, is it conceivable that they are actually taking pro-active steps to make sure they don’t face the same hardships?

A new study conducted by Wells Fargo & Co. says yes.  While 75% of people in their 40’s and 50’s are saying they regret that they have not started saving for retirement sooner, 34% of people in their 30’s stated that they already have a written retirement plan in place.  A pretty impressive number when compared to the 24% of those in their 40’s.  Read the article at the link below to read more about how our young people seem to be wising up to the need to plan ahead.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/youth-beats-middle-age-in-retirement-planning-2013-10-24?link=MW_retirement_popular

Finances and Marriage: Retirement Edition

Financial Planning Can Lead to a Healthy Marriage?

Global Post, October 9, 2013

It’s a well known fact how common divorce is these days.  In the United States, the divorce rate is currently at an alarming rate of 53 percent.  But this isn’t just in the category of young people who are divorcing each other in their first few years of marriage.  Many would be surprised to learn that the divorce rate in married couples who are beyond their Silver Anniversary is on the rise as well.

Many of us could guess at the reason why some of these marriages are ending as some of us experienced our own parents going through this.  But would finances in retirement be on, or even near, the top of your list of guesses as to why this is happening?  Retirement is looked at by many as being the “golden years” of their lives.  But what if your idea of a dream retirement doesn’t match up with that of your spouse’s?  Read the article below to get some ideas on how to tackle some of the issues regarding retirement that, quite frankly, don’t come up all that often.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131009/till-death-not-retirement-do-us-part

How You Get Smarter As You Age

So You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Time Magazine, August 15, 2013

For many people over the age of 65, if you were to ask them if they believe that they’re smarter than someone in their 20’s, you would probably get a response along the lines of “Duh!”  However, if you were to ask that same person if they believe their brain works just as well as their twenty-something counterparts, they might take a little more time to think before responding.

Although it’s true that, as we age, our brain’s processing speed might slow down a little, and yes, our memory might start to go, as well.  But what about how we cope with and engage the situations we encounter in everyday life?  Now ask the twenty-something year old who they think would be more adept at dealing with whatever situation is thrown at them.  The young, brash go-getter might tell you to “Bring it on!  I’ll deal with anything you’ve got for me more quickly AND more efficiently than any senior citizen!”  But does science support that theory?

New studies are showing that there are many reasons why older people are more proficient at what’s called “cognitive thinking”.  Read the article listed below for a list of reasons why this is true.

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/15/10-ways-we-get-smarter-as-we-age/

Retirement Health Costs are Higher than you Think

According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the above is largely true no matter how high you think they are.

A good rule of thumb for estimating health costs in retirement is that Medicare will, on average, cover 60%, while the remaining 40% come out of the retiree’s pocket. Unfortunately, according to a lengthy paper published recently by professors at UCLA and Harvard, most would-be retirees habitually underestimate the impact that health care costs will have on their finances, either blithely assuming that Medicare will take a larger share of the burden from them or failing to appreciate just how large that 40% liability is likely to be in terms of real dollars.

So how large is it? Large, at least according to the Urban Institute’s calculations. The median retiree will spend more than $6,000 per year on health care costs alone, while a particularly high spender (or one nearing the end of their life) may be spending as much as $14,000 yearly. This is all without counting any significant end-of-life costs (most retirees spend the majority of their lifetime health-care costs in the last eighteen months of their lives.

Given how large health care costs loom in retirement, it goes without saying that any significant underestimation of their impact can have a staggering effect on your retirement security. This isn’t to say that every retiree needs to budget $15,000 a year for such things, but a careful calculation of retirement expenses is impossible without an accurate understanding of the costs you are likely to face. For these reasons, NewRetirement has always recommended the use of a proper retirement calculator, if only to set realistic boundaries, not guesses, on what your expenses are likely to be, and what level of preparation will be necessary to ensure that you have the capacity to meet them.

Whether you use NewRetirement’s calculator or another source of information, nobody should go into retirement armed only with guesswork.

Learn more about the true costs of retirement with the NewRetirement Retirement Calculator.

Learn more about Supplemental Medicare Insurance at NewRetirement.com.

Boomers Bear the Brunt of the Bust

It’s no secret that the economic downturn of the last five years has been hard on everyone.  But according to a recent New York Times article, the evidence is that the worst-hit have been older workers just about to enter retirement.  The first to go when layoffs come, the last to be hired for what few positions there are available, Seniors were pushed out of the workforce in record numbers, with important consequences for the health of their retirement plans, as well as their ability to transition into retirement at all.

It’s likely that if you’re reading this, you were already aware of how badly the recession hit older workers.  The question is what to do about it?  If your retirement plans are in ruins or you’ve been laid off with little hope of being hired elsewhere, what are you supposed to do about it?

Well, according to the article, not a whole lot.  There are some solutions that the article rejects, such as the notion of retraining.  Older workers don’t get rejected for jobs because they’re unqualified, they get rejected because of age bias.  Companies are more willing to take a risk on training and acclimatizing a new hire if there’s a possibility that the hire will be around for decades, and older workers tend (on average) to have more health issues that can drive up premiums for company-offered health insurance.  For those leaving the labor force, the article speaks of increasing numbers of seniors leaning on disability programs or taking social security at the earliest possible point.

Optimizing Social Security is nothing new, but most optimization schemes assume that you will be looking at maximizing your overall income from the program, irrespective of the time it takes for you to do so.  As we’ve all seen recently, bad economic times can change this calculus, and the prospect of losing 20% or more of your benefits seems significantly less daunting when the alternative is not having enough money to pay the mortgage.  Yet as always, even when circumstances force you into making less than optimal choices, it’s important to know your options so that the choices you do make hurt as little as possible.  Choosing to start Social Security early may be tempting, but such a choice is almost irrevocable, as changing back to a higher monthly payout requires you to pay back everything you’ve received from the program so-far.   The bottom line is that the recession has had a major impact on the Boomers and they’ll need to think creatively about how to pay for their retirement.  Hopefully, even if your retirement plan has fallen off the rails, this site can help you piece together a new one by helping you find strategies, products and services to help you secure your retirement.

Learn more about Optimizing Social Security at NewRetirement.com

NewRetirement Calculator – Analysis and Improvements

Giving way to the Young?

It’s an old argument, one that’s been making its way around European countries for decades, and been intermittently heard over here.  Because of longer lifespans, higher retirement costs, and the general downturn of the economy, seniors are delaying their retirement for longer, and continuing on in the workforce.  The problem?  Prevailing wisdom is that with a limited number of jobs to go around, every senior who doesn’t retire takes a job away from a younger worker just entering the market.  With youth unemployment at the highest levels it has been at since the Great Depression, there are those (such as US News & World Report) who say that unless companies turn away from older workers and towards younger ones, these trendlines will continue into the foreseeable future.

Except that according to Boston College, they’re all wrong.

NewRetirement relies heavily on Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, one of the premier institutes for the scientific study of the realities of modern retirement, and in their most recent brief for this month, the CCR has mathematically disproven any sort of correlation between older workers staying on, and younger workers either failing to find jobs or receiving lesser salaries.  According to the study in question, conducted across all fifty states, both genders, and a variety of age groups and income levels, an increase in Senior (65+) employment of 1% in a given area is associated with a drop in youth (20-24) unemployment of 0.21%.  Moreover, not only are additional young people finding more jobs, but their overall wages are also increased, this time by 0.28%.  Not much perhaps, but enough to be statistically significant, and remember, this holds true for every 1% of the senior workforce that hangs in there or returns to work.

So why should anybody care about the CCR disproving an economic theory that many of you have probably never heard of before?  Because as any senior who has tried to re-enter the work force can tell you, ageism is a very real thing.  Older employees expect to draw larger salaries, and apply higher costs to any health insurance programs that their companies have, and companies consequently already don’t want to hire an older worker for any position they could possibly fill with a younger one.  Theories about the so-called “Lump of Labor”, a term used in relation to seniors, immigrants, and any other group supposedly “stealing jobs” from another, are commonly used as justification for discriminatory hiring practices masquerading as social reform.  Numbers, however, don’t lie, and those cited in this study are so strong that the authors at one point flatly declare that “this horse has been beaten to death.”

So if you are a senior either delaying your retirement or looking to return to the workforce, rest assured you are not robbing your children of their jobs.  In fact, if enough of you do so, you might help get them a better one.

Find out more about delaying or working in your retirement.

New Resource for Optimizing Your 401k!

Most employers have probably given you a list of possible investments, but no advice on which ones are best for you and your retirement.  If you are frustrated by this approach, you may want to consider a service that can give you recommendations designed to optimize your investment returns while minimizing risks.

Smart401k is an easy to use solution to help you make the right investment decisions.  For a flat yearly fee they will tell you exactly how to invest your money now and help you rebalance your portfolio over time.

How Smart401k works:

1. Enroll online and pay a $199.95 yearly fee

2. Tell Smart401k about you and the investment options offered by your employer.

3. Receive an investment plan within a few days

4. Get periodic updates from Smart401k on how to shift or rebalance your account

RESOURCES:

 

 

Don’t Dismiss Reverse Mortgages!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a purely negative report that degraded the use of reverse mortgages. However, there are actually many benefits of a reverse mortgage.

First off, in order to qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must own and reside in your home and be a senior 62 years of age or older. (In most cases second homes, apartment buildings and homes less than a year old are not eligible for a reverse mortgage.)

Reverse mortgages must be considered with all other options like selling the home, downsizing, or moving to an assisted living facility. These types of loans are long term decisions because  there are insurance fees and mortgage interest that gets added to the loan balance every month. So someone that plans on selling in 5 years will have less equity.

For anyone who chooses to participate in a reverse mortgage program, they can take their money in regular payments for a fixed term, a line of credit, or select some combination of these choices by receiving the entire amount in a lump sum.

These special types of loans might be good options for homeowners that still have a mortgage, credit card debt, or need to make necessary repairs to their home. And with any financial decision, it is important to talk with trusted financial advisors to help make your decision.

The bottom line is this: reverse mortgages may not work for everyone but dismissing the service completely might prove to doom many households to poverty in old age.

Visit newretirement.com for a number of free services:

 

 



Retirement? Not for these Olympians!

If you think you are too old for sports, think again!  There are a handful of inspiring individuals competing and even winning medals this Summer in London — Olympians who are in their 50s, 60s and 70s!!!

  • The oldest competitor in the 2012 Olympics is 71 year old Japanese equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu. He is competing in dressage.
  • American Butch Johnson has competed in six Olympics. He is now 57 and will try to win a medal this year in archery.
  • Kiwi Mark Todd won a bronze medal this week in an equestrian event at the age of 56.
  • Ian Millar has competed in a record number of 10 Olympics! He is part of the Canadian equestrian team in London this year at the age of 65.
  • Oscar Swahn was the oldest Olympian ever.  He earned a silver medal at the age of 72 in a shooting competition at the Antwerp Games in 1920.

If shooting or horses are not your sport, maybe you’d like to try for a spot in the Senior Games – an Olympic like competition for people over 50.  There are numerous stories of people starting a new sport in their 50s and 60s and then thriving in competition!

 

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