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Mar 14, 2012

Stern Advice: Inflation that the CPI won’t show

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) – When the consumer
price index is released later this week, it’s likely to look
scary because of the run up in gasoline prices that hit at the
end of February.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the CPI to be up 0.4
percent in February, double the January rate, mainly on oil
price increases that were 11 percent in February. In both
January and February, the index would have gone up half as much
if food and energy prices were excluded.

Mar 13, 2012

Savings low, worry high among workers: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Workers are saving less, worrying more and may be unrealistic about their ability to work as long as they think necessary to afford retirement, according to a major national survey released on Tuesday.

The 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, published by Employee Benefits Research Institute, found workers in January as gloomy as they have ever been about their retirement prospects. The survey, which measures workers’ and retirees’ views of the future rather than actual savings data, has been conducted annually for 22 years and is largely underwritten by financial services firms.

Mar 7, 2012

When advisers follow the crowd

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three years after a market rout sent investors scurrying in every direction but Wall Street, some financial advisers are tentatively starting to put their clients back into stocks, according to recent reports.

“Gun-shy advisers tiptoe back into equities,” read one of these stories, here at Reuters (link.reuters.com/nag96s).

Mar 7, 2012

Stern Advice: When advisers follow the crowd

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – Three years after a
market rout sent investors scurrying in every direction but Wall
Street, some financial advisers are tentatively starting to put
their clients back into stocks, according to recent reports.

“Gun-shy advisers tiptoe back into equities,” read one of
these stories, here at Reuters ().
The gist of it was that investors, who had been afraid to
invest in stocks since the market tanked in 2008, were coming
back now that shares were rising briskly. And their advisers
were accommodating them.

Mar 7, 2012

How low must retirement withdrawals go?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a lifetime of diligently saving, retirees are faced with a new question: How much can they take out during retirement?

Retirement — or the “withdrawal phase of life” as actuaries and other numbers wonks refer to it — can present a psychological challenge. It’s often hard to spend money that took decades to save.

Mar 7, 2012

YOUR MONEY: How low must retirement withdrawals go?

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – After a lifetime of
diligently saving, retirees are faced with a new question: How
much can they take out during retirement?

Retirement — or the “withdrawal phase of life” as actuaries
and other numbers wonks refer to it — can present a
psychological challenge. It’s often hard to spend money that
took decades to save.

Mar 2, 2012

When your bank doesn’t want you

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tensions between banks and consumers were at fever pitch last fall, when Bank of America tried unsuccessfully to make a $5 monthly debit card fee stick and consumer activists took to the parks and asked customers to move their money on “Bank Transfer Day.”

Now those tensions are rising again, but don’t expect the banks to back down like BofA did. It’s not because consumers are any less upset: A report that the megabank was simply considering new checking account fees was met with an immediate press release from Consumers Union calling on Bank of America “to drop its latest fee scheme.”

Mar 1, 2012

Stern Advice: When your bank doesn’t want you

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – Tensions between banks
and consumers were at fever pitch last fall, when Bank of
America tried unsuccessfully to make a $5 monthly debit card fee
stick and consumer activists took to the parks and asked
customers to move their money on “Bank Transfer Day.”

Now those tensions are rising again, but don’t expect the
banks to back down like BofA did. It’s not because
consumers are any less upset: A report that the megabank was
simply considering new checking account fees was met with an
immediate press release from Consumers Union calling on Bank of
America “to drop its latest fee scheme.”

Feb 29, 2012

The last 401(k) generation?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Will the baby boomers be the only generation to retire with 401(k) plans? It could happen.

Last week many of the nation’s biggest thinkers on retirement got together in a Senate hearing room to discuss the future of pensions and retirement. There were representatives of unions, employers, financial services providers, government agencies and consumer groups. And the only thing they all seemed to agree on was this: The 401(k) plan has been sort of a failure.

Feb 29, 2012

Stern Advice: The last 401(k) generation?

WASHINGTON, Feb 29 (Reuters) – Will the baby boomers
be the only generation to retire with 401(k) plans? It could
happen.

Last week many of the nation’s biggest thinkers on
retirement got together in a Senate hearing room to discuss the
future of pensions and retirement. There were representatives of
unions, employers, financial services providers, government
agencies and consumer groups. And the only thing they all seemed
to agree on was this: The 401(k) plan has been sort of a
failure.

    • About Linda

      "Linda Stern is an award-winning personal finance journalist who loves to write about how the big picture affects your pocketbook. A former contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and a long-time Reuters columnist, Stern covers everything from credit cards to retirement planning to investing. As a Washington-based correspondent, she sneaks in as much tax and economic policy as her editors will allow. She tweets at www.twitter.com/LindaStern. And when she expresses opinions, they are her own and not those of her employer."
      Joined Reuters:
      October 2010
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