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May 21, 2013

Transforming your 401(k) into steady income

By Mark Miller

CHICAGO, May 21(Reuters) – A job and a paycheck – they go
together like coffee and cream. But when you retire from your
regular job, does that mean you have to give up the cream?

A growing number of 401(k) plans are including investment
choices that can help savers convert nest eggs into retirement
income. Participants can buy insurance annuities or other
products designed to spread funds over a lifetime.

May 15, 2013

Retirement healthcare costs decline: Fidelity

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Healthcare costs put a big squeeze on retiree pocketbooks, but the grip may be relaxing a bit.

A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $220,000 to pay for healthcare for the rest of their lives, an amount that is eight percent less than a year ago, according to a Fidelity Investments report issued Wednesday. Fidelity has been forecasting the cost of healthcare in retirement since 2002, and has forecast lower lifetime costs only once before – an eight percent drop in 2011.

May 9, 2013

Column: Knowing Social Security rules can help divorced spouses

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Robin Brewton, who advises clients on Social Security benefit strategies, has boosted retirees’ financial security with a single question: Are you divorced?

It is a little-known fact: If you’re divorced, it’s possible to claim Social Security spousal and survivor benefits from your ex. It is a strategy that can dramatically boost your benefits – and it will be important for more retirees in the years ahead.

May 9, 2013

Knowing Social Security rules can help divorced spouses

CHICAGO, May 9 (Reuters) – Robin Brewton, who advises
clients on Social Security benefit strategies, has boosted
retirees’ financial security with a single question: Are you
divorced?

It is a little-known fact: If you’re divorced, it’s possible
to claim Social Security spousal and survivor benefits from your
ex. It is a strategy that can dramatically boost your benefits -
and it will be important for more retirees in the years ahead.

May 7, 2013

Column: When aging provides a business opportunity

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Gary Bates was an airline pilot for 37 years, and in his last few years on the job, he noticed older travelers having trouble with the whole experience: the security lines, the delays and the increasingly expanding airports.

Those observations became the inspiration for Care-to-Go, a company he launched with his wife, Beth, in 2009, which provides a caregiver to make the trip with an elderly passenger or others who have special needs when they travel. The couple also launched a sister company that provides in-home care to seniors.

May 1, 2013

Column: Retirees and debt: How to avoid the worst traps

CHICAGO (Reuters) – If you’re strapped for cash or have a poor credit rating, the offer would sound tempting: upfront cash in return for your future pension payments.

But it’s a debt trap, according to a recent expose by The New York Times, a “pension advance” loan charging sky-high interest rates. A Times analysis of these deals found effective interest rates ranging from 27 percent to as high as 106 percent.

May 1, 2013

Retirees and debt: How to avoid the worst traps

CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) – If you’re strapped for cash or
have a poor credit rating, the offer would sound tempting:
upfront cash in return for your future pension payments.

But it’s a debt trap, according to a recent expose by The
New York Times, a “pension advance” loan charging sky-high
interest rates. A Times analysis of these deals found effective
interest rates ranging from 27 percent to as high as 106
percent.

Apr 26, 2013

Column: Gambling with your retirement: PBS gets in on the action

CHICAGO (Reuters) – PBS Frontline is shocked – shocked! – to find that investors hold retirement accounts that cost too much and eat into long-term returns, even though financial experts have been hammering away on these issues for years

The public affairs show turned its investigative eye to the financial services industry this week with “The Retirement Gamble.”

Apr 26, 2013

Gambling with your retirement: PBS gets in on the action

CHICAGO, April 26 (Reuters) – PBS Frontline is shocked -
shocked! – to find that investors hold retirement accounts that
cost too much and eat into long-term returns, even though
financial experts have been hammering away on these issues for
years

The public affairs show turned its investigative eye to the
financial services industry this week with “The Retirement
Gamble.”

Apr 24, 2013

Column: Want to buy a business? You can tap your 401(k)

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Mark Schottland’s 401(k) took a beating in the market crash of 2008, and its value plunged 35 percent, to $65,000. But rather than go into a mattress fund, the Nashville resident decided to invest in himself.

Schottland used what was left of his nest egg at the end of that year to buy the Nashville franchise for Dogtopia, a dog daycare and boarding business that had 27 locations nationwide at the end of last year.

    • About Mark

      "Mark Miller is a journalist and author who writes about trends in retirement and aging. He has a special focus on how the baby boomer generation is revising its approach to careers, money and lifestyle after age 50. Mark is the author of The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work and Living (John Wiley & Sons/Bloomberg Press, 2010) and edits RetirementRevised.com. Mark is the former editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, and former Sunday editor of the Chicago Sun-Times. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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