CHICAGO, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Here’s the $64,000 question on
the Republican plan to voucherize Medicare: Can consumer choice
and market competition drive down Medicare costs?
The Romney-Ryan presidential campaign ticket thinks so. If
they are right, seniors might not have to pony up thousands of
additional dollars per year for the cost of Medicare beyond the
voucher’s value. If wrong, there will be a massive cost shift to
seniors to make up for the market’s failure.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Prior to 2008, many baby boomers assumed they were set for retirement. They would fund those golden years by tapping into their homes if they hadn’t saved enough in their 401(k) plans.
But home equity no longer looks like a safe Plan B for a fast-growing group of pre-retirees and seniors.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on healthcare reform, the front line of the battle moves to the states. Some are vowing to resist implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while others are moving full speed ahead. And the stakes for uninsured Americans are enormous.
In states that do not implement their own public insurance exchanges, the federal government will step in. Federally sponsored exchanges will provide access to insurance for middle-income residents without employer-provided health insurance to buy policies with costs offset by subsidies.
CHICAGO, July 6 (Reuters) – Consumer advocates, government
regulators and watchdogs have been warning seniors for several
years about the risks associated with reverse mortgages. Now,
the red flags are being hoisted significantly higher.
The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
has issued a report signaling a likely tightening of regulations
for reverse loans. Regulation of all mortgages was transferred
to the CFPB under the Dodd-Frank reform law. Congress also
instructed the agency to produce a detailed study on the reverse
loan market – and to issue new regulations if its research
uncovered unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.
CHICAGO, June 28 (Reuters) – The Supreme Court’s decision to
uphold Obamacare is great news for everyone over age 50. If
you’re over age 65 and on Medicare, the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) improves your benefits. If you’re over 50 and don’t have
insurance through an employer, your options for health coverage
will be improved greatly starting in 2014, when the new state
health exchanges are launched.
Yet polling data says older Americans oppose the ACA by much
wider margins than younger people. Forty-four percent of baby
boomers and 46 percent of seniors favor repeal of the law,
according to a Pew Research Center survey last November. By
contrast, just 27 percent of millennials – and 37 percent of
GenXers – favored repeal, the survey found.
CHICAGO, June 26 (Reuters) – Mutual fund costs will be Topic
A this fall around many kitchen tables when workplace retirement
savers start receiving the new government-mandated quarterly
statements spelling out exactly what they are paying for their
401(k)s. But a kitchen table chat is also in order for retirees.
After all, smart portfolio management is important in
retirement, too. Retirees draw down assets to pay living
expenses. Fees are still being levied on those accounts – and
they can have a much larger impact on retirement lifestyles and
portfolio longevity than most people understand.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – June is Gay Pride Month in the United States. And you can tell the times they are a changing when U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta salutes the event by taping a video personally thanking gay members of the military for their service.
But when it comes to retirement security, LGBT Americans still have a long way to go. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a core obstacle to equality for a range of important benefits and legal protections, because it defines the word “spouse” as applying only to different-sex married couples for any purpose involving interpretation of federal law.
(The writer is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are
By Mark Miller
CHICAGO, June 20(Reuters) – The message from voters about
public pension plans is clear: They’re ready to cut the
retirement benefits of police, firefighters, teachers and other
state and municipal workers.
The latest indicators include the failed recall of Gov.
Scott Walker in Wisconsin – which started with his efforts to
cut pensions – and referendums in San Jose and San Diego, where
voters overwhelmingly backed pension reform measures.
CHICAGO, Date (Reuters) – Kathryn Anne Edwards doesn’t look at Social Security like most 26-year-olds.
Her cohort takes a dim view of the program’s prospects, according to a slew of surveys. Some 76 percent of young Americans don’t think Social Security will be able to pay them a benefit when they retire (Gallup); 86 percent would like to divert the taxes they pay to Social Security into private accounts (Pew Research Center); 48 percent of Americans under 40 think the system is in crisis and about to go bankrupt (Lake Research Partners).
CHICAGO, June 7 (Reuters) – Can you fly the coop on your
company’s 401(k) plan if you don’t like its investment choices?
A growing number of plans offer a “brokerage window” that lets
retirement savers sidestep the standard investment menu and
access a much larger number of mutual funds or stocks offered by
their plan providers.
But plan providers are complaining after the U.S. Department
of Labor (DOL) released unexpected new rules for plan sponsors
that cover brokerage window. The regulatory “guidance” is part
of a broader document dealing with important new rules that take
effect this summer requiring greater transparency of the fees
that participants are charged.