CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ready for a quick quiz on how Social Security benefits work?
You should ace it. After all, Social Security is the most important retirement benefit for most Americans, and understanding the rules is critical for getting the most out of the program.
CHICAGO, June 4 (Reuters) – The hand-off from employer
health insurance to Medicare can be one of the trickiest
challenges you will face in managing your retirement.
The rules are full of pitfalls that can cost you thousands
of dollars in unnecessary premiums or lead to a risky gap in
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Americans need bigger retirement nest eggs, there is no doubt about that. More than half of us have saved less than $25,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Policy experts often point to such figures to underscore the looming retirement security crisis, and proposals have been flying this year from Republicans and Democrats alike for ways to encourage people to sock away more money.
CHICAGO, May 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled
this week that employers have a duty to protect workers in their
401(k) plans from mutual funds that are too expensive or perform
Monday’s unanimous ruling sends a strong signal that
employers must improve their plans. And it comes just as the
Obama administration prepares a landmark change of its own by
issuing rules requiring that financial advisers put the interest
of customers ahead of their own.
CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) – With bond markets in turmoil,
what is a 401(k) investor to do? Probably not much.
Retirement investors have enjoyed the best of both worlds
these past two years: a bull market in both equities and bonds.
But the bond market has been weathering volatility and sharp
declines since late April, with prices falling and yields
CHICAGO, May 7 (Reuters) – Could the one percent soon get to
live twice as long as the rest of us – maybe even forever?
Immortality may not be in the cards just yet, but
exponential breakthroughs in technology and medicine will make
possible lifespans of 150 years or more, according to Ken
CHICAGO (Reuters) – (The writer is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
Should you stay or should you go? That will be a key question in an aging America, as people try to decide if their homes and communities still work for them as they grow old.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – (This April 16, 2015 story was corrected in paragraphs 1 and 4 to reflect that Social Security Administration gives little advance warning to beneficiaries, instead of no advance warning. Also, adds paragraph 5 for description of Social Security benefits statements.)
Some U.S. workers who have paid into the Social Security system are in for a rude awakening when the checks start coming: Their benefits could be chopped up to $413 per month.
CHICAGO, April 21 (Reuters) – Denial is said to be the first
emotional stage of grief – and that may be where many Americans
are at right now in their attitudes about retirement security.
The 2015 edition of the longest-running national survey of
retirement confidence, released on Tuesday by the Washington,
D.C.-based non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute
(EBRI), reveals a second consecutive annual jump in the
percentage of workers and retirees in an upbeat mood about their
retirement finances. Unfortunately, that rising confidence is
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois is the national poster child for state budget messes. My home state faces a $7.4 billion general fund deficit and a $12 billion revenue shortfall. One proposed idea for plugging at least part of the horrific shortfall: tax retirement income. But our new governor, Republican Bruce Rauner, has rejected the idea.
Illinois exempts all retirement income from state taxes – Social Security, private and public pensions, and annuities. We’re leaving $2 billion on the table annually, according to the state’s estimates. And we’re hardly alone: 36 states that have an income tax allow some exemption for private or public pension benefits, and 32 exempt all Social Security benefits from tax, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). States currently considering wider income tax exemptions for seniors include Rhode Island and Maryland.