Retirement Blog

Friday, February 25, 2011 3:54 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

The 401(k) is under siege lately, and it’s not the first time. During the financial crisis, Congressional committees held hearings during which all the pimples and warts of the 401(k) plan were exposed. A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article called, “Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short.” It cited the

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Thursday, February 24, 2011 3:15 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My husband and I rented a Buick Lucerne while we were vacationing last week and he really liked it. So it didn’t surprise me much when marketing research firm J.D. Power and Associates sent me a report this morning that said Buicks, and the Lucerne in particular, are among the top-10 most popular cars among people older

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 3:15 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

It might feel scary, but continuing to save steadily in a 401(k) even when the market sours is the smartest approach. Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of workplace retirement savings plans, reported yesterday that despite the 2008 market downturn, 401(k) balances reached a 10-year high at the end of 2010. The average 401(k) account

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:16 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

More people than ever are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. According to Social Security’s own statistics, the average number of applications per month has risen from 200,000 prior to 2008 to more than 300,000 per month since. Getting SSDI can take years from the time of initial application and the average monthly

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Monday, February 21, 2011 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I have this terrible retirement planning fear that I have somehow overlooked changing the beneficiary on some old retirement account and it will inadvertently become the property of my ex-husband. Beneficiaries supersede wills and trusts, so paying attention to them is a key part of estate planning. Giving thought to choosing the right beneficiary is

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Saturday, February 19, 2011 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

There is more than one way to skin the retirement planning cat. For instance, while I was walking on the beach this morning — we’re vacationing in Florida this week — a fellow with a metal detector came by. He told me he uses his finds to augment his income. In the past month, he

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Friday, February 18, 2011 4:07 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

The discussion on how to fix Social Security elicits visceral reactions from people on all sides of the issue. Libertarians would like to forgo taxation altogether and instead assume responsibility for their own retirement planning by investing the money for themselves. Socialists consider a greater good, preferring the system get fixed so that no one

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Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:01 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My 64-year-old accountant husband has spent our entire Florida vacation this year staring at spreadsheets and IRS rules, calculating retirement account scenarios. He’s considering taking the retirement plunge, and even after more than 25 years of managing other people’s money, he’s nervous about having to depend on his skills to pay our bills. Living without

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:00 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Don’t retire naked. Leaving health insurance out of your retirement planning is a risky idea. Two-thirds of personal bankruptcies are the result of medical expenses, according to a study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Beginning this year, the government has expanded its Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, or PCIP. The program is part

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2:55 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

President Barack Obama announced his 2012 budget proposal Monday, throwing a few bones to people living in retirement and attempting to wrest a few away. Here’s how the 2012 budget proposal would most directly affect your retirement planning: Money in retirees’ pockets. The biggest offering is a $250 “economic recovery” payment that would cost $15 billion

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