Retirement Blog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 9:50 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My 85-year-old mother-in-law died Sunday. Death is always a shock, but hers came only days after we found out that what we thought was a smoker’s cough was actually a very virulent form of lung cancer. She was only lucid for a few hours after the doctor made it clear that she wasn’t going to

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Sunday, January 16, 2011 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My husband is an accountant for an insurance company. Numbers rule his world. I’m a journalist with a left-brain orientation. When it comes to retirement financial planning, I’m from Mars; he’s from Venus. I always thought it was just us, but a recent study by Charles Schwab reports that we’re not alone. Men generally see

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Friday, January 14, 2011 2:53 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

The stock market’s erratic behavior over the past 11 years has frightened investors. Remember this time last year, when everyone was talking about the lost decade? The volatility in 2010 alone was pretty unnerving, especially May’s flash crash. Was it worth it for investors to stick it out? Certainly it was for young investors who

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Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:06 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I’m looking for three or four volunteers to help demonstrate how much difference the timing of taking Social Security benefits makes in the total amount that you are likely to collect throughout your retirement. The suggestion that for many people delaying Social Security to at least full retirement age is a wise idea inevitably brings

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011 4:40 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

If you’re doing your taxes soon, don’t miss the saver’s credit. It’s a great retirement planning tool. The saver’s credit is available to middle-income workers and those who make less than that who are saving for retirement. Lots of people overlook it — only 10 percent of full-time American workers with annual household incomes of

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011 4:53 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I put on my reporter hat yesterday and covered the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, still the country’s largest and most influential car show. If part of your retirement planning includes buying a car to last you a long time, my advice is to hold off for at least a year or two

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Monday, January 10, 2011 4:22 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I wrote yesterday about 107-year-old Leonard McCracken, who has had a rigorous savings and investment plan before and throughout retirement. But most of the rest of us haven’t been as smart. A recent survey by the Society of Actuaries on retirement planning and living to 100 concluded: Forty-eight percent of Americans aged 45-70 have no financial

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Sunday, January 9, 2011 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Eight years ago, at age 99, Leonard McCracken failed the eye test for renewing his driver’s license. He put his Lincoln Continental up for sale and got $1,600. “I sold it in three days — I got a good price. I love to haggle,” he says. McCracken, who lives in Florida, has been living in

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Friday, January 7, 2011 3:58 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

Retirement planning involves sacrificing a portion of what we earn today and investing that money in the hope that one day we’ll have enough assets from which we can draw an income. But the Social Security and Medicare systems operate differently, taking a portion of earnings from today’s workers to pay for the needs of

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 3:38 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My 85-year-old mother-in-law, who lives in New Jersey, has a chronic problem that the docs think requires some tests. They put her in the hospital on Monday, and it’s now Thursday. Inexplicably, the tests still haven’t been done, but Medicare undoubtedly has been billed for four days. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law is waiting patiently and without

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