Retirement Blog

The Retirement Blog approaches the subject the way Gladys Kravitz from the old sitcom “Bewitched” might -- by poking a finger through the blinds, hoping to figure it all out, even the bewildering parts. The blog focuses on the financial issues that ordinary retirees might encounter, with an emphasis on topics like managing 401(k)s, IRAs, Social Security, Medicare and the rapidly disappearing old-fashioned pensions. Even if you have a couple of million bucks in the bank, you might find useful information here, but mostly we try to keep average folks up to date on what it takes to retire comfortably. See the latest Retirement Blog posts below.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 4:17 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The U.S. Supreme Court made one thing clear in yesterday’s Amara v. Cigna decision: Employees are on their own to understand what their pension paperwork actually says. In 1997 and 1998, Cigna, the Philadelphia-based insurance company, converted its traditional pension plan to a cash balance plan. It gave its employees a synopsis of the plan

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Monday, May 16, 2011 1:54 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The retirement planning Nervous Nellies among us are legion. Two more studies released today say once again, that boomers are nervous about retirement. The Society of Actuaries study reported that 58 percent of retirees and 71 percent of pre-retirees were concerned about the impact of inflation on the value of their savings and investments. MFS

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Sunday, May 15, 2011 12:30 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

For most of us, money saved in a 401(k) will provide a big portion of our retirement income. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a nonprofit think tank funded by financial services companies, held a seminar last week on the question, “Is There a Future for Retirement?” Much of the discussion centered on how to

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Friday, May 13, 2011 4:02 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

If you work for a small business, it’s likely that you don’t have access to a workplace retirement plan. That’s especially true for those on the low end of the wage scale. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to be a key employee in a medical or law office that sponsors a defined

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:20 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Are you happy with the retirement savings options and other aspects of your 401(k)? According to a new report released by Cogent Research, most people who have more than $100,000 saved aren’t particularly enthusiastic about the management of their 401(k) — unless they are lucky enough to belong to a plan administered by one of

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 3:03 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Here’s some more info on long-term care insurance, a retirement planning tool that is worth considering. Jesse Slome, who is executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a trade association whose members are long-term care insurance salespeople, commented on yesterday’s blog about the rising cost of long-term care. I said it was

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 3:22 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My Aunt Sissie was a tough old bird. She got married at 14, had a couple of kids, then divorced and took a job as a matron at the women’s federal penitentiary in Alderson, W.Va., where for years she kept the inmates in line. Even living in retirement, she wasn’t the kind of woman to

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Monday, May 9, 2011 3:37 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Congress is between a rock and a hard place over federal budget deficits, but as of today, it looks like there shortly will be a compromise over raising the debt ceiling. As Washington Post writer Ezra Klein wrote, both sides have a “healthy aversion to unimaginable consequences.” Even if the current debt ceiling crisis is

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Sunday, May 8, 2011 7:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

It’s Mother’s Day, and I speak from experience: Every mom who is on the verge of retirement has all the tchotchkes, slippers and bath bubbles she needs, plus a buffet brunch isn’t on her diet. Here are five better retirement planning gifts that say you love her even more eloquently. Buy her some long-term care

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Friday, May 6, 2011 2:35 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

Alternative investments are all the rage among heavyweight investors. U.S. pension funds are boosting their allocations to hedge funds, according to a recent article on ai-CIO.com, a website that tracks news of interest to chief investment officers of pension funds, endowments and foundations. These guys are the so-called “smart money.” Individual investors can learn a

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