Retirement Blog

Sunday, September 26, 2010 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Poor retirement planning can leave a recent widow or widower with no cash at a time they may need it most. Until the estate is settled — a process that can take months — the bereaved spouse or partner won’t have access to accounts that were held in one name only, unless the account owner

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Friday, September 24, 2010 2:41 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

House lawmakers yesterday passed a bill that contains a provision giving Americans a little more control over their retirement fates. It is part of the Small Business Jobs Act, passed by the Senate earlier this month. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law on Monday. The legislation provides Americans with “much needed flexibility

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Thursday, September 23, 2010 3:34 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

If you’re a grandparent whose retirement planning includes giving a grandchild a substantial amount of money, this is the year to do it. Eric Reis, partner in the Dallas law firm of Thompson & Knight, points out that last year there was a gift tax of up to 45 percent and a generation-skipping transfer tax

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010 3:50 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I told my husband last night that I was going to write about ex-spouses being able to claim Social Security benefits on their ex’s work record and he got pale. But here’s some retirement planning good news. It wouldn’t cost my husband any money whatsoever if his ex-wife filed for Social Security based on his benefits.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5:21 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

A lot of the talk  about retirement planning focuses on big dollars — $1 million 401(k)s and maxing out Social Security by holding out until age 70, when you could potentially collect nearly $50,000 per year. For most people, retirement doesn’t work out this way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, the median

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Monday, September 20, 2010 4:12 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

70-year-old Dodger manager Joe Torre is walking away from his job with no new offers in sight. “It’s a decision you make without a safety net,” he told the national press. He says he’s healthy and willing to work, but we know the market for 70-year-olds isn’t great, even for those who are nine-time baseball

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Sunday, September 19, 2010 10:00 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

About two-thirds of America’s grandparents have give financial support to their grandchildren in the last five years — 40 percent for general uses and 26 percent for education, says recent research from the MetLife Mature Market Institute. The poll found that the less money people have, the more likely that they are going to be spending

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Friday, September 17, 2010 2:07 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Disability throws a wrench into many people’s retirement planning. Three in 10 workers will become too disabled to work before they are ready for retirement, the Social Security Administration calculates. A study by Northwestern Mutual, which sells annuities and disability insurance, finds that a two-year disability at the age of 50 can reduce total investment

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Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:13 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

This week a lot of the retirement news involved gigantic, scary numbers. On Wednesday morning, the crew on CNBC’s Squawk Box broke the news that American workers are $6.6 trillion short of what they need to retire. That number assumes a 3 percent rate of return on assets, no changes in pension coverage and no

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:02 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Insurers are pushing hard for the inclusion of annuities in employer-sponsored retirement plans. This week, representatives from all the largest insurance and other financial service companies are testifying before  the Labor and Treasury departments on whether new laws should encourage an annuity option in 401(k)s. Spokesmen for MetLife and Prudential Financial made the case that

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