Retirement Blog

Monday, August 16, 2010 4:32 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

With mortgage rates at record lows, does it make the most sense to refinance a mortgage and pay it off before retirement, or to simply expedite payments in hopes of paying the current debt off more quickly? The answer isn’t obvious and it’s worth doing some calculations as part of your retirement planning. Let’s say

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Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:30 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The housing downturn has had an interesting affect on my inner-ring suburban Detroit neighborhood. As housing prices declined, the people buying homes have gotten younger, dividing the blocks into homes owned by newcomer families with young children and homes occupied by older longtime residents, many of whom once thought they would sell and move to

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Friday, August 13, 2010 4:04 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

Pension problems of all types have come to light in recent weeks. Pension funding shortfalls have plagued both private and public plans over the past couple years, thanks in large part to market turbulence. Legislation aimed to alleviate the burden has passed at both the federal and state levels. Employers in the private sector can

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:55 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Saving for retirement is easier if you don’t have to think about it. Proposals for making IRA contributions automatic have been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., respectively. The plan is simple. Employees age 18 and older who have been employed for at

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 5:00 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Lots of retirement planning went awry in 2007 and 2008 when the nation’s financial system went haywire. But investment giant Vanguard reported today in their annual analysis of defined contribution plans, “How America Saves 2010,” that among the 3.2 million 401(k) retirement plans it manages, 66 percent of savers participating since 2007 had higher account

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010 5:01 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

A record number of Americans signed up to take Social Security benefits last year — 75 percent of them are younger than full retirement age, which is 66. The huge number of first-time filers combined with the reduction in contributions because of high unemployment has resulted in Social Security taking in less than it paid

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Monday, August 9, 2010 4:30 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

My husband is closing in on 65, and we started investigating what Medicare will cost him. This aspect of retirement planning surprised me. Naively, I thought Medicare made health care a minor expense. Not true. Medicare comes in four parts. Most people get Part A, or hospital insurance, at no cost. Part B, which covers

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Sunday, August 8, 2010 10:30 am
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

I just turned 59 Friday. One more year to go before the Big 6-O. This milestone has me thinking about retirement and I’m pretty sure I’m not ready yet. My 50s have been great. My kids grew up just about the time this decade began. An editor once asked me to write about my personal

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Friday, August 6, 2010 1:50 pm
By Barbara Whelehan · Bankrate.com

A new report on “Retirement Income Adequacy” released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute says, among other things, that nearly one-half of baby boomers between the ages of 56 and 62 are at risk of running short of money during retirement. Yup, I’m at risk despite all my best retirement planning efforts. Desperate times call

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Thursday, August 5, 2010 3:41 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The annual report on the health of Social Security and Medicare was released today and the news was so-so, especially for younger people who are concerned about retirement planning. Medicare, which serves 46 million retirees and people with disabilities, will continue to be able to pay the bills — thanks to health care reform – until

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