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Planning to Retire

July 2009


Some Social Security Disability Claims Expedited

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When your Social Security statement arrives in the mail each year it tells you how much money you are eligible for if you become disabled. About 7,563,000 disabled workers received an average monthly benefit of $1,062 in May 2009.

Yet, the application process for Social Security disability payments ...

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retirement

401(k) Matches Linked to Company Performance

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The most common way that companies contribute to employee 401(k) accounts is to provide a fixed match. The typical match is 50 cents for each $1 the participant saves up to 6 percent of pay. But an employer is under no obligation to continue contributing the same amount or even to provide a 401(k)

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retirement

The Baby Boomer Legacy

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The baby boomer generation has left its imprint on every aspect of American culture. This large, but hardly cohesive, social group has presided over sweeping social changes, but also watched their own retirement prospects vanish just as they were about to claim them. So, what legacy will the baby ...

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retirement

Would You Make Sacrifices to Retire Early?

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Retiring in the near term might require a few sacrifices if you haven’t saved enough. Some people are willing to cut back on common expenses in order to be able to retire at a younger age. A recent survey found that many Americans are already spending less money by avoiding unnecessary purchases ...

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retirement

Social Security Debit Card Gains Traction

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Social Security recipients became eligible to get their monthly payments on a prepaid debit card last year. Over half a million Americans have now signed up for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard offered by Dallas-based Comerica Bank. The card is aimed at Social Security recipients without bank ...

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retirement

Laid Off Baby Boomers Seek Entry-Level Jobs

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When you’re laid off at age 50 or older it can be tough to find a new job with the same level of seniority. Some out-of-work baby boomers are now applying for positions on a lower rung of the organizational ladder. The majority (63 percent) of workers age 55 and older who were laid off in the last ...

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retirement

The End of Do-It-Yourself Retirement Accounts

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401(k)s have long been thought of as do-it-yourself retirement accounts. Yet, employers have been playing a growing role in how much workers save and where they invest their 401(k) dollars. Many 401(k) plan sponsors now automatically enroll workers in 401(k)s unless they specifically out. A portion ...

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retirement

Retirees Become More Conservative, Frugal

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Baby boomers still in the work force have some time left to boost their nest eggs. But people who retired before the recession began have less hope for recovering diminished retirement funds. Almost half of retirees (49 percent) are feeling less financially secure than when they first retired,

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retirement

Giving Financial Gifts to Grandchildren

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Most grandparents say they don’t plan to leave their children and grandchildren an inheritance, but would prefer to give smaller monetary gifts throughout their lifetime. Some 78 percent of grandparents regularly give small sums of money to their grandchildren, while only 22 percent plan to leave ...

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retirement

A Quarter of Americans Still Work After Age 65

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Retirement is a thing of the past for a quarter of Americans over age 65. Just over 25 percent of those between ages 65 and 74 were still working in 2008, according to the latest Census Bureau numbers. And amazingly 9 percent of Americans still go to work between ages 75 and 84. After age 85, the ...

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retirement

How Much Annual Income Do Retirees Have?

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Most retirees get income from several places. The biggest source of retirement money for most Americans is Social Security. The average Social Security recipient gets about $13,908 annually as of June 2009. But then there’s pension income, if you’re fortunate enough to get one, savings from ...

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retirement

Older Worker Unemployment is Increasing Fast

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The unemployment rate for people age 55 and over rose from 6.7 percent in May to 7 percent in June. That’s still much lower than the 9.5 percent unemployment rate for the labor force as a whole. But unemployment among older workers grew faster in the past month than younger worker job loss. While ...

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retirement

Racial Disparities in Retirement Savings

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African-American and Hispanic workers are less likely to participate in their employer’s 401(k) and, when they do participate, save less for retirement than white and Asian employees, according to a new study released today. This results in a smaller nest egg for African-American and Hispanic ...

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retirement

Suspending the 401(k) Match, Keeping a Pension

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When a company suspends its 401(k) match, it certainly hurts the retirement security of all employees. Approximately 4.4 million workers at 251 companies have lost company 401(k) contributions since the recession began. However, about half of the newly 401(k) matchless employees continue to receive ...

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retirement

Paying for Health Care in Retirement

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Baby boomers who have lost their health insurance often struggle to find affordable coverage until Medicare kicks in at age 65. But even qualifying for government health insurance won’t completely quell your money worries. While Medicare is far more affordable that buying an individual health ...

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retirement

When Does Old Age Begin?

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When does someone become old? At age 68. That’s the average of 2,969 answers provided to this question in a recent Pew Research Center telephone survey of Americans age 18 and older. But the responses varied depending on the age and gender of the person answering the question. Most people under age ...

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retirement

Baby Boomer Businesses are Booming

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We like to think that most entrepreneurs are 20-somethings starting Web-based businesses in their garages. Although there are a few famous business titans who launched companies shortly after college or even dropped out, that is far from the norm. Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have had a ...

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retirement