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Planning to Retire

May 2010


Firms Plan to Eliminate Retiree Health Plans

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Employers are increasingly trying to avoid paying for health insurance for retirees who leave the workforce before they become eligible for Medicare. Some 43 percent of companies currently offering retiree medical benefits plan to soon reduce or eliminate them, according to a recent Towers Watson ...

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retirement

$250 Medicare Part D Rebate Checks to Begin

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Seniors who have high prescription drug costs will soon receive government payments. The first $250 rebate checks for retirees who have reached the Medicare Part D coverage gap will be mailed out on June 10, 5 days ahead of schedule, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced ...

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retirement

Investors Moving Money to Low Cost Funds

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Lower fund costs allow investors to keep more of a fund’s return. The volatile financial market has led to increasing concern about how much investment expenses erode gains and enhance losses, especially when saving for a long-term goal such as retirement. Costs are also sometimes controllable by ...

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retirement

More New Employees Shut Out of Pensions

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Most new hires at top U.S. companies will not be invited to join the pension plan this year. Only 17 companies in the Fortune 100 currently offer traditional pensions to new hires, down from 20 in 2009 and 67 in 1998, according to a new Towers Watson analysis. Another 25 companies offer hybrid ...

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retirement

More Pension Plans Frozen

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If you’re still in the fortunate minority of workers with access to a traditional pension, these valuable retirement benefits may not continue until you retire. Companies are increasingly closing pension plans to new hires and even freezing new accruals for existing employees.

About 20 percent of ...

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retirement

401(k) Recovery Winners and Losers

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401(k) account balances have rebounded significantly since last year. Fidelity 401(k) accounts held an average of $66,900 at the end of first quarter of 2010, up 41 percent from a year earlier. That amount, however, is still below the $69,200 nest egg Fidelity 401(k) participants had in 2007.

Some ...

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retirement

Retiree Prescription Drug Prices Soar

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The price of the brand name prescription drugs most widely used by Medicare beneficiaries increased 9.7 percent in the 12 months ending in March 2010, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute report. This is the highest spike in retiree drug prices observed since AARP began tracking drug ...

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retirement

12 Ways to Fix Social Security

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The Social Security program faces a long term financing shortfall. The trust fund’s reserves are currently projected to cover payments until the end of 2037. Then there will only be sufficient resources to pay about three quarters of scheduled benefits. For full checks to be issued after that date ...

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retirement

401(k) Wish List

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Most retirement savers think their 401(k) could use a few improvements. Employees would like all companies to offer retirement accounts and would appreciate more advice about how to save and invest for retirement, according to a recent ING U.S. Retirement Services and Ipsos Public Affairs telephone ...

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retirement

Older Unemployed Remain Out of Work Longer

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Older workers are less likely to be involuntary out of work than their younger counterparts. The unemployment rate for those age 55 and older was 7 percent in April, well below the 9.9 percent of all Americans who are out of work. However, when older workers lose their job they have more difficulty ...

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retirement

5 Questions to Ask About Your Target-Date Fund

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Target-date funds are the cruise control of retirement investing. All you have to do is pick a fund and the fund manager makes all the decisions about how much to allocate to stocks, bonds, and cash throughout your entire lifetime. Some retirement savers don’t even need to actively pick the fund.

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retirement

3 Ways Retirees Can Guarantee Income for Life

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Many Americans approaching retirement are concerned that their savings won’t last the rest of their life. The risk that seniors will outlive their assets has heightened as longevity continues to increase. Couples, both currently age 62, have a 47 percent chance that at least one of them will live ...

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retirement

Obama: $5 Billion for Retiree Health Benefits

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Companies will get $5 billion from the federal government to maintain health care coverage for early retirees, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday. The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, created by the health reform bill, aims to subsidize employers that provide ...

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retirement

3 Easy Ways to Meet Retirement Savings Goals

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It’s well known that most employees aren’t on track to maintain their current standard of living in retirement. The typical U.S. employee will need to accumulate 15 times his or her final pay using a combination of Social Security, pensions, retirement accounts, and other savings in order to retire ...

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retirement