Long-Running Retirement Study Finds Confidence Up, Readiness Down

Because we’re in the profession of preparing clients for retirement, we’re always interested in research that sheds light on how Americans are thinking about (and planning for) their senior years. The longest-running survey of its kind in this field, called the Retirement Confidence Survey, is put out by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). We just finished scanning the most recent results and while there is some improvement in the attitudes American workers have toward retirement, there continues to be (in our view) a serious lack of preparation.


Senior Perspective: What Seniors Wish Youngsters Knew about Money

Have you ever played the mental game that starts out, “If only I knew then what I know now”? We suspect most if not all of us have looked back on various stages of our lives and said, “If only.” Whether it’s the jobs we took, the places we lived or the money we failed to save, as we get older, there are probably many things we wish we had known back then.

That’s why this article on the US News website caught our eye. It contains ten specific pieces of advice seniors would like to be able to tell younger people about finances. The subtitle says it all: “Here’s what seniors think younger generations should know about retirement.” We share this with you for two reasons: first, if you’re several years away from retirement, this information will prove helpful; and second, for those closer to (or already in) retirement, this article may encourage you to pass along some of your hard-earned wisdom to your children, grandchildren or younger acquaintances (if you can get them to listen, that is.)


Today’s Workplace Remains Unkind to Older Workers, says CNBC

“For older workers, getting a new job is a crapshoot.” That’s the sobering title of a recent article on the CNBC website. The article paints a bleak picture of the employment prospects for seniors, stating that the problem of getting fired (or never getting hired) just for being old “is a problem that’s only going to get worse.”

You can access the just-published CNBC article by clicking here. We suggest you consider the implications of this report, since it may have direct impact on your plans for retirement. Surveys show an increasing number of seniors (as many as two-thirds, say some studies) plan to keep working past the age of 65 – but what if the jobs they hope to get or retain simply aren’t available? The financial impact could be severe.


A Rude Awakening for Boomers: Odds Are You’ll Retire with Debt

Are you a baby boomer beginning to look seriously at retirement? If you are, you’re certainly not alone: there are tens of millions of you out there! Your retirement years can indeed be a joy (our goal here at AgingOptions is to help make sure of that). However, you need to be careful and plan well in order to ensure that your retirement dreams match your eventual reality. As a bit of a wake-up call, we just found a brief but sobering article on the financial website Market Watch. It reminds boomers that there’s a good likelihood their retirement won’t be quite as stress-free as they had hoped. The one-word reason: debt.


Study Shows Today’s Retirees are Confident – but Not Well-Prepared

Some of the nation’s largest insurance companies have gotten into the retirement research arena in a big way. Among the firms coming out regularly with research reports about aging and retirement are familiar names like MetLife and long-term care firm Genworth. Recently we found this comprehensive study, the first of its kind from the insurance giant Transamerica.

Before you click on the link and download the report, titled “The Current State of Retirement: a Compendium of Findings about American Retirees,” you should know that it’s long – a total of well over 100 pages. What caught our eye in this study, published only a few months ago, was summarized in the introduction, which cited ten important facts about today’s retirees. We’ll highlight a few of those observations here, but in short the picture is one of upbeat optimism masking a surprising lack of adequate preparation.


Reverse Mortgage Can Help Seniors Afford to Age in Place

We just discovered a pair of related articles on an industry website called Reverse Mortgage Daily that help shed light on what many believe will be an upcoming explosion in Home Equity Conversion Loans, or HECM’s – the technical term for reverse mortgages. These articles could provide you with food for thought if you’re a qualified homeowner considering how a reverse mortgage could help make it possible for you to stay in your home in your future years, a choice called “aging in place.”


Not Much Good News (Yet) Concerning the 2017 COLA for Social Security

The recent story in the news was such a non-event, you may have missed it. The Social Security Administration just released its projected cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, that will theoretically affect Social Security payments in 2017. Last year, due largely to a drop in gas and oil prices, those on Social Security received a zero COLA – no adjustment at all. This year, even though we’ve just entered the third quarter of 2016, Social Security officials are out with their projections based on current consumer prices. The big prediction: benefits will go up by 0.2 percent. For the average recipient, that’s a whopping $2.69 more per month, about the cost of a gallon of regular at the pump.


Adult Children Shocked to Learn Costs of Caring for Aging Parents

Not long ago we discovered an important article that sheds light on something many of us would rather not talk about: the high cost of caring for our aging parents. We’re reminding you of this important fact and linking you once again to this article in hopes that it will stimulate you to plan carefully. Otherwise some deep financial and emotional pitfalls may lie ahead.

The article is from the Money website of U.S. News and World Report. The ominous title speaks volumes: it reads, “Taking Care of Your Aging Parents? It’s Going to Cost You.” Click here to read the article. Even though it’s a few months old, the message is both important and relevant, especially as you plan ahead for your own retirement needs. After all, protecting your assets as you age is a vital part of a solid plan, but those assets can evaporate quickly if you’re not managing them prudently.


Dealing with Complex Medical Issues? Some Tips to Keep it all Straight

If you’re dealing with two or more chronic medical conditions, you may feel as though you are constantly spending time in doctors’ offices, or wading through medical claims and paperwork. And if that’s how you feel, you’re not wrong, according to an article we just read on the Money website of US News & World Report.

The article is called “How to Save Time and Money Managing Multiple Doctor Visits.” You can click on this link to access the article, which includes several tips that we think you’ll find most helpful if you or a loved one are dealing with complex medical conditions involving multiple doctors and healthcare providers.


Millennials’ Pessimism about Social Security May Be Partly Unwarranted

Here at AgingOptions, most of our clients are either in retirement or relatively close to it. Still, this recent article from Bloomberg News caught our attention. It describes the extremely negative outlook most members of today’s millennial generation (generally described as those between 18 and 29) feel toward Social Security. The surprising point of the article: experts seem to agree that, while the program definitely has its problems, those younger people paying into the system today have a reasonable expectation of getting at least partial benefits back when they reach retirement age. Their pessimism may be unwarranted.