Archive of retirement

17Jan2012
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SOA Blog
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Retirement
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January—A Big Month for Retirement Planning Issues Thumbnail

January—A Big Month for Retirement Planning Issues

by Joe Tomlinson, Tomlinson Financial Planning LLC The year starts on a busy note for the Society of Actuaries Committee on Retirement Needs and Risks with the launch of a major initiative, which involves the production of 11 Decision Briefs on important decisions that individuals need to make around the time of retirement. Each of the briefs deals with a specific decision area and offers key considerations to help individuals plan for retirement. As Anna Rappaport, who chairs the CRPNR, notes, "The time around retirement is particularly challenging, not only because of the life changes, but also because of the number of decisions that must be dealt with." The committee felt that it could provide useful information for both individuals contemplating retirement, and for professionals, like accountants, lawyers, and investment advisors, who work with such individuals. Anna adds, "We recognized that individual decisions depend on unique personal characteristics, but we felt that we could offer useful general information." To produce the Decision Briefs, the committee utilized a workgroup consisting of actuaries and other professionals. Included in the workgroup were members who were close to retirement age themselves, who could bring both personal and professional insights to the project. The briefs are focused on the issues facing average Americans and they do not deal specifically with issues that are only important to high-income individuals. All 11 Decision Briefs are available on the SOA website. These are the topics covered by the briefs: (more…)

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27Dec2011
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SOA Blog
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Retirement
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Top retirement stories of 2011 Thumbnail

Top retirement stories of 2011

Many Americans reached retirement age in 2011, but that did not stop them from continuing to work. Market volatility, combined with a general lack of savings, hurt the retirement plans of many this year. Hopefully, we can learn from the “best laid plan” moments of this year and mitigate the risks inherent with our personal roadmaps to retirement. Here are some of the top stories in retirement news from this past year. Retirement: An Evolving Concept Call it news or just plain reality: the volatile stock market and uncertain economy has required many to postpone their retirements and remain in the workforce. Life expectancies are rising. Portfolio values are decreasing. As a result, the traditional retirement age of 65 is getting extended and the “golden years” are further from our reach. As reported by The New York Times’ Edward Glaeser, “Today nearly 450,000 Americans 65 and older are unemployed and looking to work.” In the last four years, the number of unemployed elderly job seekers has more than doubled. The New York Times went on to say that “nearly 40 percent of 55- to 64-year-old Americans don’t have retirement accounts.” Those who are investing in 401(k)s and making sensible investments along the way may not be much better off than their counterparts without retirement accounts, given the market volatility and risks associated with such investments. The question that remains unanswered is: how do we ensure a lifetime of savings is not undermined by forces beyond one’s control?  Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, has proposed a new type of savings account – supplemental to 401(k)s and Social Security – that would spread such risks among workers, retirees and government. (more…)

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19Dec2011
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SOA Blog
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Retirement
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Reflecting on 2011 and ahead to 2012: Anna Rappaport Thumbnail

Reflecting on 2011 and ahead to 2012: Anna Rappaport

What would you say were the biggest news events in your area of expertise? In the retirement sphere, there are a few areas that are highly important to me.  They include the growing focus on the need for retirement income and the consequences of the decline in defined-benefit plans. Were there any trends that came as a surprise to those following the industry? My biggest surprises include my work on ERISA’s Advisory Council because I had not yet considered the interaction of privacy and security issues with benefit plan issues.  This really reminded me that there is still a lot I do not know. The second surprise I experienced this year is that many people are realizing the importance of working longer, but few people are doing much to make this more possible. (more…)

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Will the role of retirement benefits (DB and DC) in competitive labor markets change? Thumbnail

Will the role of retirement benefits (DB and DC) in competitive labor markets change?

by Anna Rappaport, Anna Rappaport Consulting In my view, pensions and 401(k) plans have not been a major factor in individual decisions about taking jobs, although DB benefits can be a big factor in decisions about when to retire or leave, particularly at older ages. DC benefits have not been much of an influence on the timing of leaving. In contrast, health insurance has been an important factor in labor market decisions for many years in the U.S. Many people do not consider a job without good health insurance, and health insurance can be a significant factor in decisions about changing jobs and when to retire. In 2014, if the Health Insurance Exchanges are implemented as scheduled under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) , people without employer health insurance will have a new set of marketplace options. My view is that health benefits will be much less important at that point. I am interested in learning whether people think that pensions will become much more important in labor market competition and whether they agree with me about health benefits. I am interested in other ideas about how em

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09Nov2011
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SOA Blog
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General, Retirement
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Retirement risks survey presented at 2011 SOA Annual Meeting

Matt Greenwald, owner of Matthew Greenwald & Associates, discusses the findings of a retirement planning survey presented at the 2011 Society of Actuaries Annual Meeting.

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Underfunding of public pension plans Thumbnail

Underfunding of public pension plans

Brad Smith discusses how actuaries must become part of the solution to the underfunding of public pension plans.

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12Oct2011
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SOA Blog
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General
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11Oct2011
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SOA Blog
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General
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Profile of a retirement actuary: Zenaida Samaniego Thumbnail

Profile of a retirement actuary: Zenaida Samaniego

A profile of retirement actuary Zenaida Samaniego.

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25Aug2011
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SOA Blog
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Retirement
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Annuities: Try one today Thumbnail

Annuities: Try one today

John Fenton writes about how annuities can provide guaranteed lifetime income.

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