Anirban Basu | WYPR

Anirban Basu

Host, Morning Economic Report

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants.  Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate.  Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes.  Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.

He is the author of numerous regional publications including the Mid-Atlantic Economic Quarterly and Outlook Maryland and is routinely asked to contribute to local media, including on his radio show on WTMD, 89.7 FM/Baltimore and here on WYPR's Morning Economic Forecast.  Anirban completed his graduate work in mathematical economics at the University of Maryland.  He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1992. His Bachelors in Foreign Service is from Georgetown University and was earned in 1990.  He is currently working toward his J.D. at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

The expansion of the U.S. economy, cities in fiscal distress, spouses living apart, families struggling to meet basic needs, income inequality among Asian Americans.

More than 40 percent of Americans are at risk of going broke in retirement. And that's the good news. Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban gives us the latest news on consumer sentiment, wedding economics, consumer spending, unemployment among younger Americans and climate change in economic forecasting. 

Let’s say you are in your forties and you haven’t been saving for retirement. Experts suggest that you had better get busy–now. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average American 44 to 49 years old has a bit more than $81,000 in retirement savings. But that figure is heavily impacted by certain forty-somethings who have managed to save a lot of money for retirement already. Anirban tells us more.

Anirban comments on the budget deficit, the pluses and minuses of rapid economic growth, housing affordability and rising consumer prices.

As reported by Bloomberg, each year, Vanguard Group releases its review regarding the state of retirement savings.  The review focuses on 401ks, 403bs, and other defined contribution plans that allow people to set aside money for retirement and often defer taxes in the process.  The report, entitled "How America Saves 2018," is replete with data, charts and interesting analytics.  It is also packed with some good news.

Anirban comments on the shrinking number of young construction workers, the housing market, wage increases, America's pension crisis, and seniors and bankruptcy. 

Retirement in Russia

Aug 16, 2018

You might have thought that you would be safe from discussion about Russia during a retirement segment.  You were wrong.  A newly proposed policy announced as many were watching the Russian national team defeat Saudi Arabia five to nil during the opening game of the World Cup would raise the Russian state pension age from sixty to sixty-five for men by twenty-twenty eight and from fifty five to sixty-three for women by twenty-thirty four.  Raising the retirement age to the mid-sixties hardly sounds like anything to be especially upset about, but many Russians are infuriated.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban comments on the foreign purchase of American homes, the slowing down of the U.S. housing market, state finances, entry-level jobs requirements and discrimination in office housework.  

 

Turns out that the Millennial generation, which is largely comprised of twenty and thirty-somethings, aren’t so different from the rest of us after all – well, at least in certain ways.  A recent Bankrate.com survey asked Millennials, who for these purposes are classified as Americans ages eighteen to thirty-seven, what the perfect time to retire would be. Listen to find out what that age is.

For generations, the nation has relied upon family members to keep aging loved ones in their homes and to supply needed care. But today, many Americans are growing older without family nearby, resulting in an unprecedented caregiving crunch. As indicated by writer Clare Ansberry, the caregiving crunch comes at a time when many Americans reaching retirement age are in a financial squeeze not experienced by some prior generations.

Anirban on the lack of well-trained workers, Google's fine from the European Commission, price markups, and defining the "one percent" in different states. 

Let’s say you are in your forties and you haven’t been saving for retirement. Experts suggest that you had better get busy–now. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average American 44 to 49 years old has a bit more than $81,000 in retirement savings. But that figure is heavily impacted by certain forty-somethings who have managed to save a lot of money for retirement already.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban tells us about the conflict over H2B Visas, changing unemployment rates, inflationary pressures, national debt and wage differences in married couples. 

Anirban on Millenials' decision to hold off on parenthood, the fluctuating 'middle class,' sizing up the U.S. economy, tax cuts and economic growth, and Geneva's expensive food scene. 

Anirban tells us about a sobering report that finds that people living in 15 different nations don't have the retirement information that they should.

Anirban shares research on the economic and personal considerations caregivers face.

Anirban gives us the latest findings on the gig economy, worker productivity, unemployment rates around the country, the low male laborforce participation rate, and how Americans spend their time. 

The Reports: July 2-6

Jul 6, 2018

Anirban discusses new research on deaths exceeding births among white Americans, the national old age dependency ratio, the decline in applications for disability and offers a brief analysis of immigration in America. 

Because of a technical error, the 7/5 episode is not included in the podcast. 

We often focus in this segment on optimal savings behavior. But there are other strategies available to us with respect to retirement preparation, including not retiring or at least postponing retirement. That is the message behind a new and provocative study entitled the "Power of Working Longer." Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban on a report that determines well-being, the end of the International Entrepreneur Rule and the impact of tariffs.

For the first time since Harry Truman was president, Americans are set to reach retirement age in worse financial shape than the prior generation. The group of Americans approaching retirement is associated with high average debt, in part because they are still paying off their children’s educations and/or dipping into savings to support aging parents.  

Residents being priced out of the metropolitan housing market, America's pension crisis and rising compensation costs.

Reports indicating just how little many Americans have saved for retirement keep on coming. Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning and Progress Study, based on a survey of approximately 2,000 adults, found that 21 percent of Americans have nothing saved at all for their golden years.

Last week, we featured an article authored by Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James that appeared in the Harvard Business Review. The article focuses largely upon how the shift from defined benefit pension plans to 401Ks has placed many workers at risk for financially treacherous retirements. That article is so incredibly endowed with information, I thought it worthwhile to speak to some of its other conclusions.  

Wage growth, student debt, employment in steel cities, levels of wealth based on age and looking at where people are moving for work.

Changes in population, marriage age, home prices, age of homebuyers, and personal wealth. 

A recent Harvard Business Review article indicates that over the past four decades, changes prompted by corporate America have placed workers and the broader American society at risk. Here’s what authors Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James mean. The shift from defined benefit pension plans to employee-directed contribution 401K plans represents a major driver of America’s impending retirement crisis.  Beginning during the 1980s, this shift in retirement benefits helped companies reduce their retirement liabilities and better meet their quarterly financial targets.  

American life expectancy, unemployment rates, defining wealth, economic expansion and fertility rates. 

One of the most difficult aspects of preparing for retirement is projecting one’s future living costs. After all, it’s not easy to determine how much inflation there will be or how your lifestyle or health will change.  According to the Nationwide Retirement Institute, 44 percent of workers aged 50 and over believe that their living expenses will stay the same one they leave their careers behind.  

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