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.

Shifts in public policy have rendered it more appealing to put more money into your retirement accounts in 2019. Anirban tells us about new limits.

Anirban gives us a rundown of news about workers with disabilities, indicators of an impending recession, the status of globalization and a check-in on the global economy. 

Anirban reports on the division of U.S. land, the expansion of renewable energy, the slowing of the global economy, and job growth. 

Trying to determine how much one needs to save for retirement is likely one of the most challenging computations that one faces in life.  One can simply avoid such complexities by not even trying to save for retirement and living off of Social Security, but that could render retirement unpleasant.  As indicated by the Retirement Living Information Center, the average Social Security payout these days is approximately $1300 per month.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Many of those who are presently working believe that coming generations will be worse off in retirement that the retirees of today – this according to a recent report from insurance company Aegon. This is not simply a belief among Americans, this is increasingly the view in much of the world. The most significant trend impacting retirement is an aging population. As indicated by writer Tom Sightings, in 1950, there were 205 million people over the age of 60 globally.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban comments on the links between student loan debt and a decline in homeownership, the economic outlook for employees without degrees, declining union membership, understanding economic growth, and government borrowing.

A new study supplied by a pair of Harvard Business School researchers finds that employers often underappreciate the struggles their employees face in balancing their professional are caregiving responsibilities. Caregiving will expand as both more children and older people come to depend on those of prime working age. Nearly three quarters of workers in America face some form of caregiving responsibility. Among those workers, 32% indicate that they have left a job because they could not balance work and family duties.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban comments on the economics profession's struggle of diversity, a growing risk of recession, auto production in America, tax appeals of big box retailers, and the investment prowess of women. 

Presently, the U.S. labor market is very strong.  Unemployment is low and there are nearly seven million available, unfilled jobs in America.  But at some point, the economy will find its way into another recession, layoffs will rise, and unemployment will head higher. As indicated by Forbes, recent survey data indicate that older workers may bear a disproportionate share of those layoffs when they arrive.  Anirban tells us more. 

Anirban comments on the 2018 labor market, how to analyze a city's growth prospects, eurozone economic growth, understanding Japan's economic expansion, and the labor force participation of Millenial women. 

It was Mark Twain who said “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  While that may be true, most of us still want to retire eventually. Many of us dream about early retirement.  Alas, the bulk of people appear to retire in their 60s. According to SmartAsset’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the average retirement age in America is 63-years-old.  The average retirement age varies by state, with a low of 62-years-old and a high of 65-years-old. New Englanders are associated with the highest average retirement age.  

Anirban tells us why that may be the case. 

Anirban comments on mortgage debt, job loss due to trade, the car market, the investment in digital health and the link between HVAC and educational outcomes. 

You may be among the millions of U.S. workers who will say farewell to full time employment in 2019. Roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, the age most often associated with retirement. Of course, many people do not retire at the age of 65. Approximately 60 percent of workers had to stop working before they intended due to reasons such as layoffs or health issues according to a 2015 Voya Financial Study. 

If you are intending to retire this year, you will want to be able to check all the right boxes. 

Anirban comments on the geographic concentration of wealth, the fastest growing states by population, the decline in hours worked over time, education professionals leaving the workforce, and the possibility of a recession.

The tide may have finally turned for retirement savings in the U.S. According to a GoBankingRates survey, from 2016 to 2017, the percentage of Americans with nothing saved for retirement increased. But in 2018, the percentage lacking any retirement savings fell dramatically. Moreover, the percentage of those with $300,000 or more in retirement savings increased.  

Anirban reports on the U.S. trade deficit, the rise of traditionally male-dominated industries, the current housing boom, increased spending for public works, and the rise of the family office in global finance options. 

Pension Problems

Jan 3, 2019

Many of us envy those who have public pensions. Public pensions produce income during retirement – sometimes elevated levels of income that far exceed Social Security benefits. But while having a pension is wonderful, it’s not so great when there’s a governmental bankruptcy, which can put those pension benefits at risk. According to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts, many pension funds for public workers already owe far more in retirement benefits than they have in the bank.

Anirban reports on what's behind the fractional decline of life expectancy in the U.S., healthcare spending, household wealth, the U.S. poverty rate, and global trade. 

Let’s say that you are a recent college graduate and that you’re trying to determine how you can save for retirement while paying down your student loans. Most advisors seem to agree that at any given moment, you should be doing a bit of both – paying down your loans while saving for retirement. One of the first things you’ll want to consider is the interest rate on your student loans. When you pay down your debt, essentially, your rate of return is guaranteed. If you pay down your debt by let’s say a thousand dollars, it means that you won’t have to pay any interest on that amount into perpetuity. Still, the math is complicated.  

Anirban tells us why. 

Anirban discusses rising trade barriers and consumers' choices, the strong economic performance of some American cities, Puerto Rico's post Hurricane Maria progress, the economic consequences of pollution, and Millennial's spending habits.

As people age, the need for care rises. The population of older Americans is surging.  Accordingly, an estimated forty million people in America supplied unpaid care in some form or fashion in 2014, the last year for which data are available. As indicated by writer Christian Weller in Forbes, unpaid care added an estimated $470 billion in economic value in 2013. While the provision of care is to be celebrated, there are some negative consequences. Unpaid care worsens an already large gender gap since women are more likely to be caregivers and therefore to save less due to less availability in the job market.

Listen for more. 

Anirban gives us the latest on the housing market, preparing for the next economic downturn, risky corporate borrowing, the cost of spam mail, and more. 

It’s fair to suggest that virtually all of us would like a financially comfortable retirement. Many of us take significant steps toward achieving this goal, including setting aside money and working long hours. One of the other things we could do is pay more attention to the fees charged to our retirement accounts. These fees may appear small, but can produce large, negative impacts over time. 

Anirban tells us more. 

Investment Fees

Dec 13, 2018

It’s fair to suggest that virtually all of us would like a financially comfortable retirement. Many of us take significant steps toward achieving this goal, including setting aside money and working long hours. One of the other things we could do is pay more attention to the fees charged to our retirement accounts.  

Anirban gives us the latest on electric cars, the pros and cons of tax incentives, regional inequality, trends in getting to the airport, and more. 

Here are some good ideas for preparing for retirement – save, invest, work longer, and wait to collect Social Security. But all of these tactics may not amount to much if you are unable to form a permanent bond with your current spouse. According to new findings from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, when all is said and done, ending a marriage can be nearly as destructive to your retirement savings as say the Great Recession was. Divorce implies legal fees, splitting assets in two, and shifting from a two-income household to a one-income household.  

Anirban comments on Amazon's decision to locate its new headquarters in New York and Crystal City, Virginia, wage convergence, dimishing opportunities for poorer Americans, rapid growth in business investment, and fertility rates. 

One of the reasons that many of us have failed to save adequately for retirement is that we love to purchase new cars. It is of course tempting to immerse oneself in that new car smell, as well as to find oneself benefiting from new technology like heated steering wheels, Bluetooth, and automatic braking. The average car payment in the U.S. is estimated at $523 per month.  

Anirban tells us more.

Anirban reports on the latest news about compensation measurements, consumer sentiment index, the strength of the U.S. dollar, airport funding gaps, and the importance of manufacturing jobs. 

If you intend to work for income after you retire, you need to be aware of how your Social Security income may be taxed.  In a recent AARP survey, 37 percent of people indicated that they plan to work either full or part time during retirement.  As indicated by Fidelity Investments, many older workers believe that working after retirement can supply valuable structure to their day and provide the mental stimulation that emerges from interacting with clients and co-workers.  There are of course those who intend to work in retirement out of financial necessity.

Anirban tells us more.