Your Retirement | WYPR

Your Retirement

Thursdays at 3:04 P.M.

From WYPR 88.1 FM.  Anirban Basu reviews retirement news.

The fact that so many people are confused about how much money they will need for retirement is hardly surprising. There are a sea of articles, studies, and opinion pieces about such things, and they tend to be all over the map in terms of explaining to people what they need to be ready for retirement. Here is some more data. According to TD Ameritrade’s 2019 Retirement Pulse Survey, about six in 10 Americans think that one million dollars will be enough for a comfortable retirement.  

Anirban tells us more. 


While it is true that many people have failed to adequately save for retirement, some in this position likely shrug their shoulders, and decide that they have a solution – they’ll just keep working.  But there is no guarantee of permanent employment.  Indeed, there is plenty of evidence of age discrimination in the workplace. According to a study by ProPublica and the Urban Institute, between 1992 and 2016, 56 percent of older workers reported either being laid off or pushed out of a job at least once.  

Anirban tells us more. 

There has been considerable discussion about those youthful Millennials who stubbornly remain ensconced in their parents’ homes even after graduating from college or securing their first job.  =But for many people, the situation is inverted with their parents moving in with them. According to the Pew Research Center, among adults living in someone else’s households, 14 percent were the parent of the household head in 2017.  That’s up from 7 percent in 1995.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Insurance Abroad

Sep 12, 2019

Many people dream of retiring abroad, but this presents many challenges, including the fact that Medicare doesn’t travel well. As indicated by writer Michelle Andrews, as the number of American retirees living overseas expands, more of them are confronting difficult choices regarding medical care. If they had remained in the U.S., Medicare would generally have been their coverage options.  

Retirement Age(s)

Sep 5, 2019

While the age of 65 represents the age most closely associated with the notion of retirement, there are many other ages to consider.  For instance, one can begin collecting social security benefits at the age of 62.  However, that may not be a great idea since is one is to claim their full social security benefit, one needs to sign up for social security at one’s full retirement age. Full retirement age varies by birth year. Indeed, full retirement age is defined as 65 for those born in 1937 or earlier.  

Many of us have heard that one million dollars is the magic benchmark for retirement savings. But according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab, many Americans believe that one million dollars in savings is inadequate.  Based on responses from 1,000 401k plan participants nationwide, Americans believe they will need $1.7 million to retire.  Many people will fail to achieve even the smaller $1 million in retirement savings threshold.  

Approximately 10,000 people turn 65 in the U.S. each day. The average American retires before that benchmark – around the age of 63.  The life expectancy for retirees is about 79, which means that the average American will spend 16 years in retirement.  

Conventional wisdom suggests that a retirement nest egg of about $1 million is needed to make it through retirement without suffering significant declines in living standards, but as indicated by writer Joel Anderson, the purchasing power of that million dollars depends substantially upon where one resides.  

Perhaps you are set to retire next year. That’s fabulous. But it’s important to note that the year before entering retirement is critical, and there are some items things that you should probably consider. As indicated by writer Kelly LaVigne, among these are one – determine your healthcare coverage needs, two – expand your savings rate during your last year at work, three – assess your investment risk exposure, four – analyze your income needs in retirement, and five – build that bucket list and figure out how much it will cost to check off various items on that list.  None of this is especially simple.  

Anirban tells us why. 

The Magic Number

Aug 8, 2019

Anirban tells us the closest thing to the magic number–that is, the number you'll need to retire. 

Most Americans seem well aware that Social Security is in trouble and running out of money. As indicated by the Social Security Board of Trustees and reported by writer Lorie Konish, the program’s trust funds are projected to be depleted in 2035, at which time only 80 percent of promised benefits will be payable. According to the latest Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey, only eight percent of surveyed Americans think that the federal government should take no action to shore up the system.  

Anirban tells us about the other top answers. 

As many are aware, most Americans aren’t financially prepared for retirement and they often know it.  According to the Federal Reserve Board’s sixth annual survey of household economics, approximately 44 percent of Americans indicate that their retirement savings are not on track versus 36 percent who believe that they are on track.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Where Seniors Work

Jul 18, 2019

It’s hardly a secret that more Americans are staying on the job longer, or even returning to work after retiring. But as indicated by CNBC, the tendency of older Americans to work varies by community, with the 65 and older crown more apparent as members of the workforce is some cities relative to others. Recent research from retirement community operator Provisional Living offers insights in where older workers are clocking in the most. Researchers analyzed Census Bureau data from cities with populations of at least 200,000.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Approximately twenty percent of Americans indicate that saving for retirement is their most important financial goal – this according to a recent survey conducted by financial services company LendEDU.  As indicated by writer Katie Brockman, that’s the good news.  The bad news is that about four in 10 workers indicate that they won’t ever be able to save enough for retirement, rendering retirement the most unattainable financial goal reported by survey participants.  

Anirban breaks down the issue. 

In the final analysis, to afford retirement, one needs enough resources relative to expenses.  One way to address retirement is to amass resources through saving and investment. Another way to help address the financial requirements of retirement is to cut expenditures, including by moving.  Much attention has been given to nations that offer Americans an opportunity to live in retirement more cheaply, whether Costa Rica or other retirement hotspots for prospective ex-pats.

Anirban tells us more. 

The Silver Tsunami

Jun 20, 2019

Virtually everyone has heard of the silver tsunami in America, the notion that America’s population of senior citizens is surging.  There are many implications associated with a rapidly growing older population, including for healthcare, government finances, and housing.  According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the number of households with people age 80 or over jumped 71 percent from 4.4 million in 1990 to 7.5 million in 2016. 

Unplanned Retirement

Jun 13, 2019

For many people, preparation for retirement largely revolves around a plan to work for as long as possible.  In other words, many people are planning for retirement by planning not to have one or at least not much of one. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 33 percent of workers expect to retire between the ages of 65 and 69, and 43 percent at the age of 70, or beyond, or not at all. But such planning, if it can be called that, is far from perfect.  

As indicated by writer Nir Kaissar, the Government Accountability Office recently updated its sweeping 2015 report on retirement security in America.  The new numbers offer no more comfort than the old ones.  The most worrisome figures remain stubbornly consistent.  Nearly 30 percent of households aged 55 years and older have no retirement savings and no pension. 

Anirban tells us more.

While there’s no place like home, when it comes to retirement, that’s not always the case.  Seduced by superior weather, lower taxes, or simply a change of scenery, many seniors choose to relocate upon retirement.  As indicated by CNBC, more often than not, that means moving to a state like Florida, Arizona, or to the Carolinas.  Fresh information emerges from SmartAsset’s annual study regarding where retirees are moving.  

Anirban tells us more. 

Here’s some optimism for you – more than half of Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, believe that they will be millionaires at some point in their lives – this according to a TD Ameritrade survey.  But as indicated by a Brookings Institution report, reality could prove to be far less pleasant. According ot that report, median wealth among Millennials in 2016 was lower than among similarly aged cohorts during any year from 1989 to 2007. 

Anirban tells us more. 

According to a Gallup poll, the average working America expects to retire at the age of 66–that’s up from 63 in 2002. While a considerable amount of conventional wisdom suggests that many people will have to work well past their intended retirement age, the fact is that many people end up retiring before they thought they would.  As indicated by writer Emily Brandon, a plan to work longer isn’t the same as being able to remain on the job into one’s mid-or late 60s.  

Anirban tells us more. 

As indicated by Forbes, when it comes time to pick a place for retirement, the majority of Americans end up staying put or moving within their own state. But there are many others who move to states like South Carolina, Arizona and of course Florida. There are still others who leave America altogether.  

We often discuss the benefits that come from garnering professional advice regarding one’s finances and retirement planning. However, recent research indicates that most Americans are content simply to manage matters on their own. Despite reports indicating that many workers live paycheck to paycheck and that fewer than half of all adults would be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, the majority of Americans decline any financial help or advice.  

Anirban tells us more. 

It's Retirement Time

Apr 18, 2019
Flickr/Creative Commons

Anirban discusses the "fragile decade" and approaching retirement.

Usually, we spent this time talking about preparing for retirement or living during it.  Today, we take things one step further and talk about funerals.  I know, not fun, but funerals can be expensive and it makes some sense to speak to the relevant economics. 

Anirban tells us more.

Many financial advisors will tell you that you may need about a million dollars or more saved if you retire at the age of 65. So how much money does the average American have in retirement savings? As indicated by writer Eric Reed, the answer is about nothing. While sources of data differ, the broader story remains the same.  

When people consider how much financial wealth they will need in retirement, they may have a relatively simple time calculating things like property taxes, groceries or even travel. But healthcare costs are extremely difficult to estimate, and that makes it all the more important that people save with regularity even in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.  

Many financial advisors will tell you that you may need about a million dollars or more saved if you retire at the age of 65. So how much money does the average American have in retirement savings? As indicated by writer Eric Reed, the answer is about nothing. While sources of data differ, the broader story remains the same.  

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.

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.