Retirement Confidence Survey

The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States.  It gauges the views, experiences, attitudes, and expectations of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.

The 2012 RCS is the 22nd annual wave of this project, making it possible to track retirement planning behaviors and concerns over time.  Of particular interest in recent years is the affect of the slow economic recovery on the level of confidence Americans have regarding their long-term financial outlook. (more…)

Retirement: The Bigger Picture

When a person sets goals that are especially meaningful, he or she experiences a sense of mission.  A mission is always in tune with one’s values and interests and gives opportunity for those to be expressed in many ways.  A sense of mission in retirement adds an essence and quality of life, the value of which is beyond measure.

As you take steps to design your life in retirement, you may discover that your thoughts turn to deeper issues.  Many consider retirement to be a time to explore their potential. Though a nebulous concept, for some this may mean “fulfilling my purpose,” “finding and expressing my uniqueness,” “making a difference,” “having a mission,” or “leaving a legacy.”  Individuals often respond to this desire for a higher purpose in the following ways:  creativity, contribution, generativity, and spirituality. (more…)

Invest in Yourself for a “No Rules Retirement”

The concept of retirement is undergoing a metamorphosis. Demographic, societal, and workplace trends have all converged to offer a stage of life at midlife and beyond that is much more fluid and flexible than what most of us ever imagined.  When planning for retirement, individuals are discovering that the “old rules” have been thrown out and “no rules” apply.  In fact, “retirement” has become a matter of personal definition.

For this reason, the No Rules Retirement model advocates proactive planning throughout adulthood and in all areas of life.  Retirement should not be viewed as a single event, but rather as one of the many transitions in a continuum of life experiences. (more…)

What’s Your Number

How much money do you need to secure the rest of your life? Do you know how to think about it? What do you want to do with the rest of your life and how much will it cost?

Lee Eisenberg challenges his readers with these questions and more in his book, The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think about the Rest of Your Life. As Eisenberg himself proclaims, “This book is about money, but ultimately it’s about the life you want, the life you don’t, and the costs of each.” (more…)

The 3 R’s of Retirement Success & Satisfaction

Individuals and retirement planning experts alike are recognizing that a successful and satisfying retirement experience depends on more than a healthy nest egg. In fact, financial reporter John Wasik contends, “Financial security and retirement are not the two peas in the pod they used to be.”

Instead, retirement should be thought of as a major life transition that deserves thought and preparation in all areas of life. For example, one study found that it was the size of a retiree’s social network—and not the size of his or her portfolio—that had the strongest influence on life satisfaction. (more…)

Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?

Should you convert all or a portion of your traditional IRA assets to a Roth account? The answer may depend on the amount of time you plan to leave the assets invested, your estate planning strategies, and your willingness to pay the federal income tax bill that a conversion is likely to trigger.

Two Types of IRAs

Each type of IRA has its own specific rules and potential benefits. These differences are summarized in the table below. (more…)