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 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…)
With so much at stake when planning a retirement income stream, it pays to take a step back and see whether your plan takes into account the major obstacles to retirement income adequacy. When you take this big-picture view, consider the five major challenges most retirees face: the potential for outliving one’s assets; the threat of rising living costs; the impact of increasing health care costs; uncertainty about the future level of Social Security benefits; and the damage to long-term financial security that can be caused by excessive withdrawals in the early years of retirement.
Understanding each of these challenges can lead to more confident preparation. (more…)
The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States. Since 1991, the RCS has gauged the views, experiences, and attitudes of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.
The 2016 RCS found that the recovery in retirement confidence, following the 2009-2013 economic recession, continues to hold. In fact, 2016 results demonstrated that 21 percent of workers are now “very confident” they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years as compared to just 13 percent in 2013. (more…)
Our concept of retirement is undergoing a metamorphosis. Demographic, societal, and workplace trends have all converged to offer a stage of life—at mid-life and beyond—that is much more fluid and flexible than we previously thought possible. When planning for retirement, we are discovering that the “old rules” have been thrown out and that “no rules” apply. (more…)
If the goal of saving for retirement is to provide financial security, then a key objective of retirement portfolio management should be generating a stable stream of income while preserving investment principal. Bond laddering is a strategy that may address both aspects of that key objective. (more…)