All Articles Tagged "retirement"
Finally some good news out of Wall Street. The historic gains that we saw on the Street in 2013 have resulted in a record boost to American retirement accounts, reports The Washington Post.
According to the largest provider of retirement plans in the U.S., Fidelity Investments, the average balance in its accounts last year was $89,300. This is nearly double the amount during the most recent recession. Another major retirement fund manager, Vanguard, said its plans averaged $101,650, which is the highest since it started tracking in 1999.
So the balance increase in 401Ks will make people feel more secure in opting to retire. A Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia study found that the number of people who said they were retiring started to climb in 2010, after the official end of the recession. And it increased further in 2012 when the stock market saw improvements.
“The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained almost 30 percent last year to reach new nominal highs. According to Fidelity, market gains fueled more than three-quarters of the increase in 401k balances,” reports The Post.
Other retirement account gains were seen from contributions by employees or their companies. Many companies matched a percentage of the savings that employees saved in their retirement accounts. A growing number of companies are actually cutting back on the match or altering the schedule of contributions.
While it may seem like great news that Wall Street is improving, some experts, like Sara Rix, a senior strategic policy adviser with the AARP Public Policy Institute, say it won’t change the lives of retirees dramatically. “I don’t think they’re going to be drastically affected by rising market values,”
“Analysis by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College showed that Wall Street’s gains in 2013 only modestly improved Americans’ retirement prospects,” reported The Post. The study found was that 53 percent still found it difficult to maintain their standard of living following retiring in 2010. And that figure dropped just slightly in 2013, even with a the bull market.
The benefits of the stock market gains went mainly to high-income households, which hold 17 percent of their wealth in stocks. On the other hand, only 2 percent of poor families’ wealth was held in equities.
How has your new year been thus far? Is it looking to be a great year, or just another woeful one for the books? Though there are plenty of months left in 2014 to make an impact, many of us are looking for some clarity when it comes to what to expect and opportunities we can seize. Here are 10 reasons to be optimistic about 2014.
This Christmas, Tyler Perry is looking to make you double over with laughter and reflect on a timeless lesson. Perhaps both goals are achieved in his latest flick, A Madea Christmas, his eighth featuring the loud-mouth character we’ve come to love.
We caught up with the famed director to talk about the holiday season, what he’s getting Oprah for Christmas and if he’ll ever kill off Madea.
ESSENCE.com: Are you planning to give Oprah a special gift this year? Or anyone else?
PERRY: Nope, I gave her flowers last year for her birthday. This year she’s getting a small single rose and in a bottle. I’m going to buy it on a freeway in California and send it to her, that’s what she’s getting this year. Don’t tell her! I give Christmas gifts all year long. Everybody gets a Christmas gift. It comes every month for most people that I know.
ESSENCE.com: You have so many Madea movies under your belt. In a lot of ways her character seems immortal. Have you ever thought about bringing her character to a close or killing her off?
PERRY: I would never kill her off, but if people stopped coming to see Madea she would go away. She would go away very, very quickly because she’s not my favorite character to play. But, I do appreciate the joy that she brings to a lot of people. I’ve been trying to celebrate it within myself and enjoy the moment, enjoy the ride.
ESSENCE.com: Spike Lee recently said that he would like to work with you. In a perfect world, what would that project look like?
PERRY: You know, I don’t know. Spike has so much edge to his work. It would be very interesting. I’m totally intrigued at the thought and would love the idea of just being able to work with someone as brilliant as Spike. Maybe we will find the right project that speaks to what is true to him, while at the same time speaks to what is true to me at my core.
You can read more over on ESSENCE.com, including how Tyler Perry handles accepting scripts from up and coming writers. It looks like Madea is here to stay as long as she keeps bringing in dollars.
Your 20s were the time to splurge on the latest handbags, mess up your credit, rebuild your credit and establish patterns of financial success for your future. Now in your 30′s with kids, a mortgage, a significant other and a better career (or just a little wisdom and a desire to get it together), it’s time to get secure and at-peace with your finances.
Here are a few ways to achieve financial peace of mind in your 30′s.
Retirement can be an anticipated pleasure or a kiss of death. It basically boils down to what you are currently making and what you have saved up. Thinking about future plans far in advance can be really difficult, especially if you are dealing with the woes and worries of today. Why should I think about relaxing in my senior years when I have bills to pay right now?
While this is true, your actions of today are your consequences of tomorrow. And if you fail to save for your retirement, you may not even get the pleasure to stop working during your last days. Well what does this mean for those of us who do what’s necessary to make end’s meet? Maybe you are working a job to pay the bills that doesn’t offer a high salary? Or perhaps you are working in a freelance or contracting capacity where retirement plans are not in the cards? Whatever your situation is, just know you have options.
Here are some tips on how to save for your retirement on a limited budget or income.
Toni Braxton may have taken a hiatus from music, but the iconic singer is making a comeback with a new album and tour.
Braxton, who previously said she wasn’t interested in creating new music has changed her mind and is currently working on a new album. The Braxton Family Values star is garnering some help from Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and producer, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
The pair has worked together in the past, as Braxton’s first first three albums were produced by Babyface through his record label, LaFace Records.
“I think I’ve made the right devision to get back involved with songwriting and working with Kenny,” said Braxton on an episode of Braxton Family Values.
The 45-year-old singer shared that she and Babyface channeled their past experiences to help them make good music together.
You can read the rest over on Essence.com!
Wow, we’ve gotten good news about Toni for two days in a row which is great for her! It looks like she is going to be very busy for the rest of the year and she’s likely still filming Braxton Family Values. Toni is scheduled to start touring August 9th and her album should be out in September.
Are you ready for new material from Toni Braxton?
Net worth is a financial measure of your own personal worth in assets and investments. The healthier your investment history and the more money you earn from investing it wisely, the higher you own personal “price tag.”
As African-Americans, our net worth is not even a tenth of our overall consumer power. According to a report done by Democracy Now!, African-American women have, on average, about $100 net worth in 2013 compared to $41,000 for white women. As a race whose consumer power is in the billions, why are we shortchanging our own net worth?
Here are a few investments to look into to build your portfolio and your net worth. Don’t just jump in! After consulting and finding the right financial advisor, make sure to research your investment options. Learn as much as you can and begin writing the price tag for what you are worth.
Many people fear retirement not only because of the fact that there will be less money to live on but some actually look at it as a death sentence. Well, a new study seems to prove that retirement will kill you. Jennifer Montez of Harvard University and Anna Zajacova of the University of Wyoming, examined why the gap in life expectancy between highly-educated and less-educated Americans has been growing so rapidly, reports Peter Orszag in Bloomberg.
Montez and Zajacova examined the growing educational gradient in life expectancy from 1997 to 2006, focusing on white women ages 45 to 84. The results: The life expectancy of less-educated women was shortened by their lower employment rates compared with those of highly-educated women.
This isn’t the only study. Researchers at the UK’s Institute of Economic Affairs also recently pointed out “negative and substantial effects on health from retirement.” According to their study, retirement to be associated with a significant increase in clinical depression and a decline in self-assessed health. And yet another study from 2008 by the National Bureau of Economic Research discovered that full retirement increased difficulties with mobility and daily activities by 5 percent to 16 percent and, by reducing physical exertion and social interactions, also harmed mental health.
But there are also contracting studies. A 2007 paper by John Bound of the University of Michigan and Timothy Waidmann of the Urban Institute, find that retirement doesn’t harm health — and may actually improve it. “Another study, by Esteban Calvo of the Universidad Diego Portales in Chile, Natalia Sarkisian of Boston College and Christopher Tamborini of the Social Security Administration, finds harm from early retirement but no benefit from delaying retirement beyond the traditional age,” writes Peter Orszag.
So which is it? There seems to be more evidence to show that during retirement years one’s health can deteriorate. So as Peter Orszag concludes, “[T]he next time you think your job is killing you, just remember that the evidence, if anything, suggests the opposite. Your job may be saving your life.”
The study doesn’t deal directly with African Americans, but you must know someone who’s retired. What’s your perception of how they’re handling it?
The time will come when you will be ready for retirement. If you are not prepared you may find yourself still working well into your senior years. But even with planning there are typical mistakes people make.
In fact, a just-released report found that most workers across the globe are unprepared for retirement. Nonprofit foundation Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies compiled data in collaboration with Aegon for The Changing Face of Retirement, surveying 12,000 workers and retirees in 12 European, North American and Asian countries. According to the findings, few (12 percent) are “very optimistic” that they will have enough money to live on when they are retired, reports Reuters.
The study also found that nine percent of people globally say their personal retirement planning process is “very well developed” (12 percent in the U.S.); nine percent have a written plan for retirement (14 percent in the U.S.); and 39 percent of employees globally do not know if they are on course to achieve their desired retirement income (37 percent in the U.S.).
There are things you can do to be better prepared–and things not to do. Here is a look at retirement planning mistakes to avoid.
No one is exempt from feeling the impact of the economic downturn, including the elderly. Just like many others, seniors are struggling with mounting debt that’s preventing them from retiring comfortably, if at all.
According to Federal Reserve data analyzed be the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the average debt held by senior citizens shot up to $50,000 in 2010, an increase from 83 percent in 2001. The culprit for this lingering debt is housing-related. The St. Louis Federal Reserve found that families headed by someone 60 or older had the largest increase in average mortgage debt by percentage between 2000 and 2010.
It’s not that seniors are going out shopping for homes. It’s that pre-downturn money was so cheap that many took out the home equity lines of credit on their homes to make home improvements, travel, or even invest. Only 24 percent of homeowners over the age of 62 had mortgage debt in 1992, but that figure soared to 45 percent in 2010.
Other than mortgage debt, more seniors are relying on credit cards. Just about one-third of American seniors are relying on credit for daily expenses. Amy Traub senior policy analyst at Demos, the company that found these results said, “If people are relying on credit cards to pay living expenses, it’s difficult to see how that turns around if they aren’t earning additional income.”
Increased debt has forced many senior citizens to continue working well past the normal retirement age. Many are uncertain if they will experience the comfortable retirement they expected in their younger years and for some seniors with looming debt, retirement will never become a reality. The key is to plan early, save aggressively, and make your money work for you so you won’t have to work into your golden years.