All Articles Tagged "retirement"
The average white family in America has $134,200 in wealth whereas their Black family counterparts have an average of $11,000, reports CNN Money. The Urban Institute found in their investigation that whites currently have 12 times the wealth of blacks, a huge leap from 1995 when whites had seven times more wealth than blacks. Signe-Mary McKernan who serves as the co-director of the Opportunity and Ownership Initiative at the Urban Institute says, “The American Dream remains out of reach for many African-American and Hispanic families. Families of color, who will be the future majority population of this country, are not on a firm wealth-building path.”
The wealth gap continues to widen between Blacks and whites because Blacks are less likely to be homeowners or participate in retirement accounts. Also the federal government programs that help Americans to purchase homes and save for retirement often have parameters that exclude lower income Americans. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to fall in that category.
“The bottom 20% of taxpayers, in terms of income, received less than 1% of federal subsidies for homeownership or retirement,” the article says.
The Urban Institute report found white families have at least $285,000 saved in funds and are able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Inheritances make it possible for children to accumulate wealth or purchase property.
CNN Money also says Blacks and Hispanics save less for their retirement in 401(k)s and IRAs. These retirement plans have replaced pensions, leaving Blacks with less money to pass toward their children. Forty-seven percent of whites are covered by employer retirement plans whereas 40 percent of Blacks don’t receive the same work benefits.
Besides employment benefits, Blacks build up more student loan debt than whites. Also with low graduation rates, many Blacks face the burden of loans but no college degree thus creating problems as they try to push forward financially.
Young professionals have the power to make great strides when it comes to planning for their financial future. The earlier you start to plan, the more you’ll have in your pot. Yet millennials aren’t saving their money. While things like student debt and bills are very real, we must do what we can to make sure we have what we need down the road. Here are some 401k tips for us folks in our 30’s.
Ladies, the time has come for us to step up our game in the finance department. Even though we’re more likely to enroll in a retirement program, we just aren’t saving up what we should for our days out of the office. Now we can think of tons of reasons why we are lagging behind when it comes to building up a nest egg. Women earn less than men. Most single parents tend to be mothers. The list goes on and on. Rather than go through all the excuses, let’s focus on how we can save more for retirement.
Zooming in on today’s older population (65 and older), 14 percent don’t have the cushy savings to plop down on for retirement. Among those between the ages of 50 and 64, more than a quarter (26 percent) have zilch sitting in their nest egg. For the 30 to 49 age range, 33 percent have dust collecting in their reserves for retirement. And lastly, 69 percent of Millennials have nada saved up for old age.
All in all, among Americans above the age of 18 years old, 36 percent don’t have a penny saved for retirement.
But the number one question behind these figures is why? Why aren’t we saving for our future?
Well, for many who are living hand-to-mouth, their No.1 priority is the present — not what will happen years from now.
“I think a lot of people want to save, but they keep waiting for the right time,” Brian Plain, a CFP professional in Oak Park, Illinois, told Fox News. “They’ll say things like, ‘When I get my next raise I’ll start saving.’
Also, many American employees don’t have access to workplace retirement savings plans such as the 401(k). So you might want to consider an individual retirement plan or an IRA, as an option. Don’t think you can rely on Social Security as your source of retirement income.
“Social Security was never intended to be more than a crutch, so relying on it to be the bulk of support is to guarantee that you will limp financially to life’s finish line,” The New York Post wrote.
Want to make sure that your golden years aren’t dulled by fool’s gold? Analysts say that the earlier you start saving, the better. “The younger you are, the more of an ally time becomes,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.
“If you start putting aside as little as $100 per month in an IRA savings account when you are 20 years old, you’ll have nearly $367,000 by the time you reach 65, according to Bankrate’s IRA savings calculator,” Fox News wrote. Considering three percent annual inflation, that translate to $1,700 a month in income. That’s not jaw dropping or anything, but it’s a way better figure than if you started saving at 40 — you’d get a mere $184 a month. Yikes!
“Time is money’s best friend,” said Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Therefore, people should realize that the retirement decisions they make today have a large impact on their tomorrow.”
Most people have great visions for their retirement. Traveling. Relaxing. Spending quality family time. But despite these dreams, most Americans are not ready for retirement, especially African Americans. A study done last year found that many African Americans are not investing their money in order to build a substantial retirement nest egg.
The 2013 Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab survey found that African Americans save a lot less than whites and are no more likely to invest today than they were 10 years ago, reports Nerd Wallet. The findings were part of the 10th annual black investor survey. According to the survey, an African American’s average savings was less than half of a white person’s nest egg at $48,000 compared to $100,000.
To make sure you aren’t stuck working through your retirement, here are 10 things to do.
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.