This isn’t our parents’ or grandparents’ retirement anymore. Just a few decades ago, many retirees enjoyed the full benefits of the “three-legged stool” of retirement provide by guaranteed pension payments, savings, and Social Security. In addition, they didn’t have to be very concerned with how much of their income translated into actual purchasing power because, except for the mid to late seventies, inflation was not a big factor for several reasons.
On December 20th, President Trump signed into law the SECURE Act, which makes significant changes to retirement savings plans. The bill was signed into law with the intention that it would encourage individuals to save more since roughly one-third of the population does not meaningfully save for their retirement, according to Forbes.com.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, or SECURE Act, went into effect on January 1, 2020. The noteworthy provisions of the legislation are as follows:
As of December 2018, more than 43.7 million retired Americans collected Social Security, with more than 8 million disabled workers collecting benefits as well. But Social Security is much more than retirement income. Along with providing a small income to millions of seniors, Social Security also provides life insurance as well as survivor benefits.
If you’re nearing retirement age and still have a lot of questions about Social Security, here are a few facts for you to consider:
If you’ve only just begun your career and are starting to collect a decent paycheck, the last thing on your mind is probably retirement planning. When you’re in your twenties and thirties, retirement can feel light years away, but it will get here much quicker than you can imagine. And when it does, you’ll want to be prepared.
And for those in their 40s and 50s, remember that it’s never too late to start saving for retirement. The most important thing is to just start.
Here are some tips for getting started:
Part III: Total-Return Investing for Solid Construction
As we’ve discussed in the first two parts of this three-part series, we do not recommend turning to dividend-yielding stocks or high-yield (“junk”) bonds to buttress your retirement income, even in low-yield environments. So what do we recommend? Today we’ll answer that question by describing total-return investing.
If you think it through, there are three essential variables that determine the total return on nearly any given investment:
Part II: High-Yield Bonds – Sticks and Stones Can Break You
In Part I of our three-part series on investing for retirement income in low-rate environments, we explained why we don’t advise bulking up on dividend-yielding stocks as a reliable way to generate retirement cash flow. Like the Three Little Pigs’ straw house, dividend-yielding stocks can disappoint you by exhibiting inherent risks just when you most need dependability instead.
Part I: Dividend-Yielding Stocks – A Straw Strategy
If ever there were an appropriate analogy for how to invest for retirement, it would be the classic fable of The Three Little Pigs. As you may recall, those three little pigs tried three different structures to protect against the Big Bad Wolf. Similarly, there are at least three kinds of “building materials” that investors typically employ as they try to prevent today’s low interest rates from consuming their sources for retirement income:
While our extended longevity should be greeted with gratitude for the possibility of enjoying a longer life with our grandchildren, many retirees are approaching it with trepidation, wondering if their hard earned assets will be sufficient to fulfill their vision of a good life for the rest of their life – however long it should last. At the critical point when assets are to be converted to income and a spend-down plan is launched, retirees need the assurance that they won’t outlive their income, which, to some retirees would be a fate worse than death.
The need for retirement planning didn’t really exist until well into the 1970s. Up to that point, people worked until age 65, spent a few years in leisure through their life expectancy which was about 69. Many retirees of that era were able to coast into retirement with a cushy pension plan. Over the next few decades, as life expectancy continued to expand, as did the number of years in retirement, financial planners came up with simple rules of thumb for determining how much a person would need at retirement in order to maintain his or her lifestyle.