Some of the fastest-rising costs for older Americans over the past two decades include Medicare Part B premiums, homeowners insurance and some food items. The price of prescription drugs, however, tops the list, rising 272% since 2000.
Required minimum distributions were waived last year but are back in effect for 2021. New rules, such as the RMD age changing to 72 from 70½, as well as new IRS life expectancy tables, can affect retirees' withdrawal strategies.
BlackRock has created annuities designed to be held within 401(k) plans to ensure retired workers have secure income for the rest of their lives. Five employers have already signed up for the product, the asset manager said.
Rising health care and living costs for older adults mean people likely need to put 15% to 20% of their salaries into retirement savings rather than the old advice of 10%, personal finance writer Maurie Backman estimates. Backman recommends increasing IRA or 401(k) plan contributions, investing in stocks and reducing basic expenses to raise more for retirement.
The BeFi Barometer from Schwab Asset Management, which tracks investors' behavioral biases as reported by advisers, shows a significant increase over the past year, indicating investors have grown more sensitive to temporary factors such as the pandemic and market disruptions. Many advisers surveyed said reminding clients to take a long-term view and to set investment goals can be effective to counter these biases.
The days when investors could use bonds to hedge against stock market downturns might be ending, JPMorgan Chase analysts say. Given persistent inflation, stocks and bonds are likely to rise and fall in parallel, the analysts say.
A long-term-care insurance policy is one of the best ways to protect retirement assets from getting wiped out in the event of mental or physical impairment, writes Henry Montag, principal of The TOLI Center East. For those concerned about paying premiums on a policy they may never need, Montag recommends considering a hybrid policy that combines life and LTC insurance products.
Health care costs have increased for 1 in 3 working Americans this year, causing some employees to reduce retirement plan contributions or to accumulate credit card debt, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Of respondents whose health care costs have increased, 4 in 10 have had difficulty paying bills or paying for living expenses.
A recent survey of financial advisers shows 14% are currently using or recommending cryptocurrencies, a significant rise from the less than 1% recorded in 2020, with over 25% saying they plan to increase their use of them in the year ahead. Some are using cryptocurrencies as part of a taxable-loss strategy to offset other investment gains, but a proposal to treat cryptos like other securities could close this loophole on Jan. 1.
People who retire earlier than planned, whether voluntarily or not, face a host of financial and emotional issues. Financial advisers should counsel these early retirees and suggest alternatives when financial plans don't seem viable.
I am the editor of several SmartBrief newsletters focused on retirement and capital markets. I love all things personal finance and believe financial literacy is key to security and leveling the playing field.