Many retirees can live well on less than what the financial-planning industry tells them. Here's how to look beyond the formulas.
Expensive illnesses, long-term care and extreme longevity can suddenly throw retirees' estimated income needs out of whack. When the Society of Actuaries interviewed middle-class retirees in focus groups earlier this year, "they were managing very carefully, adjusting their spending where they needed to and trying not to draw down" their savings, Ms. Levering says. "But they were not planning for shock events."
Many people, as they approach retirement, think they have it all figured out. They should think again.
Misplaced confidence is common throughout life, but retirement is something else: People spend years—sometimes decades—planning for it. For many, there is a calendar with a date in the future on which they plan to punch out of work for the last time. Budgets are crafted, portfolio returns compounded and dreams take shape for how the money—and time—will be spent.
Economist James Poterba of MIT put it all together with colleagues at Dartmouth and Harvard's Kennedy School and estimated that about 46% of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets, many of them lacking even home equity and relying almost entirely on Social Security. The results can be measured in more than merely dollars and cents. Poterba's paper found that this group is "disproportionately in poor health," in part because they have no resources to cover medical expenses outside Medicare.
It's by far the largest study to look at this, and researchers say the conclusion makes sense. Working tends to keep people physically active, socially connected and mentally challenged - all things known to help prevent mental decline. "For each additional year of work, the risk of getting dementia is reduced by 3.2 per cent," said Carole Dufouil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government's health research agency.
Seniors who work part-time during their retirement years may stay healthy longer, suggests a new study released this week. Retirees who remained employed, but reduced their hours, experienced fewer major diseases and were self-sufficient longer than those who abruptly retired.
Most of us look forward to retirement as a time to shift gears, worry less, and enjoy a slower pace of life. But that rosy picture can quickly change and include some sticker shock as retirement nears, especially when it comes to paying for health care. A couple retiring in 2013 is expected to need $220,000 to cover health care cost in retirement.
A couple retiring in 2014 is expected to need $220,000 (in today’s dollars) to cover health care costs in retirement, unchanged from last year but still a hefty amount for most retirees.
You might think your medical costs will be taken care of once you qualify for Medicare. But you'll quickly find that you're still paying out of pocket, and probably paying much more than you expected.
Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
The Healthy Aging Program serves as the focal point for older adult health at CDC, and establishes programs, develops innovative tools, and provides a comprehensive approach to helping older adults live longer, high-quality, productive, and independent lives.