The year 2013 was a mixed bag for retirement savings. Account balances continued to increase, primarily due to positive results on Wall Street, but other financial pressures continued to impact many participants despite their best efforts. Here are some of the key topics and trends covered in this blog throughout 2013:
We will continue to monitor interesting trends in 2014, and welcome comments, feedback, and topic suggestions. Happy New Year to all!!
Although housing prices have increased recently, the improvement from the 2008-2009 downturn has been modest at best compared to the improvement in equities. The improvement has primarily benefited the top one-third of households, while the bottom two-thirds continue to struggle. According to the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) at Boston College, equity prices have increased by 45% since 2010, adjusting for inflation, versus just 6% for housing prices. For the top one-third, the "at-risk" group declined slightly to 40%. Will the other groups showed a very slight improvement, more than half remain at risk (52% for middle income, 60% for lower income). The CRR notes that housing is a much more significant asset for most households than are equities.
According to a Nationwide Financial survey conducted by Harris Interactive, spiraling healthcare costs are top of mind for pre-retirees. The survey found that 61% are now "terrified" of healthcare costs in retirement, compared to under 50% when measured last year. Of those surveyed, nearly two-thirds have not yet spoken to a financial advisor about their plans for retirement, and even for those who have had such a conversation, less than one in four has discussed healthcare costs in retirement that aren't covered by Medicare.
What makes the survey results even more disconcerting is that the survey focused on more affluent households - about 800 individuals over age 50 with household incomes of at least $150,000. One would expect that the concern is even greater for households with lower income.
Blog Author - Ken Felsher
With over 25 years of writing, editing, and research experience. I enjoy sharing with my readers my love of working with content on a variety of subjects.
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