Interactive Website: New Adventures for Older Workers (2013). This PBS NewsHour interactive feature (text, videos, charts, surveys, and questionnaires) notes that more people are working well past traditional retirement age. It asks the questions, “Is retirement as we know it a thing of the past? How long are we likely to work?”
The first chapter, Rethinking Retirement, notes that the percentage of workers who expect to work past 65 has more than tripled in 30 years; observes that half of American households have less than $10,000 in savings; and allows users to input their information with regards to their retirement plans and compare those responses with others in a real-time environment.
Chapter two, A Snapshot, looks at two key factors, location and gender, that play a significant role in what retiree’s later years may cost. Chapter three, Working For The Nest-Egg, notes that Americans are about $6.6 trillion short of what they will need to maintain their current standard of living in retirement. Users have the opportunity to answer a few questions and see how their confidence measures up to others.
Working in ‘Retirement’ is the fourth chapter. Here, there is a discussion of the economics of working longer, people over 65 reveal why they continue to work, and gives example of industries where many people continue to stay well beyond the traditional retirement age. The final chapter, Moving Forward, provides an opportunity to share what you learned, identifies numerous resources, and provides an opportunity to ask questions of experts.
This is a great way to understand how others are preparing for retirement and provides lots of food for thought with regards to overall retirement planning. The interactivity makes this website an ideal way – either as an individual or as a couple – to get engaged with retirement planning in a dynamic way.
This interactive feature is available at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/new-older-workers/chapter-1-rethinking-retirement
Report: Fast Facts: Many Have Access to 401(k) Loans, Few Have Outstanding Balances (2014). As people work toward retirement, one decision that can adversely upset their retirement apple cart is to take out a 401(k) loan. Savvy investors understand that there are numerous negatives associated with doing so, including the fact that the borrowed money will not be invested during the time the money is outstanding from the 401(k) plan. Therefore, all potential investment gains from all borrowed funds for the duration of the 401(k) loan will be surrendered. Additionally, there is the risk of termination. Simply put, if a borrower’s employment ends while a loan is outstanding, the balance of the loan is typically due within 60 days. If the borrower is not able to pay back the money in time, there are potential tax and distribution penalties.
The good news, outlined in this report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Investment Company Institute (ICI), is that while most 401(k) plan participants are able to take a loan from their 401(k) account, relatively few do. Moreover, this has been a consistent pattern that has held for nearly two decades.
The report is available at http://www.ebri.org/pdf/FF.264.K-loans.16Jan142.pdf