How equitable are 401(k) plans?

Jun 6, 2024
A new Vanguard study says 401(k)s aren’t enough for many people to retire, and that the top 20% of earners get 44% of employer contributions.
White employees and those with well-off parents reap the biggest benefits of 401(k)s, said MIT finance professor Taha Choukhmane.
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Before, he built nuclear detectors. Now, he's making cowboy boots.

May 23, 2024
Steve Christo runs a custom boot shop in Virginia. "I thought, 'If I can build nuclear detectors, I should be able to make a boot,'" he said.
Christo works with clients to take their measurements and select leathers as part of his custom boot-making.
Courtesy Christo

Yet another version of the fiduciary rule is coming

The Biden administration's rule overhauls requirements for retirement plan advisers to act in the interests of clients.
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When the government can no longer pay full Social Security benefits

May 7, 2024
Monday's report on the system's "go-broke" date raises questions about how Social Security is funded.
Projections indicate that Social Security and Medicare benefits will be cut immediately after 2033 by 21%, says Will McBride, vice president of federal tax policy at the Tax Foundation.
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AARP survey shows many older adults worry about financing retirement

May 6, 2024
More than 60% of people over 50 are worried they won’t have enough money to live on in retirement, which is more than last year, according to a recent survey from AARP.
About a third of people 50 and older who are still working have saved less than $10,000 toward retirement.
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More Americans are dipping into retirement funds for emergencies

Nov 21, 2023
“Hardship withdrawals” are rising, Fidelity Investments reports, most commonly to avoid eviction or foreclosure or pay medical bills.
The most common reasons for "hardship withdrawals," Fidelity reported, were avoiding eviction or foreclosure and paying medical expenses.
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The latest push for a national retirement savings system

A new bill follows up on recent bipartisan legislation to expand access to retirement savings.
A new bill in Congress, the Retirement Savings for Americans Act, would boost retirement security for low- and moderate-income workers.
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For public good, not for profit.

How the U.S. retirement system stacks up against the rest of the world

A recent global ranking of 47 retirement income systems puts the U.S. right in the mediocre middle at 22nd place.
Marketplace's senior economics contributor details findings from a new report that ranks global retirement systems.
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Retirement doesn't appeal to a notary in Texas who's still enjoying work

Oct 31, 2023
"This particular job, one of the reasons I took it is because I knew that you'd never stop learning, and I find that really exciting," said Violet O'Brien, a notary in Houston.
Texas notary Violet O'Brien (right) at a meeting with a client.
Courtesy Violet O'Brien

Older people also face student loan debt burden with payments looming

Much attention is paid to younger borrowers, and rightfully so. But some 3.5 million Americans 60 and older hold substantial debt.
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