iOS app Android app

Mark Miller
GET UPDATES FROM Mark Miller
 

Blog Entries by Mark Miller

Are Vanishing Pensions Just Another Case of Corporate Greed?

174 Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 14:22:07 (EST)

Stock market crashes have become fairly regular events since the economy collapsed in 2008 and 2009. Each time the market plunges, you can count on seeing a flurry of news reports looking at just how badly workplace 401(k) retirement portfolios have been hit. Rarely will you see a story asking...

Read Post

Brewing Nightmare: Foreclosures on Seniors' Reverse Mortgages

Posted February 10, 2011 | 15:40:53 (EST)

Reverse mortgage loans, which allow seniors to convert home equity into cash, have become more popular in recent years. But now the reverse mortgage industry and government regulators are dealing with a potential nightmare: a growing number of loan defaults that could lead to foreclosures, and even evictions of elderly...

Read Post

A Deficit-Cutting Plan to End Medicare as We Know It

Posted December 3, 2010 | 10:38:17 (EST)

Deficit commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles declared this week that the "era of debt denial is over."

Time will tell. But as Washington starts batting around the plans to slash the long-range national deficit, one stands out as an especially good acid test of just how far we're willing...

Read Post

Social Security Cuts Would Begin Quickly Under Deficit Reduction Plans

Posted November 29, 2010 | 13:04:11 (EST)

The growing momentum for federal budget deficit reduction is pointing toward cuts in Social Security benefits for millions of Americans -- and one of the proposed changes would begin taking effect quickly.

President Obama's deficit reduction commission won't issue a report until December, but several panel members have released detailed...

Read Post

Will Social Security Be There for Today's Young Workers?

Posted October 22, 2010 | 14:01:43 (EST)

Social Security reform is a touchy subject these days for Thomas Brown and his grandparents.

"If I broach it with them, they are against any sort of legislation that would do anything to change Social Security," says Brown, a 28-year-old financial adviser with Pivot Point Advisors in Houston. "They depend...

Read Post

No Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment Is No Cause for Anger

Posted October 15, 2010 | 19:00:05 (EST)

For a second consecutive year, Social Security recipients won't receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2011, according to the Social Security Administration.

The news was widely anticipated. Social Security has had an automatic annual COLA feature since 1975, which is determined by the third quarter Consumer Price Index...

Read Post

New Law Gives a Boost to Surging Workplace Roth Accounts

Posted October 6, 2010 | 18:40:57 (EST)

A little-noticed provision of a law signed by President Obama this month promises to boost the use of Roth accounts in workplace retirement plans.

The Small Business Jobs Act really has very little to do with retirement saving -- it's aimed at boosting the economy...

Read Post

How to Cut Expenses in Retirement

Posted September 13, 2010 | 12:42:07 (EST)

How much will you need to live on in retirement? You'll often hear the big financial services companies offer this rule of thumb: Plan to replace 80 percent of your working income in retirement.

Ellen Wagner tossed the rule of thumb out the window when she retired in 2008. Instead,...

Read Post

It's Time to Bolster Social Security, Not Slash It

Posted August 27, 2010 | 17:29:35 (EST)

Social Security was signed into law 75 years ago this month by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Today, it is the most important component of retirement security for most Americans. Unlike our damaged system of private pensions, Social Security is efficient, reliable and stable.

But rather than celebrate Social Security's...

Read Post

Doing the Math on Early Social Security Benefits

Posted August 20, 2010 | 14:18:30 (EST)

A recent column on how to maximize your Social Security benefits inspired some readers to fire up their spreadsheet programs.

The column was excerpted from my book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security. It delivered this message: most -- but not all -- Americans will...

Read Post

Misunderstandings Are Rampant on Health Care Reform and Medicare

Posted August 13, 2010 | 18:54:31 (EST)

When it comes to health care reform, seniors are in the dark.

A recent national poll reveals that many adults over age 65 are misinformed or confused about the impact of the new law on their Medicare benefits, physicians and the federal budget deficit. Harris Interactive conducted the...

Read Post

What Makes for a Successful Midlife Career Transition?

Posted August 6, 2010 | 12:00:07 (EST)

Second verse: not the same as the first.

Journalist Kerry Hannon remixed that old pop hit in the column she wrote for U.S. News and World Report, "Second Acts." A specialist in careers, retirement and personal finance, Hannon has traveled the country interviewing people who've made successful career transitions at...

Read Post

Will You Run Out of Money Before You Run Out of Years to Live?

Posted August 2, 2010 | 16:36:26 (EST)

A new report by one of the nation's most respected retirement research groups confirms the worst fears of pre-retirement Americans: Many of us are on track to run out of money before we run out of years to live.

That's the top-line finding of the 2010 Retirement Readiness Rating from...

Read Post

Retirement Income Gap Poses Another Challenge for Women

Posted July 21, 2010 | 11:35:11 (EST)

It's no secret that women have more trouble than men building for a secure retirement, mainly due to lower lifetime earnings and resulting contributions to Social Security and retirement accounts.

New research has added a challenge to the list: far fewer women than men retire with a traditional defined benefit...

Read Post

For Older Workers, Entrepreneurial Path Offers Options

Posted July 12, 2010 | 15:53:03 (EST)

This is the last of a four-part excerpt from my new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security (Bloomberg Press/John Wiley & Sons, June, 2010).

Meet the new boss: you.

Many baby boomers intend to keep working past traditional retirement age. Surveys show that about 58 million...

Read Post

How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits

Posted June 29, 2010 | 12:40:37 (EST)

This is the third of a four-part excerpt from my new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security (Bloomberg Press/John Wiley & Sons, June, 2010).

No matter what changes are made, it's a sure bet Social Security isn't going away anytime soon -- and it's 100 percent...

Read Post

Hard Times Excerpt: How Working Longer Helps

Posted June 22, 2010 | 11:58:42 (EST)

This is the second of four excerpts from my new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security (Bloomberg Press/John Wiley and Sons, June, 2010).

Work in retirement? It might sound like a contradiction in terms, but we're looking for ways to achieve financial security over a retirement that could...

Read Post

Hard Times Guide Excerpt: How to Hire a Financial Adviser

Posted June 15, 2010 | 17:54:25 (EST)

This is the first of four excerpts from my new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security (Bloomberg Press/John Wiley and Sons, June, 2010). Click here if you'd like to download a free chapter of the book.

"The nature of any human being, certainly...

Read Post

Here Comes the Public Option for Long-Term Care Insurance

Posted June 11, 2010 | 16:50:37 (EST)

In the din of debate over health care reform legislation, one of the bill's most important features went almost unnoticed -- a public option for long-term care insurance.

The law signed into law earlier this year establishes a national insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and support (CLASS...

Read Post

How Health Reform Will Impact Retiree Benefit Programs

Posted June 4, 2010 | 11:02:19 (EST)

If you're retired from a company that provides health insurance benefits, get ready for change over the next few years.

Many employers have shed retiree coverage altogether or cut back benefits in recent years due to skyrocketing health care costs. Just 29 percent of large companies provided coverage in 2009,...

Read Post