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  • Archive for March, 2010

    Retirement & Savings: How Confident Are We?

    Thursday, March 25th, 2010

    According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s newly released 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, one quarter of workers surveyed stated that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year, due in large part to a combination of a poor economy and a lack of financial security for the future (i.e. little to no savings). For 33% of workers, this means retiring after the age of 65; a major increase from 19% a decade ago.

    There is encouraging news to be found in this survey as the results show that Americans’ confidence in their ability to retire one day appears to be stabilizing. However, while confidence is up, reality paints a more somber picture. According to the data, there is still much to be done to boost Americans’ savings. Let’s take a closer look at the data:

    Fewer are saving: Fewer workers report that they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement (69%, down from 75% in 2009). Moreover, fewer workers say that they and/or their spouse are currently saving for retirement (60%, down from 65% in 2009).

    Ranks of those with no savings are growing: An increased percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. In total, more than half of workers (54%) report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.

    Clueless about savings goals: Many workers continue to be unaware of how much they need to save for retirement. Less than half of workers (46%) report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement.

    Sources of retirement income: Fewer workers are expecting to receive retirement income from Social Security (77%, down from 88% in 1991) and defined benefit plans (56%, down from 62% in 2005). However, more workers report they will rely on employer-sponsored retirement savings plans (75% in 2010, up from 69% in 2005) and employment income (77%, up from 70% in 2005).

    While the survey results may seem discouraging, this does not have to be everyone’s reality. It is never too late to change your financial situation for the future and start saving. Check out some of WISER’s helpful tips to get you back on track to a financially secure retirement.

    Attention Caregivers: Health Care Costs Getting You Down? You’re Not Alone…

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

    A new study by MetLife Mature Market Institute in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving and the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging found that if you are a caregiver, it will likely affect both your health and your employer’s healthcare costs. Employees caring for older relatives are more likely to report health problems such as depression and hypertension. The healthcare costs for these employees are eight percent higher than for non-caregivers. Younger caregivers (18-39) generate even higher health care costs for employers- about 11 percent more than other employees.

    The study highlights these important health implications for caregivers and their workplaces, but also points out that this is an opportunity for reform.

    “Employers can provide support to their employees and, at the same time, reduce their health care costs by anticipating and responding to the challenges of eldercare,” asserted Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

    The study recommends improvements in access to flexible work schedules, paid time off and telecommuting as ways to reduce the health problems that caregivers experience and also to show support for caregiving in the workplace. The full study can be found here.

    Visit WISER’s Caregiving webpage for more caregiving resources.

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    Monday, March 8th, 2010

    Take part in International Women’s Day this year by recognizing the importance of caregivers around the world.  WISER has put together a packet for caregivers, their family members, and friends to help with making important employment and financial decisions.

    International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.  Almost 70 percent of the caregivers in the United States are female, and, around the world, women spend twice as much time caregiving as men.

    WISER’s packet, Caregivers: Care for Yourself While Caring for Others, is a tool to help caregivers educate themselves about their financial situations today and plan for a secure financial future!

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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