Huffington Post (NAT)
An Approach to Retirement That's Not So Ridiculous
For the unawares, the Baby Boom generation is on the verge of retiring with nowhere near enough in the way of assets to see them through their old-age.
Two recently published articles make this point all too well. The first was written by New America Foundation senior research fellow Phillip Longman and published in the most recent issue of Washington Monthly. The second, authored by longtime retirement expert and advocate Teresa Ghilarducci and entitled "Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement," was published in the New York Times last Sunday and has clearly hit a nerve: it is, almost a week later, still on the paper's most read list.
CBS News (NAT)
Americans fear retirement less than other people
Although most Americans aren't confident about their ability to retire, people in other countries are even more pessimistic about their retirement prospects, according to a recent survey by Accenture.
Well, duh! I'd be pessimistic, too, if I lived in Mexico, Russia, or Spain. The consulting firm found that 92 percent, 92 percent, and 91 percent, respectively, of respondents in those countries were doubtful about their retirements. South Korea registered the highest level of pessimism, at 95 percent.
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues
Feller, Matt Apuzzo, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Stephen Ohlemacher, Alan Fram, Dina Cappiello, Ken Thomas, Jim Kuhnhenn and Christopher S. Rugaber
Obama: Has not proposed a comprehensive plan to address Social Security's long-term financial problems. In 2011, proposed a new measure of inflation that would reduce annual increases in Social Security benefits. The proposal would reduce the long-term financing shortfall by about 25 percent, according to the Social Security actuaries.
Romney: Protect the status quo for people 55 and over but, for the next generation of retirees, raise the retirement age for full benefits by one or two years and reduce inflation increases in benefits for wealthier recipients.
Retiring At Age 50 Is Realistic Using These Unorthodox Strategies
Save substantially more. There are only two ways to save more – increase earnings and cut spending. Many people assume the only way to retire young is to own a start-up company, but surprisingly 17% of millionaires in the U.S. are not owners of companies but managers, and even more surprisingly, 12% are educators. Though starting a business can be a great way to create wealth, it’s not the only way since business owners make up only 6% of millionaires in the US. Simply make the most of opportunities wherever you work to increase your income and then save the difference. The current savings rate in the U.S. of 3.7% won’t cut it. In order to retire early, the mantra needs to be “save as much as you can and spend the minimum” following the lead of the proponents of the early retirement extreme movement who live on 25% of their income and save 75%.
The Crescent-News (OH)
New Study: No Pension Means More Financial Hardship
In 2010, the poverty rate for elderly households that did not have pension income was nine times greater than for households with pensions, a new report revealed.
The nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security previously compiled similar data for 2006, when the number of elderly households without pensions and living in poverty was six times that of their pensioned counterparts.
Social Security Workshop Helps People Avoid Common Mistakes
There are a lot of common mistakes people make when signing up for Social Security.
To prevent that from happening, a local credit union is holding a workshop to cover everything you need to know.
Information includes the penalty that you receive if you do not sign up for Medicare when you are supposed to, from the benefits that a spouse and children can receive.
The Ledger (FL)
Social Security: Extra Help Available for Some in Paying Medicare Part D Premiums
Q: Who can get Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug coverage?
A: Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage. People with higher incomes might pay a higher premium.
Advocacy groups tout benefits of health reform
"People want to know what is going to happen and then they want specific solutions," said Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. "People want to know how to be able to stretch their dollar a little more."
Sinovic joined the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans to make stops in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines on Monday and Tuesday. Part of the mission is to celebrate the 47th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid and in the process talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it works with Medicare and Social Security.
"Social Security and Medicare have worked for decades, and the Affordable Care Act only helps them," Sinovic said.
Associated Press (NAT)
Medicare card ID protections overdue
Despite deep ideological divisions, Democrats and Republicans in Congress still can find common ground on one thing: their frustration with Medicare.
Five years after being told to look at taking Social Security numbers off Medicare cards, Medicare officials told lawmakers at a sometimes-tense House hearing Wednesday that they still need six more months to figure out how much it will cost.
Huron daily Tribune (MI)
U.S. Senate candidate questionnaire answers — Hekman
Randy Hekman, U.S. Senate Candidate
What are your thoughts on government spending? Social Security?
I responded to government spending above. Our Social Security system begins to run into red ink in 2015. It will exhaust the Social Security Trust Fund by 2033. To secure the promise of Social Security for future generations, we absolutely must take action. I propose the following actions:
• I favor gradually raising the retirement age in increments to 64 as the earliest entry age and 70 for full benefits; current ages are 62 and 65. I want to be clear that this will not affect anyone who has already retired or is near retirement.
• I also favor allowing taxpayers born after 1970 to choose the option of making their retirement contributions to a private investment account.
Veepstakes: What if Romney rolled the dice?
When it comes to the veepstakes, the conventional wisdom is pretty well set: Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal. Those in the know, or who pretend to be in the know, generally agree that Mitt Romney — a cautious politician running a risk-averse campaign — will probably choose his running mate from that group of oft-discussed, fairly widely accepted short-listers.
But why not a surprise pick — a wild-card choice that could help Romney in battleground states or with particular demographics that some of the current favorites couldn’t?
New York Times (NAT)
When a Taste for Publicity Bites Back
Sheriff Arpaio and his office are on trial in a federal class-action lawsuit here, accused of singling out Latinos, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, for stops, questioning and detention during large-scale policing operations. The Justice Department has sued him on the same grounds, alleging discriminatory practices that extend from the streets to the jails.
On the stand last week, he had to confront past statements to the news media: Is it indeed “an honor” to be compared to the Ku Klux Klan, as he once told the TV anchor Lou Dobbs? Is the appearance of having “just came from another country” reason enough to target a person for arrest, as he said to the talk show host Glenn Beck?
“Sheriff,” Stanley Young, one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, asked him, “which is the truth — what you say here in court, or what you say to audiences who want to hear you talk?”
Washington Post (NAT)
Romney engages on policy, but where is Obama?
Rather than give a counter-explanation for the continued recession, the Obama team has restated (but louder!) that it inherited a bad economy. That doesn’t, however, explain why this recovery is so much worse than every previous one. Does President Obama really think failure to pass a minuscule son-of-stimulus in 2011 is the cause of our continued woes? Obama should explain why Romney’s analysis is wrong and why an alternative set of policies would not, in his view, have worked. I assume Obama doesn't really believe the policies that were enacted in the last 3 1/2 years “worked.”
Daily Kos (Blog)
Romney campaign calls tax plan study a 'joke' ... but can't explain why
Here's a good rule of thumb: if a political campaign's main response to its critics is to call them jokes and attack their character without actually refuting the substance of the criticism ... then you know the political campaign is in a bad spot.
That's exactly the situation the Romney campaign finds itself in in the wake of yesterday's Tax Policy Center study which showed that Romney's tax plan would force middle-class taxpayers to foot the bill for Romney's proposed tax breaks for the wealthy. Instead of critiquing the study on the merits, the campaign is calling it a "joke" and claiming that it's authors are stooges for the Obama campaign, never mind the fact that one of the study's authors worked for the first President Bush or the fact the head of the Tax Policy Center worked for the second President Bush.