Where Did All Our Pensions Go?

AFL-CIO Now

10/07/2012; Jackie Tortora

The Betrayal of the American Dream

A total of 84,350 pension plans have vanished since 1985. This figure shocked Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Donald L. Barlett and James W. Steele, who just released their latest book, “The Betrayal of the American Dream.” Their chapter on retirement chronicles the heist of the American dream’s secure retirement by the financial elite and is a very important section of the book, says Steele, who spoke with the AFL-CIO about the retirement crisis. Steele says there is another number we should pay attention to: $17,686. That’s the median value of 401(k) accounts in 2011. For most working people, the amount in their 401(k) account would pay them less than $80 a month for life.

“What’s happening with retirement is almost parallel to what you see happening in other parts of the economy,” says Steele. Continue reading “Where Did All Our Pensions Go?”

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals

Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals

  • By Tammy Flanagan; National Institute of Transition Planning; September 14, 2012Retirement Planning

Do you know how much you will have to save to retire comfortably? Have you set a goal for retirement? Or are you flying by the seat of your pants?

Last week, I wrote about planning for retirement from early in your career. Here’s a comment I received from a reader about that column:

Another suggestion that I didn’t think of until a couple of years ago is to assess what your retirement plans are and how much money you need to meet those goals. Otherwise, you read that you need X precent of your salary in retirement or look at numbers that don’t have a lot of meaning, all of which can feel overwhelming. We were pleasantly surprised when meeting with a financial planner how much we would actually need to meet our retirement goals. We moved our Thrift Savings Plan balance to a more aggressive life-cycle fund because we won’t need it for seven to 10 years after retirement. Continue reading “Eight Tips for Setting Your Retirement Goals”