Sources differ, but the story remains the same. According to a 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual, 21% of Americans have no retirement savings and an additional 10% have less than $5,000 in savings. A third of Baby Boomers currently in, or approaching, retirement age have between nothing and $25,000 set aside.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) paints an even bleaker picture. Their data from 2013 reports that “nearly half of families have no retirement account savings at all.” For most age groups, the group found, “median account balances in 2013 were less than half their pre-recession peak and lower than at the start of the new millennium.”
The EPI further found these numbers even worse for millennials. Nearly six in 10 have no retirement savings whatsoever.
But financial experts advise that the average 65 year old have between $1 million and $1.5 million set aside for retirement.
What Is the Average Retirement Account?
For workers who have some savings, the amounts differ (appropriately) by generation. The older you are, the more you will have set aside. However there are two ways to present this data, and we’ll use both.
Workers With Savings
Following are the mean and median retirement accounts for people who have one. That is to say, this data only shows what a representative account looks like without factoring in figures for accounts that don’t exist. This data comes per the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. (Numbers rounded to the nearest hundred.)
• Under age 35:
Average retirement account: $32,500
Median retirement account: $12,300
• Age 35 – 44:
Average retirement account: $100,000
Median retirement account: $37,000
• Age 45 – 55:
Average retirement account: $215,800
Median retirement account: $82,600
• Age 55 – 64:
Average retirement account: $374,000
Median retirement account: $120,000
• Age 65 – 74:
Average retirement account: $358,000
Median retirement account: $126,000
For households older than 65 years, retirement accounts begin to decline as these individuals leave the workforce and begin spending their savings.
Including Workers Without Savings
When accounting for people who have no retirement savings the picture looks considerably worse. Following are the median retirement accounts when including the figures for people with no retirement savings. The following do not include mean retirement accounts, as this would be statistically less informative than median data.
• Age 32 – 37: $480
• Age 38 – 43: $4,200
• Age 44 – 49: $6,200
• Age 50 – 55: $8,000
• Age 56 – 61: $17,000
How Much Should You Have Saved For Retirement?
So that’s how much people have saved for retirement, or more often don’t. Now for the more useful question: How much should you have saved for retirement?
The truth is that there’s no hard and fast rule. It varies widely by your age, standard of living and (perhaps most importantly) location. Someone who rents an apartment in San Francisco needs a whole heck of a lot more set aside than a homeowner in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The rule of thumb is to estimate by income. Decide the income you want to live on once you retire, then picture your life as a series of benchmarks set by age. At each age you want a multiple of this retirement income saved up. Your goal is to have 10 to 11 times your desired income in savings by retirement.
• By age 30: between half and the desired income in savings
• By age 35: between the desired amount and double the desired income in savings
• By age 40: between double and triple the desired income in savings
• By age 45: between triple and quadruple the desired income in savings
• By age 50: between five times and six times desired income in savings
• By age 55: between six times and seven times desired income in savings
• By age 60: between seven times and nine times desired income in savings
• By age 65: between eight times and 11 times desired income in savings
So, if you earn $50,000 per year, by age 40 you will want to have between $100,000 and $150,000 in retirement savings set aside. The formula grows later in life for two reasons. First, as your savings accumulate they will grow faster. Second, as you approach retirement it is often wise to accelerate your savings plan.
What You Should Do Next for Your Retirement Savings
Retirement is approaching a crisis. In the coming decades millions of Americans will get too old to continue working without the means to stop. Millennials, crippled by debt from graduation, will turn this crisis into a catastrophe in about 40 years. And Social Security, designed to prevent exactly this problem, covers less than half of an average retiree’s costs of living.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to discuss exactly how this happened, but if you’re one of the many people who have fallen behind on retirement savings, don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do. But… it might not necessarily be easy.
The key is to think about retirement savings like a debt. This is money you owe to yourself and it charges reverse interest. Every day you go without adding money to your retirement account is a day you lose investment income. That’s money that you’ll need someday and won’t have.
Next, take stock of where you are. How much will you want to live on in retirement and how much do you have saved today? Use our chart above. That will tell you how far behind you are compared to where you need to be. Are you a 40 year old with $25,000 in savings who will want to live on $50,000 per year in retirement? Then you’ve got $75,000 you need to make up for.
Now, begin catching up. Chip away at that debt every week and every month. Pay into your 401k and IRA the same way you would whittle down a credit card. By thinking about it this way, as a specific goal, you can take away some of the fear of saving for retirement and turn it into an achievable (if large) amount. It’s not just some big, black hole you can never fill. It’s a number, and numbers can go down.
It won’t necessarily be fun. You might have to cut back on luxuries or take on some extra work, but even if you start late in life you can catch up on your retirement.
Want to be happy in retirement? Then cultivate relationships and spend more money on leisure activities—at least that’s what new academic research (as well as common sense) suggests.
To help you with the leisure part, Forbes presents its 2019 list of 25 great places to pursue seven retirement passions: arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering, outdoor activities on water, outdoor activities on land and (in its own category) golf.
Most are recommended for multiple passions and two—Seattle and Austin, Texas—excel in all seven categories. Our picks are spread across 21 states in all four continental time zones.
While our flagship Best Places To Retire list highlights locations that offer the best retirement value for the buck, our passions list doesn’t disqualify places simply because they’ve got high costs or taxes. Athens, Georgia, our most affordable passions pick, has a median home price of just $178,000, while San Francisco, our most expensive, has a median home price of $1.36 million. Although high costs (or high taxes) won’t keep a city from making this new list, we do take into account such practical quality of life factors as air quality, crime, doctor availability and how walkable and bikeable a city is. You can read more about our selection method here.
Fine dining 🍴
Lifelong learning 🎓
Outdoor activities on water ⛵
Outdoor activities on land 🍁
PASSIONS: ❤️ ⛵
Great for volunteering and outdoor water activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $428,000
Water on three sides, good air quality and a moderate climate make this charming historic Chesapeake Bay city an ideal spot for those who love boating, fishing or a waterfront view. For the newbie, the city offers lots of recreational boating schools and chartering opportunities. There’s a high rate of local volunteerism and the downtown area, which doubles as Maryland’s state capital (and was the U.S. capital for a year starting in 1783) is very walkable. Doctors per capita are at the national average. Elevation is 40 feet. On the downside, cost of living is 41% above the national average and the crime rate is above the national average. Taxes are on the high side, too; while Social Security benefits are exempt from tax, the top state/local income tax rate is 8.31% and the state has both an estate and inheritance tax.
PASSIONS: 🎨 🎓 🍁
Great for arts, lifelong learning and outdoor land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $462,000
Located 285 miles south of Portland, this cultural outpost offers art galleries and the nine-month a year Oregon Shakespeare Festival, all set amid scenic mountains and forests. Southern Oregon University hosts an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and allows free auditing of regular college classes. The highly walkable downtown (elevation: 1,950 feet) is set in a moderate climate with little snow, good air quality, a low serious crime rate and a high number of doctors per capita. Nature trails are just outside town. But the cost of living is 40% above the national average and Oregon makes up for its lack of a sales tax with an income tax rate that hits 9% at just $50,000 of income (with Social Security excluded). There is also a state estate tax.
PASSIONS: 🎨 🎓 🍁
Great for arts, lifelong learning and outdoor land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $178,000
This affordable college town, just 70 miles east of Atlanta, has a vibrant arts scene. The University of Georgia hosts an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, plus offers seniors free admission to regular classes. Mild terrain and climate (the nation’s first garden club was founded here in 1891) and good air quality are all conducive to warm-weather outdoor activities at an elevation of 600 feet. The ratio of doctors per capita is sufficient. Cost of living is 7% below the national average and the serious crime rate is low. Georgia doesn’t tax estates or Social Security benefits and offers a generous additional break for other retirement income. Top state income rate is 5.75%. One notable downside: Not very walkable.
Passions: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ❤️ ⛵ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering, outdoor water and land activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $369,000
Sunny capital of Texas offers scores of dining and entertainment venues (including the annual SXSW festival), plus learning opportunities at the University of Texas, all surrounded by dozens of golf courses. The city boasts a high number of physicians per capita, good air quality, a good economy and a high rate of volunteering. The impressive state capitol building is higher than the one in Washington, D.C. At an elevation of 300 feet, the city is very bikeable and somewhat walkable. While there is no state income or estate/inheritance taxe, the cost of living is 30% above the national average and the serious crime rate is slightly above the national average.
PASSIONS: ⛵ 🍁
Great for outdoor water and land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $440,000
Lots of snow guarantees vibrant downhill and cross-country skiing in this scenic “Outdoor Playground of the West” 160 miles southeast of Portland. Other outdoor pursuits at an elevation of 3,600 feet around the north-flowing Deschutes River include fishing, tubing, hiking, rock climbing, bicycling and paragliding. Besides good air quality, a low serious crime rate and a high number of doctors per capita, the area boasts a strong economy. But Oregon makes up for its lack of a sales tax with an income tax rate that reaches 9% on just $50,000 of taxable income (which excludes Social Security). There’s also a state estate tax. The town itself is not very walkable. Cost of living is 34% above the national average.
PASSIONS: 🎓 ❤️ 🍁
Great for lifelong learning, outdoor land activities and volunteering
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $299,000
The surprisingly mild climate in Idaho’s capital city, nicknamed “City of Trees,” is conducive to outdoor land activities, while Boise State University hosts an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and offers free auditing of regular classes for seniors. Other pluses include a high level of volunteerism, a high number of physicians per capita, a low serious crime rate, good air quality and a good economy. With an elevation of 2,700 feet, the city is very bikeable, though not as walkable. Cost of living is only 7% above the national average. There is no state income tax on Social Security earnings, nor a state estate/inheritance tax. Idaho’s income tax rate for married couples is 6.925% on taxable income above $23,000.
PASSIONS:🎨 🍴 🎓 ❤️ ⛵ 🍁
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering and outdoor water and land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $604,000
This buzzy historic coastal state capital city of 685,000 offers a wealth of cultural. and educational activities. Not too surprising, considering there are more than 50 area colleges. Boston has good air quality, abundant doctors per capita, and a good economy. At an elevation of 140 feet, the city, named for an English town, is both highly walkable and bikeable. The top state income tax rate is only 5% and there’s no state income tax on Social Security earnings. On the negative side, there’s a state estate tax and a higher than average serious crime rate. But the big downside is the cost of living: 82% above the national average.
PASSIONS: 🎨 🎓 ❤️ 🍁
Great for arts, lifelong learning, volunteering and outdoor land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $742,000
This city, 30 miles northwest of Denver, is at the center of a huge recreational open space abutting the Rockies at 5,400 feet of elevation, which can be enjoyed in 10 months of annual sunshine. It’s also the home the University of Colorado, which allows seniors to audit courses for free. Boulder is a walkable and bikeable city with a low serious crime rate, good air quality, abundant doctors and a strong economy. Volunteering is a way of life here. While there is no state estate/inheritance tax, the state income tax (a flat 4.63%) does hit Social Security benefits. One big downside is the cost of living: 87% above the national average.
Passions: ❤️🍁 ⛳
Great for volunteering, outdoor land activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $317,000
This Phoenix suburb, named for Arizona’s first veterinary surgeon, offers myriad outdoor activities, including 185 golf courses in the region. There’s a low serious crime rate, a good economy and a high rate of volunteering. With an elevation of 1,200 feet, the city is very bikeable, although not all that walkable. There is no state income tax on Social Security earnings and no state estate/inheritance. The sate income tax rate tops out at just 4.54% on a married couple’s taxable income above $317,900. On the downside, the number of doctors per capita is below the national average and the air quality is poor. Cost of living is 23% above the national average.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 🍁
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning and outdoor land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $376,000
The home of the University of North Carolina, which offers free auditing of classes for senior citizens, this college town has been called America’s “foodiest small town” for its range of culinary options. It also has a high number of physicians per capita, good air quality, a low serious crime rate, a strong economy—and quirky blue fire trucks. There’s no North Carolina income tax on Social Security benefits and no state estate/inheritance tax. The state income tax rate is a flat 5.499%. At an elevation of 500 feet, the city is somewhat bikeable, but not very walkable. Cost of living is 30% above national average.
Charleston, South Carolina
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 ⛵ ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, outdoor water activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $322,000
This historic coastal city brims with activities, both indoors and out. (The first game of golf in the U.S. took place here.) Pluses include a high number of doctors per capita, good air quality and a good economy. There’s no state estate/inheritance tax, no state income tax on Social Security benefits and there are additional tax breaks on pension income. But the state income tax rate tops out at an above average 7% on taxable income of just $14,860. At an elevation of 20 feet, the city is somewhat bikeable, but not very walkable. Cost of living is 22% above national average.
PASSIONS: 🍴 ❤️ ⛳
Great for fine dining, volunteering and golf
POPULATION: 1.34 million
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $217,000
Scores of public golf courses plus fine dining (far beyond the nation’s first drive-in restaurant, which opened here in 1921) and what is said to be the nation’s largest arts district distinguish the Big D. At an elevation of 430 feet, the city is somewhat walkable and bikeable and has an adequate number of physicians per capita and support for volunteering. Atop of a strong economy, there is no state taxation of income, estates or inheritances. Cost of living is only 8% higher than the national average. On the downside, the serious crime rate is above the national average and the air quality is poor.
Great for lifelong learning
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $219,000
The University of Arkansas offers free tuition to senior citizens at its flagship campus in this Ozarks city 200 miles northwest of Little Rock. Besides a cost of living 1% below the national average, other pluses include good air quality, adequate number of physicians per capita and a good economy. At an elevation of 1,400 feet, the city (originally named Washington) is somewhat bikeable, although not that walkable. There is no state estate/inheritance tax and there’s no state income tax on Social Security benefits, plus there’s a small additional break for pension income. But the state income tax reaches 6.9% on a married-couple’s income above $35,099. The serious crime rate is above national average.
Las Vegas, Nevada
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 ⛵ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, outdoor water and land activities and golf
POPULATION: 2 million (Las Vegas Valley)
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $277,000
World-class entertainment centered around the hotels and casinos, famous chefs, and nearby water and land activities, including golf, grace this exploding desert valley. (In 1900, the population was just 18.) While summers are hot and dry, the other nine months are quite pleasant, and sun is year-round. At an elevation of 2,000 feet, the area is somewhat walkable and bikeable. A good economy is bolstered by no state income or estate/inheritance tax. Downsides include poor air quality, low ratio of physicians per capita and a high serious crime rate. Cost of living is 18% above the national average.
Los Angeles, California
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ⛵ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, outdoor water and land activities and golf
POPULATION: 4 million
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $686,000
The City of Angels has multiple colleges and universities offering reduced-price programs for senior citizens, world-class restaurants, numerous performance venues, a wide range of outdoor activities and many golf courses. Pluses include 28 days a year of sun, sufficient physicians per capita and a strong economy. Despites its reputation as car dependent and congested, the city, with an elevation of 300 feet, is both very walkable and bikeable (despites safety concerns for bikers). There is no state tax on Social Security benefits, estates or inheritances. But the state income tax hits a hefty 9.3% on taxable income above $150,000 per couple and goes up to 12.3% for the very wealthy. Among the drawbacks: poor air quality (although better than it used to be) and a serious crime rate above national average. Cost of living is 95% above national average.
New York, New York
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ⛵ ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, outdoor water activities and golf
POPULATION: 8.6 million
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $682,000
Dozens of colleges, fabulous arts and dining, and even golf courses accessible via subway can be found in the country’s largest city. Pluses include a high number of physicians per capita, good air quality and a strong economy. With an elevation of 30 feet, the Big Apple is very walkable and bikeable, despite concerns about bicyclist safety. There is no state income tax on Social Security benefits, plus there are additional state tax breaks on pension income. But there is a state estate tax, the combined state and city income tax rate can reach a whopping 12.696% and the cost of living is 109% above national average.
Pinehurst, North Carolina
Great for golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $281,000
Some 40 golf courses, led by famous century-old Pinehurst Resort, plus golf schools surround this scenic village 90 miles east of Charlotte. Pluses include an extremely low serious crime rate, above-average rate of doctors per capita and good air quality. At an elevation of 600 feet, the town, originally named Tuftstown, is somewhat walkable and bikeable. There are no state taxes on Social Security earnings, estates or inheritances. The state income tax rate is a flat 5.499% and the cost of living is 11% above the national average.
PASSIONS: 🍴 ⛵ 🍁
Great for fine dining and outdoor water and land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $314,000
This coastal city offers a wide variety of water and land recreation, including boating, kayaking, rafting, cross-country skiing, hiking and bicycling. There’s a good restaurant scene, a low serious crime rate, a high ratio of doctors per capita and good air quality. The city—named after an island in the English Channel—has an elevation of 60 feet and is very walkable and bikeable. There is no state income tax on Social Security earnings, but there is a state estate tax. The state income tax rate reaches 7.15% at taxable income above $103,400 for a couple. The
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ❤️ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering, outdoor land activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $426,000
City affords wide range of pursuits, including free senior citizen auditing of classes at Portland State University. Pluses include a high ratio of physicians per capita, good air quality, a high rate of volunteering and a good economy. At an elevation of 50 feet the city—named after Portland, Maine—is highly walkable and bikeable. The state makes up for its lack of a sales tax with an income tax rate that hits 9% on just $50,000 of income (with Social Security excluded). There is also a state estate tax. Cost of living is 48% above the national average.
Salt Lake City, Utah
PASSIONS: 🎓 ❤️ ⛵ 🍁
Great for lifelong learning, volunteering and outdoor water and land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $402,000
Mountains, lakes and rivers create a choice of outdoor activities, including skiing, bird watching and fishing around this state capital city. Indoors, the University of Utah offers courses a wide range of courses for seniors in concert with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The city has a high rate of volunteering, a high rank on the Milken Institute list of best cities for successful aging and a strong economy. At an elevation of 4,300 feet, it is very walkable and bikeable. There is no state estate tax, but the state income, levied at a flat 4.95% rate, hits Social Security benefits. The cost of living is 27% above the national average.
San Francisco, California
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ⛵
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning and outdoor water activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $1.36 million
Surrounded by water, this scenic city is a mecca of culture and food, with 57 Michelin starred restaurants (compared to 76 in 10 times more populous New York). Opportunities for senior learning are offered at an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State and at other venues. There’s a high ratio of doctors per capita, good air quality and a strong economy. Despite the famed hills, the city, with an elevation of 50 feet, is very walkable and bikeable, with both trails and protected bike lanes. There is no state estate/inheritance tax and no income tax on Social Security benefits, but the state income tax rate is a hefty 9.3% on income above $150,000 per couple and goes up to 12.3% for the very wealthy. The serious crime rate is above the national average, but the biggest downside is the cost of living: a stunning 205% above the national average.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🍁
Great for arts, fine dining and outdoor land activities
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $397,000
Scores of art galleries, fine restaurants and museums, plus world-class skiing, distinguish this scenic state capital mountain town (elevation 7,200 feet), 60 miles north of Albuquerque. Somewhat walkable and bikeable, the city has a high number of doctors per capita, good air quality and a low serious crime rate. There is no state estate tax, but the state income tax does hit Social Security benefits. The state income tax rate is 4.9% on taxable income of married couples above $24,000. The cost of living is 21% above national average.
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ❤️ ⛵ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering, outdoor water and land activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $261,000
Nearby beaches, fishing, boating, a big arts/cultural scene and 30 golf courses dominate this Gulf Coast city 60 miles south of Tampa. With an elevation of 16 feet, the area is very walkable and bikeable, with good air quality, a strong economy and an adequate number of physicians per capita. The cost of living is only 9% above national average. There is no state income or estate tax. One downside: a serious crime rate above the national average.
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 🎓 ❤️ ⛵ 🍁 ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, lifelong learning, volunteering, outdoor water and land activities and golf
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $730,000
Still-booming Puget Sound city offers all the passions, including an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington. At an elevation up to 500 feet, the city is extremely walkable, bikeable and even boatable, with good mass transit. Other pluses include good air quality, a high ratio of doctors per capita, a very strong economy, and a good volunteering culture. There is no state income, estate or inheritance tax. But the cost of living is a whopping 104% above the national average and the serious crime rate is also higher than average.
Traverse City, Michigan
PASSIONS: 🎨 🍴 ⛵ ⛳
Great for arts, fine dining, outdoor water activities and golf.
MEDIAN HOME PRICE: $255,000
Frontage on Lake Michigan, the famed Interlochen Center for the Arts, 50 area golf courses and a reputation as a top foodie town all make his city, 250 miles northwest of Detroit, a top passions choice. There’s good air quality, above-average doctors per capita and a decent economy. At an elevation of 600 feet the city—center of the nation’s largest area for growing tart cherries—is very walkable and bikeable. Cost of living is only 2% above national average. There’s no state estate or inheritance tax and no tax on Social Security benefits, plus additional breaks for pension income. The state income tax rate is a flat 4.25%. One downside: The serious crime rate is above the national average.
A journalist for nearly five decades, I’ve written for Forbes since 1987. I’ve covered personal finance, taxes, retirement, nonprofits, scandals and other topics that interest me. I also am the author of a novel, OFFSIDE: A Mystery. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The World’s Retirement Havens – Top 10 Best Places To Retire In The World For 2018. ============= ► Subscribe for latest video ! ► https://goo.gl/lOasu9 ► Follow me on Twitter: https://goo.gl/srKHao ► Facebook: https://goo.gl/yB9XvG ============= Today, retiring abroad is about launching a new life in a new country, starting over someplace sunny and exotic with white-sand beaches or Old World culture. But there is no one way to determine the best place to retire for every person. And with a seemingly endless amount of choices, how will you ever find the right one for you. International Living’s most recent Annual Global Retirement Index 2018 compares 24 countries that give you the maximum return for your money and promise to deliver a better quality of life. Overall, the Index is based on ratings in 12 categories: buying and investing, renting, benefits and discounts, visas and residence, cost of living, fitting in, entertainment and amenities, healthcare, healthy lifestyle, development, climate, and governance. Here are the 10 retirement destinations in the world for 2018: 1. Costa Rica – The World’s Best Retirement Haven 2. Mexico – Convenient, Exotic, First-World Living 3. Panama – Friendly, Welcoming, and Great Benefits 4. Ecuador – Diverse, Unhurried, and Metropolitan 5. Malaysia – Easy, English-Speaking, and First World. 6. Colombia – Sophisticated and Affordable 7. Portugal – Europe’s Best Retirement Haven 8. Nicaragua – Best Bang-for-Your Buck in Latin America 9. Spain – Romance, History, and Charming Villages 10. Peru – Low Cost Living, Vibrant, and Diverse. Thanks for watching this video. I hope it’s useful for you. (This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment) ============= If you have any issue with the content used in my channel or you find something that belongs to you, please contact: ►Business email: email@example.com Music by: Nicolai Heidlas (https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas) Title: 50 New Cities
Here is what matters if you’ve made it and want to keep it.Do the financial markets have your attention? I assume so. After all, Wednesday’s 800-point drop in the Dow was the worst day in the U.S. stock market this year. And while many investors missed it, the December 2018 plunge in stock prices capped off a 20% decline which started in October. That could have put a big divot in the plans of folks recently retired or in the late stages of their careers.
Stumbling at the finish line?
Demographics tell us that there is massive group of people who are between 55 and 70 years old. They are the majority of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Many of them have built very nice nest eggs, thanks to a robust U.S. economy over the last 40 years. That period of technological innovation and globalization of the economy also produced four decades of generally falling interest rates. That’s provided a historic opportunity to build wealth, if you saved well and invested patiently.
But now here we are, with a stock market near all-time highs and interest rates crashing toward zero. The tailwind that lifted Baby Boomers in their “accumulation” years may flip to a headwind, just in time for them to start using the money.
Focus on what matters
At this stage of their investment life, Baby Boomers are tempted from all directions. They are told to bank on index funds, 60/40 portfolios, structured products and private partnerships. And, while there are merits to each, I am telling you what I see as someone who has been hanging around investment markets since this Baby Boomer was a Wall Street rookie in the beloved World Trade Center in NYC: much of it is bunk. It’s a distraction. It’s a sales pitch.
Take these over-hyped attempts by wealth management firms to boost their bottom line and scale their businesses, and bring your attention to your own priorities. Today, as much as any time in the past 10 years, your focus should be on true risk-management.
That does not necessarily mean running to cash. That is an outright timing move, and it borders on speculation. But it does mean that the intended use of your accumulated assets (when you need it, how much you need, and how you will navigate the markets of the future) should be
inward-looking. It should not be based on trying to guess what the stock market is going to do.
The big news on Wednesday was the “inversion” of a closely-watched part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve. Translated to English, that means for the first time since 2007, U.S. Bonds maturing in 10 years yielded less than those due in 2 years. This is far from the first inversion we have seen between different areas of the Treasury market. However, it is the one that is most widely-followed as a recession warning signal.
The chart above shows 3 things that were essentially in sync around the time the last 2 stock bear markets began. The 10-2 spread inverted, but then quickly reverted to normal. The Fed cut interest rates for the first time in a while. And, the S&P 500 peaked in value, and fell over 40% from that peak.
Let that sink in, given what we have witnessed in just the past 2 weeks. Then, fast-forward to today, where we find ourselves in a very similar situation regarding inversion and the Fed. See this chart below:
What stands out the most to me in that chart is how the spread between the 10-year and 2-year yields is almost perfectly opposite that of the S&P 500’s price movement. That is, when the 10-2 spread is dropping, the S&P 500 is usually moving higher. But when that spread starts to rise, at it is likely to soon, the S&P 500 falls…hard. As a career chartist, I just can’t ignore that.
I have been writing about the threat of an eventual “10-2 inversion” in Forbes.com since April, 2017. It finally happened this week, 19 months into what increasingly looks like a period of muted returns for investors. That is, if they follow rules identical to those they followed for the past 10 years.
Recessions are bad, but this is worse
We saw on display this week what I have been talking about since early last year: that it will not take the declaration of a recession to tip the global stock market into a panic-driven selloff that rips through retirement efforts. All that is needed is for stock prices to follow through to the downside is to actually see the market react to the preponderance of evidence that has been building for a while now.
In other words, it is the market’s fear of the future (recession) and not the actual event that is most important. By the time a recession is officially declared, you won’t need to react. The damage will already be done.
Specifically, a slowing global economy, excessive “easy money” policies by the Fed and its global counterparts, and a frenzied U.S. political environment. This has shaken investor confidence, and now the only thing that ultimately matters in your retirement portfolio: the prices/values of the securities you own, is under pressure.
What to do about it
First, don’t fall prey to the hoards of market commentators whose livelihood depends on progressively higher stock prices. Corrections are not always healthy, diversification is often a ruse, and long-term investing is for 25 year-olds!
For those who have “fought the good fight” to get to the precipice of a retirement they have darn well earned, the last thing they want is to have this inanimate object (the financial markets) knock them back toward a more compromised retirement plan.
The best news about today’s investment climate is that the tools we have to navigate through them are as plentiful as ever. Even in a period of discouragingly low interest rates for folks who figured on 4-6% CDs paying their bills in retirement, bear markets in stocks and bonds can be dealt with, and even exploited for your benefit.
Bull or bear? You should not care!
Maybe this is not “the big one” that bearish pundit have been warning about. Perhaps it is just another bump in the road of a historically long bull market for both stocks and bonds. But again, market timing and headline events like 10-2 spreads, recessions and the like are not your priority.
What your priority is, if you want to improve your chances of success toward and through retirement, is something different. Namely, to get away from the jargon and hype of financial media, simplify your approach, and take a straightforward path toward preserving capital in a time of uncommon threats to your wealth. I look forward to sharing insight on that in the coming days.
Comments provided are informational only, not individual investment advice or recommendations. Sungarden provides Advisory Services through Dynamic Wealth Advisors
I am an investment strategist and portfolio manager for high net worth families with over 30 years of industry experience. A thought-leader, book author and founder of a boutique investment advisory firm in South Florida. My work for Forbes.com aims to break investment myths and bring common sense analysis to my audience. Connect with me on Linked In, follow me on Twitter @robisbitts. Visit our website at www.SungardenInvestment.com
Creative Planning President and Founder Peter Mallouk discusses why he thinks the economy is in good shape, who should look to alternative investing and how to invest for retirement. He also discusses why he is not a fan of crypto.
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Ken Henderson, a traveling Pickleball pro, has taped out two 22-by-40-foot courts on an East Harlem gym floor. Today, instead of the usual Florida retirees, he’s teaching a crew of youngish engineers, Web designers and financial planners who have taken the subway up from the Chelsea offices of their fintech startup to play the paddle sport many Baby Boomers favor because it requires less running than tennis and is easier on aging joints. One of the older players today is 41-year-old Rhian Horgan, the founder and CEO of Kindur. She has arranged the outing as a tongue-in-cheek way for her staff to get in touch with their inner Boomers—and their clientele.
In 2016, after 17 years with JPMorgan, Horgan ditched her business suits for jeans and reinvented herself as a fintech entrepreneur. She pitched Kindur as a one-stop digital financial advisor for those nearing or in retirement. It would manage clients’ investment portfolios using a basket of low-cost index ETFs (from Vanguard, BlackRock and Schwab); offer them advice on when to take Social Security; determine which of their retirement accounts to draw down first; and, in many cases, sell them a fixed annuity—all with the goal of making sure they didn’t run out of money or pay more taxes than necessary during retirement. For simplicity, Kindur would even consolidate a client’s income sources into a monthly “retirement paycheck.”
But venture capitalists who have thrown hundreds of millions at a slew of robo-advisors and personal finance apps targeting Millennials were not wowed by Horgan or her pitchbook. “There was nothing in their portfolio targeting people ages 55 to 70,” she says. “It was a demographic they didn’t understand.”
Adding to her problems, Horgan believes, was her own identity. “I wasn’t viewed as investable. I was old for the industry, almost 40, didn’t have a cofounder, and I worked [previously] for a bank.” In addition, the notion of selling annuities online without high-pressure commissioned salesmen has been met with wide skepticism—from VCs and especially within the insurance industry itself.
After months of fruitlessly knocking on U.S. doors, Horgan found a believer at a fintech retreat in the French Alps. Anthemis, a London-based VC firm that was in on the first 2010 funding round of Betterment—the largest of the independent robo-advisors—agreed to lead a $1.25 million seed funding in September 2017, with billionaire Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures chipping in. Why mess with Boomers? “That’s where the money is,” answers Anthemis cofounder Sean Park, who sits on Kindur’s board.
Horgan hired an engineer, a designer, a general counsel (from Citi) and a few fellow financial wonks. They set up shop in a WeWork office. Across the hall, a sixtysomething woman was using WeWork’s online Meetup service to organize mah-jongg games, which gave them encouragement whenever naysayers suggested Boomers just weren’t that into the internet.
Still, their challenge was daunting: designing a “decumulation” or spend-down plan is more complicated (and requires more individualization and sets of calculations) than determining a proper asset allocation in the accumulation or saving phase. Yet to retain a broad appeal, the look and feel of the site couldn’t be too wonky, they believed.
The result: Kindur’s site, which launched in April, takes a low-key approach to both the details and the sales pitch. After setting up a free account, you answer a handful of specific questions (age, recent salary, planned retirement date) and guesstimate your assets and current spending. You get a preliminary free plan providing spending, Social Security and other advice based on these guesstimates or by linking to your actual accounts.
Prospective customers can play with their assumptions (retire later? spend less?) and ask questions of Kindur’s “coaches” via phone or online chat. Turns out, Boomers love chatting online and half use Kindur’s smartphone app, instead of its website, Horgan reports.
So far, more than 1,000 potential clients have gotten free plans. It’s a slow sales process, so we don’t yet know how many of them will buy Kindur’s services. But those who do will transfer their IRAs and investment accounts to its platform (custodied by Apex Clearing) and be charged an annual management fee of 0.5% of investment assets.
One of the most closely watched parts of Horgan’s approach is her use of fixed annuities to ensure clients don’t outlive their money. In contrast to the complicated (and commission-heavy) variable annuities insurance salesmen pitch, these are relatively plain vanilla products: You hand over a lump of money—say, $100,000—and get a fixed monthly income beginning either now or at some date in the future. Some financial planners and policymakers argue fixed annuities are a good idea, particularly for those middle-class folks who have savings but no regular pensions (outside of Social Security) they can count on.
Not surprisingly, annuity sellers are aggressively pursuing the Boomers’ business. In fact, the Alliance for Lifetime Income, an industry group, is the sole sponsor of the Rolling Stones’ current concert tour—the one that was delayed by Mick Jagger’s heart surgery.
But the insurance industry is still resistant to selling annuities online. Complicating matters, Horgan wanted a custom-designed product that fit her vision of a good annuity. She interviewed more than 40 insurers to find one willing to work with her and finally teamed up with American Equity, a West Des Moines, Iowa-based $51 billion in assets company started just 24 years ago.
“We’re partnering with Kindur because it’s a distribution channel of the future,’’ says Ron Grensteiner, the president of American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. “There’s a segment of the population now, and there will be even more so in the future, who want to do retirement planning digitally—and anonymously, to a certain degree.”
Horgan resolved to start Kindur after watching her own parents struggle to make sense of their retirement options. Her physician father and piano-teacher mother immigrated from Ireland when she was 9. Her dad worked at six different U.S. hospitals, accumulating six workplace retirement plans, as well as sundry other financial assets. Her mom, who died in late 2017, had two retirement accounts. “The list of accounts went on and on. They never had a financial advisor, and most of the info was in my dad’s head,’’ says Horgan, who has decorated Kindur’s offices with framed photos of parents—her own and those of her staff.
Before taking the Kindur site live, she raised another $10 million, including $1 million from Inspired Capital, a new fund run by billionaire Penny Pritzker and Alexa von Tobel, who founded Learnvest, a financial site for Millennial women. (It was acquired by Northwestern Mutual and later ended as a brand.) “She’s extremely ahead of the competition in recognizing what an opportunity this is,” says Von Tobel.
Not quite all the competition. United Income, a similar comprehensive online service aiming at the 50-to-70-year-old getting-organized-for-retirement crowd launched in September 2017 and already has $780 million in assets under management, with an average account size of $833,000. Unlike Horgan, founder Matt Fellowes didn’t have to fight the VCs’ anti-Boomer bias—he used his own and his family’s money, plus funds from Morningstar, which backed his first fintech startup, Hello Wallet, an automated budgeting and financial education tool aimed at Millennials.
United Income is a bit pricier. It charges 0.5% of assets a year for robo-only management and 0.8% for a “concierge service” with access to a personal financial advisor. And it doesn’t recommend annuities. Why not? Fellowes says fewer than 10% of his customers face an “essentials gap”—meaning their basic living expenses aren’t covered by Social Security and pensions—and he views bond ladders and other low-risk investment strategies as a more cost-effective method than annuities to fill such a gap.
How big a role annuities will ultimately play in Boomer retirements is still unclear.
What is clear, however, is that digital money management is not just for Millennials anymore.
In fact, the bigger challenge for Kindur, United Income and the inevitable similar startups to come may be that Boomers will simply opt to get their robo-advice from the established financial companies that helped them build their nest eggs in the first place.
Charles Schwab & Co.’s robo-human hybrid advice service, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, launched in 2017. It includes spend-down advice and costs just $300 up front, plus $30 a month. So far, two thirds of users are 50 or older.
And then there’s the blue whale of robo-human hybrids: Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services, which launched in 2015 and charges 0.30% of assets (and less for those with $5 million or more under management).
The Vanguard service not only allocates clients’ investments, but also offers advice on claiming Social Security and how much (and from which accounts) clients should spend in retirement. So far, 85% of Personal Advisor’s users are 50 or older, and it has grown to $130 billion in assets under management—way more than all the robo startups combined, no matter what age clients they serve.
I’m an associate editor on the Money team at Forbes based in Fairfield County, Connecticut, leading Forbes’ retirement coverage. I manage contributors who cover retirement and wealth management. Since I joined Forbes in 1997, my favorite stories have been on how people fuel their passions (historic preservation, open space, art, for example) by exploiting the tax code. I also get into the nitty-gritty of retirement account rules, estate planning and strategic charitable giving. My favorite Forbes business trip: to Plano, Ill. to report on the restoration of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, then owned by a British baron. Live well. Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ashleaebeling Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I know this is a bold, and possibly controversial title, but retirement planning is broken and leaving people broke.
The destructive narrative is, “work hard, save money in a retirement plan, wait and it will all work out in the long run.”
The reality is, without the ingredients of responsibility and accountability, there is no easy solution for retirement. Meaning, if we just work hard and set money aside, we are putting money into a market we have no control over.
The institutions are winning though. Taking fees along the way. Convincing us to separate ourselves from our hard earned money, encouraging us to take it out of the business we know and put it into investments we don’t.
Low interest rates are great for those borrowing money, but terrible for those wanting to take income from a retirement plan. Those low interest rates are not providing enough cash flow, so that even if you’re a millionaire on paper, you still may be living like a pauper. For example, if you could find 4% interest in a fixed income account, that is only 40,000 dollars a year per million in your retirement account. Oh, and that income is taxable if it isn’t coming from a Roth IRA.
The concept of retirement has robbed the public of the responsibility and accountability required with personal finance. It has become too easy to hand money over to so-called experts due to the busyness of business, kids, hobbies, and other obligations competing for our time.
Future-Proofing The Workforce: Why Digital Literacy Is Key
The reality is, we have more opportunity for time now than ever. For thousands of years people were limited and constrained with the monumental duty of providing for their family by having to hunt, farm or provide shelter with less technology, efficiency and access to resources. We have become addicted to saying yes to things less important than financial stability and freedom…..
My Uber driver and I struck up a conversation about the Orlando traffic and weather. The chatter soon drifted into stories about his experiences living and driving in Florida. I soon learned my driver’s name was Bob.
Raising his voice, and turning to get a look at my face in his rearview mirror, Bob asked me, “How old do you think I am?”
I am always nervous to make such a guess — uttering a number either too old, or too young, can chill the air.
But, before I could make a guess, Bob volunteered his age with a wry smile, “I am 81 years old and still working! Heck of a thing, don’t you think? 81, and still working.”
Bob’s voice trailed off, as he gently turned the wheel steering his Camry off the highway into the driveway of my hotel. At a volume almost too low to be heard, he muttered, “I had no idea it would be so long.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
Bob’s eyes darted to the rearview mirror again staring back at me. He replied flatly. “Retirement.”
Bob and millions of others are experiencing the new retirement. Yes, there have always been older people, and millions have retired before us, but retirement today is different.
There are many factors that can describe how life in retirement has changed. But, perhaps the biggest difference is time.
Social Security was enacted in 1935. More than an entitlement program, Social Security culturally framed how we think about retirement — particularly when to retire. While the ‘when’ of retirement, 65 years old, was simply a product of legislative negotiation, the number is now engraved into our social consciousness with nearly the same indisputable truth as Newton’s law of gravity. In the 1930s retirement was a story about a brief period of life that offered much needed rest from a life of work. As I observe in my book, The Longevity Economy, shortly after World War II, with the advent of pensions, social security, and modestly longer life, the retirement story framed older age as a short time filled with well earned relaxation, leisure, and family.
But, as my 81-year old driver keenly observed, retirement is very likely to be longer than planned and include more than simply play and rest. According to the Social Security Administration, an American male at 65 years old is likely to live an average of another 20 years. Likewise, an American woman, on average, is likely to live approximately another nearly 22 years.
Numbers alone, such as the cold clarity of 20 years, rarely provide insight. Instead, stories that explain what the numbers may mean can give context and inspiration to comprehensive retirement planning. So how might the 20-plus years in retirement be imagined?
Translating years to days, two-plus decades of retirement is about 8,000 days. 8,000 days is also roughly the same amount of time from birth to legal drinking age – 21 years old. Put another way, life between 21 years old and what many might call midlife in their later 40s, is another 8,000 days. And, from midlife, to the seemingly preordained retirement age of 65 years old, is – you guessed it – about another 8,000 days.
The point is retirement is not a brief period of life after full-time work. Rather, retirement is equal to one-third of your adult life.
Moreover, life in retirement is equal to other major life stages that benefitted from countless people, institutions, media, advertising, social norms, and more that guided how you lived in, and moved from, one phase of life to another. And, during each of those 8,000-day periods there were many transitions as well as planned and unplanned events that punctuated life.
Unlike other life stages, there are far fewer guideposts to help navigate the later one-third of adult life. Images of golf courses, bike trails, cafés, beaches and other trite imagery often found in retirement brochures may provide dreams and inspiration to some, but 8,000 days sitting at a café is not realistic for most. And not even desirable for many. Why should we assume that retirement, another 8,000 days of adult life, should be somehow more predictable, or any less filled with transitions, celebrations, and revelations, than any other life stage?
Viewing retirement as a full, long 8,000 days stimulates the imagination and raises many questions about later life.
There is the seemingly singular retirement planning question that becomes even more critical when realizing that there is the real possibility that our lifespan could out live our wealth span. How much money will be needed, not for a brief time, but for a much longer time than most of us imagine?
Then there are the less obvious considerations that are not typically part of our retirement planning story. Here are just a few.
What will we do with all that time – work part-time, play, travel, learn something new, remarry, volunteer, provide care? Have we made the plans, and established the connections, and formed the relationships necessary to engage in those activities before punching-the-clock one last time and entering into retirement?
Where will we live? In the previous 8,000 day periods of life we may have moved at least one or more times. Why shouldn’t we assume that we might move once, twice or more in older age as our preferences, health, and perhaps finances demand?
Retirement planning for most has been about numbers – savings and the amount of money necessary to ensure financial security through the years – certainly not incorrect, but woefully incomplete. Reframing retirement for what it is, one-third of adult life forces us to realize that there are far more opportunities, and challenges, than our current story of retirement planning includes.
8,000 days of retirement. As my 81-year old driver Bob might say, “heck of a thing.”
Work longer or reduce your standard of living – or do some combination of the two. These are the hard choices facing most working boomers as they transition out of the workforce and into retirement. The fact is, most boomer workers haven’t accumulated sufficient savings to retire full-time at age 65 and meet the goals that financial advisors commonly express for retirement income, according to a recent report from the Stanford Center on Longevity (SCL). This report analyzes boomers’ assets, debts, and the amounts they’re saving for retirement. Let’s take a look.
“Be kind to retired people; and treat them with respect. They were once vibrant just like you if not more vibrant. And if God blesses you with long life, one day you will be where they are today.” (Romilia Quotes)
Traditionally, Americans could look forward to a comfortable retirement. After four decades in an office or a factory, sometime in their 60s they would lay down their burdens and enjoy a final couple of decades with time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on their life. But since the financial crisis, older Americans have been increasingly staying in the workplace……
When 52% of older workers are pushed out of their jobs, working longer is not their choice. The stark truth is that a significant share of older workers — age 55-64 — are not anywhere near being on track to afford retirement. The median retirement account balance for older workers is only $15,000. Even the highest income workers — those earning over $200,000 per year who are in the top ten percent of the income distribution — do not have enough money to retire and maintain their standard of living. Their median account balance is under a year’s salary at $200,000 and 15% of the highest earners have no retirement plan except Social Security…….