I recently read an article called “The Politics of Retirement – Trump, Clinton and Others Weigh In On Savings Plans” in which, the author claimed, “The race is on to save Americans’ golden years.” Politicians cannot afford to ignore the “looming financial train wreck” that Social Security presents.
While I prefer to stay out of politics, the solutions to the US retirement system should be non-partisan and pretty straightforward.
Here are a few potential solutions that should appeal to everyone, regardless of party affiliation:
- Provide more flexibility in Social Security elections, permitting participants to defer beyond 70 and to gradually elect benefits. This would save billions in cash flow.
- Require that 401(k) and IRA savings above a certain threshold be distributed starting at 62. The effect would be to generate more taxes.
- Create a default option in 401(k) plans that funds be gradually converted to lifetime income. This would result in more income for retirees.
- Enable investors to buy into Social Security from all forms of savings. Once again, creating more income for the retiree.
- Require that all 401(k) plans enable participants to roll out into an IRA rollover account. This would increase competition, yielding more and better rates.
While I previously referred to this disturbing study discussed in “Analysis Finds Concerning Differences in Retirement Income Calculators,” this article suggests the biggest failure may not be the calculators per se, but the lack of actionable items.
There are definitely strategies that can address volatility, inadequate income, lack of transparency, and the likelihood of running through savings.
What these “smart calculator” designers should be looking for are solutions and not analytics.
In “7 things you didn’t know about reverse mortgages,” the author seeks to address some of the misunderstandings and myths around reverse mortgages, positioning it as “forward-thinking” to consider as part of your retirement planning strategy.
I agree that educating consumers and financial intermediaries about reverse mortgages is all to the good. However, what’s needed are real analytics and more information about where and when they fit well into a retirement strategy, rather than lists.
We believe the reverse mortgage will evolve in product design and marketing to become a standard element of retirement planning.