WBEZ | Retirement http://www.wbez.org/tags/retirement Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: The uncertainty of planning for retirement http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-04/morning-shift-uncertainty-planning-retirement-109070 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Retirement Flickr 401(K) 2013.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We talk with a financial planner about why so many middle-class Americans says they&#39;ll never be able to retire. We also check in how Chicago&#39;s Bulls, &#39;Hawks and Bears are faring. And, a look at the connection between race, class, and fashion.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-uncertainty-of-planning-for-reti/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-uncertainty-of-planning-for-reti.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-the-uncertainty-of-planning-for-reti" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The uncertainty of planning for retirement" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-04/morning-shift-uncertainty-planning-retirement-109070 Allstate to trim retirement benefits http://www.wbez.org/news/allstate-trim-retirement-benefits-108085 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Allstate_130717_AYC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Less than a month after it laid off more than 300 workers, Allstate Corp. announced on Monday plans to trim employee retirement benefits.</p><p>The Northbrook-based company said the move will boost its book value from $1.70 to $2 per share.</p><p>Jim Ryan, a senior analyst at Morningstar Inc., said the move will be difficult for employees but that it&rsquo;s what the market dictates.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s certainly something common among a lot of companies,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;To the extent that if a lot of companies do it and others don&rsquo;t, those [who] don&rsquo;t are disadvantaged on a cost basis.&rdquo;</p><p>Ryan also said he believed that Allstate would have a strong future because of plans to broaden its e-surance and online customer base.&nbsp;</p><p>Beginning this summer, the company will no longer offer life insurance to its retirees and introduce a new formula for employee pensions, reducing its contribution obligation.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid--6673237-ed63-921a-926c-01b586830a17"><em>Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/AimeeYuyiChen">@AimeeYuyiChen</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 11:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/allstate-trim-retirement-benefits-108085 Illinois House takes first major vote on pension reform http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-house-takes-first-major-vote-pension-reform-106963 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS2798_AP080109029993-madigan-scr_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois House of Representatives took a major vote Thursday afternoon on pension reform. Many lawmakers said the plan is critical to the future of state government.</p><p>Shortly before House members passed the latest pension plan by a vote of 62-51, Speaker Michael Madigan (D-22) spoke about the proposal&rsquo;s importance to the basic functions of government.</p><p>&ldquo;In my judgment, this is a critical action that must be taken now,&rdquo; Madigan said. &ldquo;Must be taken for future budget-making. Must be taken for the fiscal well-being and reputation of the State of Illinois.&rdquo;</p><p>State Representatives Esther Golar (D-6) and Camille Lilly (D-78) voted present.</p><p>Illinois has the worst-funded pensions of any state in the country. It has nearly $100 billion in pension debt.</p><p>The bill, which passed with two votes to spare, includes measures like raising the retirement age and capping pay increases state employees get in retirement. One of the most controversial aspects of pension negotiations, a proposal that would shift the cost of downstate and suburban teachers&rsquo; pensions from the state onto local school districts, was not included in the House-approved bill. Madigan said he wants to address that issue in a separate bill.</p><p>Labor groups vehemently oppose the plan and say it goes against Illinois&rsquo; constitution. Because they have vowed to sue, Madigan said he left judges&rsquo; pensions out of this bill so that there would not be a conflict of interest when the measure is debated in Illinois courts.</p><p>Instead, the measure approved by the House would affect teachers, university workers, lawmakers and other state employees.</p><p>The potential lawsuit and constitutionality of the bill were also on the mind of House members as they debated the plan.</p><p>&ldquo;We have no choice,&rdquo; said House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-97). &ldquo;If I&rsquo;m a state worker or if I&rsquo;m a teacher, a university worker, I have every right to be mad as hell.&rdquo;</p><p>This is the first major bill the full House of Representatives has approved on pension reform, but its future is uncertain in the Senate.</p><p>Senate President John Cullerton (D-6th) supports a different plan that would give retirees the option of getting state-funded health care coverage in retirement, or getting pay increases. Cullerton has argued that option meets the standards set by the state constitution. On Wednesday, Cullerton&rsquo;s office released a statement saying labor leaders have, &ldquo;offered a credible and constitutional plan for consideration.&rdquo; But no details of that plan have been made public. Before Wednesday, labor groups had asked lawmakers to change how the state taxes different industries as a way to pay for pensions, but that idea has garnered little attention from legislative leaders and the governor.</p><p>For his part, Gov. Pat Quinn has praised both Cullerton&rsquo;s pension plan and the bill the House approved Thursday. He has said pension reform is his top priority, but some lawmakers from both parties have been critical of the governor for not doing more to pick a side in the debate. In a statement after Thursday&rsquo;s House vote, Quinn said, &ldquo;Today&rsquo;s action sends a strong message to the people and businesses of our state: Illinois is ready for reform and we understand that this reform is critical to building a brighter future for all.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers state politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 May 2013 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-house-takes-first-major-vote-pension-reform-106963 The changing reality of retirement http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/changing-reality-retirement-100423 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/retirement.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(Flickr/s_falkow)" />The United States is getting older, and not just as a country&mdash;our population is aging.&nbsp; The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 8,000 people turn 65 each day. But as the baby boomer population ages, many are discovering that &ldquo;the golden years&rdquo; are a thing of the past.</div><p>Retirement expert <a href="http://fsp.bc.edu/steven-a-sass/">Steven Sass</a> says that as social security and pension benefits wane, many people find themselves working longer into their lifespans than expected.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s just one of the new realities facing a bulging baby boomer population.</p><p>Tuesday on <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, we explore the changing face of retirement with Steven Sass, associate director of the <a href="http://fsp.bc.edu/">Financial Security Project</a> at Boston College. Loyola University business ethics professor and philosopher <a href="http://www.luc.edu/sba/facultystaff/faculty/algini/">Al Gini</a> will also be on hand as we take your calls and questions about retiring in an unstable economic landscape. Call 312-923-9239 just after 2:00 p.m. to share your personal story or pick our experts&rsquo; brains.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/changing-reality-retirement-100423 Aging boomers, elderly face difficult housing market http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/aging-boomers-elderly-face-difficult-housing-market-99967 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/elderly%20lapotop.jpg" style="float: left; width: 400px; height: 266px;" title="(Flickr/homecaregiverstore@gmail.com)" />In our regular housing conversations with Dennis Rodkin, we spend a considerable amount of time talking about first-time buyers: what they&rsquo;re looking for and how they can leverage the sagging market. Monday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, we look at &ldquo;last-time&rdquo; owners, i.e. retirees and seniors looking to sell their home and either downsize, move in with family members or into retirement communities.</p><p>In the boom years, retirees could depend on real estate to bankroll their retirement years, but sinking property values have changed the equation. Young families, having heard the horror stories of home ownership, aren&rsquo;t as eager to buy the properties boomers are selling. Banks, wary of fixed incomes, often turn down retirees looking to refinance their mortgages.</p><p>Rodkin, who writes the <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/Deal-Estate/" target="_blank"><em>Deal Estate </em></a>column for <em>Chicago </em>magazine, advises boomers to ask themselves several questions when deciding where to live and whether to sell or stay put: Does your neighborhood have good transit options? How safe is it? If your mobility is impaired, can you install upgrades to make your current home more senior-friendly?</p><p>&ldquo;Selling can be a very emotional experience for seniors,&rdquo; said Mike Rickert, chair of the Senior Service Task Force for the <a href="http://www.succeedwithmore.com/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">MainStreet Organization of Realtors</a> and a guest on Monday&rsquo;s <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re leaving the home where they raised their kids.&rdquo; For individuals moving into a form of assisted living, they&rsquo;re struggling with the loss of independence.</p><p>Rickert and other members of the senior task force regularly meet with nursing homes, lawyers who specialize in living wills and tax accountants to better understand the housing needs of the elderly.</p><p>He says a lot of real estate agents don&rsquo;t want to work with seniors because many aren&rsquo;t looking to buy. The numbers indicate that agents may have to adapt. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, <a href="http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/06/04/Housing-Mismatch-Boomers-Sell-Millenials-Rent.aspx#page1" target="_top">26 million boomers</a> plan to sell by 2030.</p><p>Are you of retirement age and considering selling your home? Are the child of a senior parent who is no longer self-sufficient? To share your experience, call <strong>312.923.9239. </strong></p></p> Mon, 11 Jun 2012 07:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/aging-boomers-elderly-face-difficult-housing-market-99967 Retirement delayed, American Dream deferred http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/retirement-delayed-american-dream-deferred-98672 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/retirement_flickr_401K.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Do Boomers see retirement ahead? Or just perpetual work? (Flickr/401K)" /></div><p>I remember when I was a boy, my dad knew the exact day he was eligible for retirement. He planned to retire on that that day, and not one day longer. And, in fact, he did, without a moment of hesitation or regret.</p><p>But us Baby Boomers are of mixed mind about retirement. Some of us got lucky in the salad days of the Clinton administration and retired early. Others of us who could afford to retire decided not to, because we loved our jobs and wanted to continue working. But in the last 10 years, and especially since the market collapse of 2008, plenty of people planning to retire have had to rethink their plans. And lots of people who already retired have been forced back to work.</p><p>►In 1996 about 23 percent of the workforce retired at or before the age of 60. But 2011, only about 7 percent of 60 years olds did so.</p><p>►In 1996, less than 9 percent of workers 70 years old and up continued to work. In 2011, 25 percent have stayed on the job.</p><p>►According to government estimates, the over-65 age group is the fastest growing segment of working population. More than 7 million of them are still punching a time-clock, a 27 percent increased since 2007.</p><p>Statistics suggest that workers have deferred their &ldquo;possible&rdquo; retirement or have gone back to work out of necessity and not desire.</p><p>According to <em>Smart Money Magazine</em>, working seniors give the following reasons for staying on the job: 36 percent - the poor economy;</p><p>►16 percent - lack of faith in the social security system.</p><p>►15 percent - employment changes resulting in lower salaries;</p><p>►10 percent - higher cost of living;</p><p>►10 percent - want to accumulate more money in order to retire comfortably;</p><p>►9 percent - need to pay off accumulated bills;</p><p>►6 percent - need to make up for losses in stock market and real estate values;</p><p>Deferring retirement or going back to work because of economic bad times may not be the greatest of hardships --&nbsp; providing one is in good health. But the social implications of these stats are scary. It wasn&rsquo;t until after the Depression and World War II that the majority of middle class Americans had the opportunity to retire. Since then the concept of retirement has been part of the promise, along with home ownership, of the American Dream. The social contract was supposed to be: If you work hard and save &ndash; your reward in later life will be the right to not work. One had the right to leisure, relaxation and play.</p><p>Today, this social contract is in doubt and in danger of being altered irrevocably. To freely choose to wear-out rather than rust-out is one thing. To be forced to work until death do us part is quite another.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/retirement-delayed-american-dream-deferred-98672 Rep. Costello announces retirement from Congress http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-costello-announces-retirement-congress-92820 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/4796868402_f2d7119ca6.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello announced today he won't be seeking re-election next year after 23 years in office.</p><p>In a press conference on Tuesday, the 62-year-old downstate Democrat insisted he never intended to be<br> a career congressman and said he's retiring to pursue other interests.</p><p>“You have to make a decision,” Costello said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Do you want to continue to do what you're doing just to do it, or do you want to move on and do other things and be productive in other ways.”</p><p>Costello’s retirement sets up a potential fight for the soon-to-be vacant southwest seat in next year’s election, one Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady thinks the GOP can win. He says Costello’s district has been trending red in recent elections, pointing to Republicans Rep. Mark Kirk and gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady’s victories there in the 2010 election.</p><p>“We think that is now a Republican district,” said Brady. “And with Congressman Costello's sudden resignation, I think we're in a pretty good position to take that back and will take it back.”</p><p>Costello currently serves the southwest part of Illinois, which includes the East St. Louis area.</p><p>Upon announcing his retirement on Tuesday he said he’s most proud of securing a future for Scott Air Force Base, and seeing construction start on the new Mississippi River Bridge.</p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 20:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rep-costello-announces-retirement-congress-92820 Cullerton wants lawmakers to consider taxing retirement income http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-budget/cullerton-wants-lawmakers-consider-taxing-retirement-income <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_0004.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The president of the Illinois Senate says he wants lawmakers to consider taxing income earned by retired people in the state.&nbsp; State Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said that doing so could raise up to $1.6 billion.</p><p>Currently, most retirement income is not taxed by Illinois.<br /> <br /> &quot;If we wanted to do that, we could do a floor - maybe the first $50,000 that people make wouldn't be taxed,&quot; Cullerton said on Monday, following a speech to business and government leaders at the City Club of Chicago. &quot;But then we would take that money and lower other people's tax rates. It would just be a matter of fairness.&quot;<br /> <br /> It would be a tax swap, of sorts. Cullerton said the move would allow the state to lower, for example, the corporate tax rate.<br /> <br /> This would be a tough proposal to pass, especially since seniors vote in large numbers and the legislature just raised the income tax rate in January.<br /> <br /> Gov. Pat Quinn was noncommittal on Monday when asked about the idea of taxing retirement benefits, though he said&nbsp; &quot;everything should be looked at.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 23:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-budget/cullerton-wants-lawmakers-consider-taxing-retirement-income Be a 401(k) bull, not a bear http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/04/be-a-401k-bull-not-a-bear/7299 <p>If you're having a hard time saving money for a summer vacation or finding cash to repair the family car, contributing to a 401(k) is probably not at the top of your list. But, according to the senior editor of Money Magazine, that is <em>not</em> how it should be. "I don't see how stopping or lowering your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement accounts helps you," writes <span class="captionname">Money's Walter Updegrave in <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/30/pf/expert/401k_bargains.moneymag/index.htm?postversion=2009033105" target="_blank">this </a><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/30/pf/expert/401k_bargains.moneymag/index.htm?postversion=2009033105" target="_blank">CNN article</a>. Unless you're truly scraping the bottom of the barrel, Updegrave does not condone ignoring your employer's 401(k) option. </span> <span class="captionname">To boot, though you might be skittish to invest given the stock market's recent unpredictable dives, Updegrave points out that what </span>you'll earn after stocks when stocks are peaking is much lower than the return you'll likely get when you buy after stocks have been seriously hammered. Bottom line, if you've been shirking your 401(k) responsibilities, get back in the investing game as soon as possible.</p> Wed, 01 Apr 2009 04:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ssargent/2009/04/be-a-401k-bull-not-a-bear/7299