5 steps to guide boomers to retirement
Fidelity Investments unveiled research that can help boomers close their estimated retirement income gaps.
• Adjust asset allocation Twenty-one percent of those surveyed are invested too conservatively with limited exposure to stocks, based on their current age and planned retirement date. This highlights how many investors have improperly allocated their assets and are losing the long-term earnings potential of stocks.
• Increase savings Respondents indicate they saved an average of $3,500 in 2011, but most are still not fully benefiting from the tax-advantaged/deferred savings potential of their workplace or individual retirement accounts.
• Adjust retirement date The average planned retirement age is 65, but delaying full retirement by a couple of years or continuing to work part-time can help preserve assets so they have a better chance of lasting through retirement. This tactic can be especially powerful for boomers, many of whom Fidelity found are facing a potential drop in retirement income.
• Annuitize retirement assets Fewer than one-fifth (17 percent) of retirees are using an annuity to create a guaranteed lifetime income stream to cover essential expenses, but it can be an important tool to help ensure savings last through retirement–particularly if a retiree lives beyond his or her mid-80s.
• Tap into home equity Seventy-two percent of respondents own a home and one-third (32 percent) of homeowners have no mortgage. Through downsizing and expense reduction, this home equity could be harnessed to generate income in retirement.
Source: Bill Coffin, LifeHealthPro.com
60% OF ADVISORS report their boomer clients say suffering another stock market decline is their top concern. Source: SEI Quick Poll
Retirees still skimping on screenings
Many middle-income U.S. residents ages 47 to 75 say they are taking active steps to improve their health, but only about half of those eligible for Medicare checkup benefits are getting the checkups.
Analysts at the Center for a Secure Retirement, an arm of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, surveyed 800 retirees and near retirees with incomes between $25,000 and $75,000. The sample included 400 people who were already ages 65 to 75.
Only 42 percent of the retirees— 47 percent of the women and 32 percent of the men—said they have used the new annual wellness visit benefit.
A provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) made the benefit available Jan. 1, 2011. The Medicare wellness benefit went live at the same time as the minimum medical loss ratio provision and a Medicare Part D drug discount provision took effect.
Some people may get screenings through other avenues, such as community health fairs, for example, but only 65 percent of the women said they had had a breast cancer screening in the past 12 months, and just 30 percent said they had had a cervical cancer screening.
Source: Allison Bell, LifeHealthPro.com