Retirement saving plays an important role in the U.S. economy. Americans hold more than $18 trillion in private retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs, while defined benefit pensions in the private and public sector hold trillions more. Social Security and Medicare comprise nearly 40 percent of the federal budget. The government also provides tax subsidies for retirement saving, and funds Medicaid, which covers elder long-term care. Yet despite existing research, policymakers do not have access to reliable data when making decisions that affect the retirement security of tens of millions of families. There are many major outstanding questions:
Making effective evidence-based policy requires both a comprehensive understanding of the policy challenge and attendant remedies, as well as the will and ability to implement the necessary reforms. The federal government should commission a large-scale panel survey that, coupled with linked administrative data, provides detailed information on household wealth, labor market, health and demographic data. No current data set provides such information.
You can find the full Retirement Security Project at Brookings paper here.
AARP reports thatAmericans are concerned and even afraid for their retirement security. And the news headlines often don’t make them feel better. The latest is a claim from the National institute for Retirement Security that “A plurality of older Americans, 40.2 percent, only receive income from Social Security in retirement.” If true that’s very worrying. But does this frightening factoid hold up?
The NIRS report’s data source is the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (the SIPP). The SIPP surveys households by asking them a wide variety of questions, including the sources of their income. From the SIPP, NIRS declares that 40.2 percent of retirees receive all of their income from Social Security.
And yet, a 2017 study by researchers at the Social Security Administration, also using the SIPP, found that only 19.6% of Americans 65 and over received at least 90% of their total incomes from Social Security. That’s less than half the share of retirees than NIRS claims and SSA measures dependence using a lower bar—90% of total income rather than NIRS’s 100%. Clearly, there’s a conflict.
Moreover, a second 2017 study, from two Census Bureau economists, analyzed retirement incomes using IRS tax records, which are more accurate than households’ responses to a survey. The Census Bureau study found that only 12% of Americans aged 65+ received 90% or more of their income from Social Security. Again, it’s not clear how that is compatible with NIRS’s claim that over 40% of retirees receive all their income from Social Security.
From a policy perspective, one-fifth of retirees being heavily dependent on Social Security isn’t a huge problem: the poorest fifth of workers are indeed quite poor, and Social Security was designed to provide a retirement benefit for workers who can’t easily save on their own.
You can find the full article, including a discussion of why the NIRS data might be wrong, here.
According to AARP, one in 3 Tennesseans 67 and older are living on Social Security alone. To find out about poverty and the elderly learn more here.
On Friday, I drove to visit some upset clients who have been with me for over six years and are family members of other long time clients. They called me panicked after going to the pharmacy to pick up their medications the first time in 2020. Their prescription costs went from $22 per month in 2019 to $332 in 2020. I had called them a couple times and wrote them between the end of September through the December 2nd. We had spoken and they vowed to look at all the changes to their plan with me and call me back. Frankly, they had a lot going on in their family and had been happy with their plan for years. They figured it was a low priority, considering every other year we went through our review- I hadn’t ever recommended a change. Behind the scenes their 40 year old daughter who suffered from depression had hung herself and left behind three children and two grandchildren. GOOD NEWS in all of this was - they could still change their plan (until MARCH 31). They thanked me profusely for helping them choose a plan that allowed the best of care with minimal out of pocket expense when he went through an organ transplant and she simultaneously suffered from and survived breast cancer. Bottom line -I HELP HEAL AND CARE FOR FAMILIES, not SELL products or insurance.
Here are the highlights of what you need to know:
Read more here.
The good news is that you can get a Medicare Supplement that covers most of these costs. You can also get a Medicare Advantage plan that can save you money and limit your RISK than having original Medicare alone. Find out more here.
Heather Majka, formerly Director of Senior Financial Group, starts her own company - Citizens Insurance Solutions.
After 13 great years building infrastructure, writing operational procedures, training agents, building systems, generating leads, and building relationships for someone else, I decided to leave what was once my dream job, to start my own business. It was definitely long over do that I focus on building relationships and doing things my way.
I always dreamed of spending more time focusing on relationships and connecting with people and with my former job I had too many demands to really do that. Now as a sole proprietor I choose what is important and how to spend my time, serving the community! Join me in ensuring that everyone who asks gets the help they need to cover their healthcare costs, provide peace of mind, focus on health, and feel good about their finances. We make things easy and simple and ensure that everyone knows they deserve protection.
This year there are big changes that could cost you $$$$. I have seen as much as a $35,000 savings just from reviewing the changes in the plan that are not obvious. Please call or email me and I can help you determine if you are right were you need to be or give you some options to consider if you would like or need be. This 2 minute video explains what I mean and so does this picture below!
Even though the donut hole/coverage gap is closed?
That is right, you would think since the coverage gap is closed in 2020 that beneficiaries would pay the say costs out of pocket during their initial coverage phase as in the coverage gap since they will not have to pay more than 25% of the costs of prescription drugs. It turns out that is incorrect! It depends on the medications that you are on! Don't worry, I can help you see how you will be personally affected in 2020. For more information see this article: https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/how-will-the-medicare-part-d-benefit-change-under-current-law-and-leading-proposals/
In just five minutes or less you can start a personal and secure Medicare.gov account. By why you ask would you make yet another username and password and place to log into. Well there are a few really good reasons.
Here at Citizens Insurance Solutions, we are dedicated to help make your life easier as you relax knowing you got the coverage you needed and wanted.
Learn the steps here
Watch this one minute video.
There are NO Hidden Costs & You do NOT pay more to work with an Agent!