baby boomers http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3389/all en-US 6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-589447046.jpg" alt="Learning millennial money habits retirees should strive for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to money matters, Millennials don't always get a good rap. These young adults are likely to view themselves in good financial health so long as they make the bills at the end of the month, let alone stow a little extra away for retirement. But don't mistake them as financial illiterates. In fact, there are some common ways Millennials handle their money that could benefit the older generations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money So Far</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Creative</h2> <p>As retirees age, their expenditures fall &mdash; but their <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2498185" target="_blank">income drops even faster</a>. Perhaps retirees, who are unlikely to jump back into the traditional workforce due to a suddenly trickling cash flow, can benefit from some Millennial-style money tactics. Indeed, Millennials know how to get creative when it comes to their earnings. The old rules simply didn't apply to this generation of '80s and '90s babies that entered adulthood during the uncertainty of the financial recession. So, they made their own rules. They found their own innovative ways to survive. And now, as they continue to develop a distinctly entrepreneurial spirit, many Millennials are beginning to thrive.</p> <p>More than any other generation, Millennials have embraced the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">sharing economy</a>, in which a lawn mower, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver?ref=internal" target="_blank">their car</a>, or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=internal" target="_blank">spare bedroom</a> can become a valuable source of revenue. The average Airbnb host earns more than $20,000 a year renting out a full, two-bedroom apartment or house in a major city, and this is exactly the kind of peripheral revenue stream that Millennials have become accustomed to seeking out for themselves.</p> <p>When it comes to ride-sharing, 21% of Millennials have used user-powered programs like Lyft and Uber to save money while on vacation. Among other age groups, those numbers are much lower &mdash; 7% for Gen-Xers and 4% for Baby Boomers. For older retirees, the percentage is presumably even lower. Yet <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">transportation is a significant expense</a> for most retirees, and it's one that could potentially be lowered through the use of ride-sharing &mdash; not only during a vacation, but on a daily basis. Older households spend about $8,000 a year on transportation, ranging from a high of $9,321 for the 55 to 64 age group, to a low of $5,091 for the 75-and-older group, according to federal data.</p> <h2>2. Don't Buy Stuff, Spend on Experiences Instead</h2> <p>Millennials highly value experiences &mdash; concerts, yoga festivals, French lessons, surf lessons, palm readings, trips to Italy &mdash; and they are increasingly willing to fork over more and more money to get them. All told, 78% of Millennials would choose to spend money on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=internal" target="_blank">desirable experience</a> or event over buying something desirable, and 55% of Millennials say they're spending more on events and live experiences than ever before, according to a 2015 study by Eventbrite. What's more, nearly eight in 10 Millennials say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in, while 69% say attending live events and experiences make them more connected to other people, the community, and the world.</p> <p>As it turns out, there's scientific evidence to support the idea that people of all ages who spend money on experiences rather than things have a greater shot at attaining happiness. More than stuff, experiential pursuits promote greater happiness, psychologists have found. Perhaps painting lessons, bowling clubs, and a little international travel might also hold the key to a happy retirement.</p> <h2>3. Save Like You Mean It</h2> <p>A recent survey by T. Rowe Price found that 67% of Millennials will save by any means necessary. One reason might be this: It's reassuring to have a stash of cash available for emergencies, and this fact very well may be a major motivator for young adults who came of age during the recession, when jobs were scarce and layoffs were commonplace.</p> <p>Older generations could benefit from that same mentality. Saving by any means necessary, as if the financial future was completely uncertain, will help build up a money cushion should the worst actually happen.</p> <h2>4. Embrace Technology</h2> <p>Millennials are famously tech-savvy, and they're using their familiarity with mobile apps to track their investments, as well as their spending and saving habits, in real time. Tools like <a href="https://www.mint.com/" target="_blank">Mint</a> and <a href="https://digit.co/" target="_blank">Digit</a> make financial planning quick and easy, while <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> helps Millennials automatically invest their spare change into a diversified and customizable portfolio. There are money-saving apps specific for grocery shopping, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?ref=internal" target="_blank">couponing</a>, freelancing, and so much more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun &mdash; No Really!</a>)</p> <p>While retirees generally lag in technological proficiency, there's been great improvement in recent years. All told, <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/" target="_blank">58% of people 65 and older</a> go online, according to the Pew Research Center, which marks an impressive increase from 14% in 2000. The app and website <a href="https://lifereimagined.aarp.org/" target="_blank">Life Reimagined</a> by AARP is one example of a highly-rated financial and social planning tool for retirees of all ages.</p> <h2>5. Volunteer in Exchange for Free Tickets</h2> <p>Americans 55 and older spend <a href="https://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-5/spending-patterns-of-older-americans.htm" target="_blank">5.3% of their budget</a> on entertainment, which is slightly more than the entertainment spending of all Americans, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Perhaps older Americans could benefit from this tip straight out of the Millennial playbook: A little volunteer work can go a long way to get you access to concerts, festivals, and sporting events. Many theaters, stadiums, and festival grounds offer volunteers free tickets to events in exchange for some time spent charitably directing parking or ushering the aisles.</p> <h2>6. Talk It Out</h2> <p>Millennials are markedly open when it comes to discussing their financial woes, worries, and successes. Not only are they quick to seek expert advice, but they are also undeterred from engaging in frank financial talks with friends, spouses, parents, co-workers, and others. Retirees who come from a generation that largely believed that it's rude to talk about money in public could learn from the younger generation's fiscal transparency. Experts say that open conversations about finances can help save relationships, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-conversations-every-couple-should-have?ref=internal" target="_blank">especially intimate ones</a>. They can also lead to people to better address their financial concerns, which can help prevent financial crises from building up later on down the road.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement apps baby boomers gen x generations millennials money habits retirees saving money sharing economy volunteering Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1906388 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-77931648.jpg" alt="Sandwich generation learning smart money strategies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Generation X is commonly called the sandwich generation for two reasons. First, they are sandwiched between the Millennials and the Baby Boomers, both groups that seem to hog media coverage &mdash; and marketing budgets. More importantly, many Gen Xers face the modern problem of caring for their elderly parents while still also caring for their own children. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a>)</p> <p>Being in the sandwich generation can be stressful and financially draining. Here are five strategies to stay financially afloat if you're caring for others.</p> <h2>1. Talk Openly About Finances</h2> <p>Whether your elderly parents live with you or not, it is important to know where they stand financially. For families that didn't grow up talking about money, this might feel awkward. However, it is important for you to be prepared to assume financial responsibility if anything were to happen.</p> <p>Of course, it is best to have this talk with a certified financial planner and estate attorney, as well. There are a lot of financial matters to discuss.</p> <ul> <li>Who has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney" target="_blank">power of attorney</a>?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Where will the funds for your parents' care come from?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Should your parents be receiving veterans' benefits or Medicaid assistance?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do your parents have any investments, and are they making the best rate of return on them?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do your parents have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it" target="_blank">long-term care insurance</a> or enough retirement savings to cover care costs?</li> </ul> <h2>2. Utilize Special Savings Accounts</h2> <p>Money will be tight when you are caring for your parents and children at the same time, but don't neglect saving accounts. Contribute as much as you can to your retirement account and even look into a 529 plan for future college costs.</p> <p>Many employers offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which allow you to contribute up to $2,500 into a health account and dependent care account. If both you and your spouse are employed, then you might both be eligible to contribute $2,500, for a combined $5,000. This money can be used for your own medical costs, your kids' medical costs and care needs, and your elderly parents' medical and care needs, if they are declared as your dependents.</p> <p>An elderly parent can be financially taxing, but don't let that cause you to avoid saving for your retirement or your child's college. You don't want to be stuck in a financial black hole once your elderly loved one is gone.</p> <h2>3. Get Tax Benefits</h2> <p>If you do declare a parent as a dependent, make sure you get all of the possible tax benefits. Talk with a tax specialist about getting special deductions for medical home improvements, medical expenses, and care expenses.</p> <h2>4. Prioritize the Budget</h2> <p>Take a look at your budget and see what can be cut or put on hold. You might have to move to a more affordable area or forgo family vacations for a few years. Being in the sandwich generation will take sacrifice, but if you can survive this time without incurring debt, then you will stay financially afloat.</p> <p>If you need extra money, try to sell unwanted or unneeded items. Every little bit helps. If either your child or parent is capable of earning some money with a part-time position, this can help too. A teenager can get a job and take over their cellphone or car payments, and your parent can help contribute to the grocery budget. Even if this only adds up to an extra $100 a month, it can still create a little bit of breathing room.</p> <h2>5. Ask Other Family Members for Help</h2> <p>An aging parent shouldn't fall on the shoulders of just one person. Siblings and other able family members should help financially and physically. Have a serious talk with your other siblings and family members about contributing. If they cannot contribute financially, then they should be able to watch or care for an elderly parent at least a few hours a month to give you a break.</p> <p>Don't try to balance the weight of aging parents and children alone. Start by talking with a financial adviser, who can help put your finances in order and point you to free resources. It can also help to seek advice from peers who have gone through or are going through the same situation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-single-parents-can-juggle-retirement-savings-too">How Single Parents Can Juggle Retirement Savings, Too</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family aging parents baby boomers children dependents generation x household millennials money advice sandwich generation Mon, 13 Feb 2017 11:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1884961 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/social_security_card_76556001.jpg" alt="Learning to stop falling for social security myths" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over 166 million taxpayers pay into Social Security, which pays benefits to over 65 million Americans. As with any program as large and sprawling as Social Security, myths about how it works can run rampant &mdash; and since the facts tend to require more than a sound bite to explain, those myths become entrenched in our collective consciousness as fact.</p> <p>But not only are these Social Security myths untrue, believing them can cause you to make poor decisions about your Social Security benefits. Here are six of the most common and harmful myths about Social Security, debunked:</p> <h2>1. The Government Is Raiding the Social Security Trust Fund</h2> <p>You will often hear people complain about how untrustworthy our government is, and offer the fact that Congress &quot;raids&quot; the Social Security Trust Fund as proof. While it is true that the Trust Fund is where excess Social Security taxes are placed for future beneficiaries, and it is also true that the government uses money in this account to pay for government programs, it is simply not true that the fund is being &quot;raided.&quot;</p> <p>Here's what's going on. Money placed in the Social Security Trust Fund may sound like it is being put in a vault somewhere for the safekeeping of future beneficiaries. But that's not how money works. Not only would that be a security risk, but the money in such a vault would lose value to inflation. In order to maintain and increase the value of the trust fund, the money must be invested in government programs.</p> <p>Think of it this way: Any time you invest money commercially &mdash; whether by putting it in an interest-bearing bank account or by buying stocks or bonds &mdash; you are probably aware that the institution is immediately spending the money you have invested. The private institution spends your investment with the understanding that it will earn profits and be able to pay you back, with interest.</p> <p>The government is no different. It spends money invested in the Social Security Trust Fund on infrastructure, military spending, government salaries, welfare, and the like, knowing that those investments will earn interest. But unlike a private institution, this kind of government spending is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.</p> <p>The government's spending of money from the Social Security Trust Fund is just as valid a use of invested money as is the lending and spending that a bank or corporation does with investors' money.</p> <h2>2. Social Security Is Going Bankrupt</h2> <p>This myth is based on a kernel of truth &mdash; specifically, Social Security benefit payments exceed payroll tax revenues and have done so since 2010. In order to maintain promised benefits, Social Security has had to dip into the Social Security Trust Fund. As of 2013, the Trust Fund began losing value, and it will become entirely depleted by 2037.</p> <p>This is the point at which most analysis stops, and that is why you will often hear the myth that Social Security is circling the drain. But it is impossible for Social Security to go bankrupt, because it was always designed as an immediate transfer of funds from current workers to current beneficiaries. (When there were more workers than beneficiaries, excess taxes were placed in the Trust Fund. This was the case until 2009). The program does not count on a specific pool of money, but on the tax revenue of current workers.</p> <p>That being said, once the Trust Fund is depleted, tax revenue is only expected to pay for approximately 79% of promised benefits. This is the shortfall you will hear experts referring to when discussing the future of Social Security. But it does not spell the end of the program. It is just a shortfall that we need to find a way to make up.</p> <p>Social Security was created specifically so it could be changed and tweaked to meet the changing needs of Americans &mdash; changing needs like this anticipated shortfall. We might have little faith in Washington right now, but it is specifically the job of our government to make changes to Social Security to deal with this coming shortfall. Eventually, they'll get around to it.</p> <h2>3. It's the Baby Boomers' Fault We're in This Mess</h2> <p>There are plenty of articles out there that place the blame for Social Security's financial woes squarely at the feet of the baby boomer generation &mdash; the largest-ever generation of Americans, born between 1946 and 1964. There are 76 million baby boomers, and having that many people retire over a couple of decades places an enormous burden on Social Security. Since our system is based upon an immediate transfer from current workers to current retirees, having the boomers retire all at once puts too many retirees into the equation.</p> <p>But the boomers' retirement is hardly a surprise. They've been around for six or seven decades now, and we have seen this mass boomer retirement phase coming for many years. According to Virginia P. Reno and Joni Lavery in the Social Security brief <a href="https://www.nasi.org/usr_doc/SS_Brief_022.pdf">Can We Afford Social Security When Baby Boomers Retire?</a>, &quot;Policymakers began to plan as early as 1983, when Congress lowered the cost of Social Security benefits for boomers and later generations by raising the age at which unreduced retirement benefits will be paid.&quot;</p> <p>Believe it or not, our government has been trying for quite some time to prepare for this moment. Part of the reason we had such a surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund was because of our preparation for the mass retirement of the boomer generation. We are far better prepared for the boomers than many doomsayers might have you believe.</p> <h2>4. Waiting for Benefits Means You Risk Not Getting Your Fair Share</h2> <p>It is possible to take Social Security benefits as early as age 62, although your benefits will be permanently reduced by up to 25% to 30 percent by taking them early. Wait until your full retirement age (66 for individuals born between 1943 and 1954, rising to age 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later), and you will receive your full benefits. If you can wait until age 70, you will receive delayed retirement credit equal to approximately 8% per year between your full retirement age and 70.</p> <p>If you calculate the break-even analysis on your Social Security benefits, it often looks like you're better off by taking early benefits. Early, reduced benefits offer you more lifetime benefits for nearly 15 years into the break-even analysis.</p> <p>The problem with this thinking is that the only way for you to &quot;win&quot; these calculations is to die young. It would actually be far worse for you to take early benefits and then live a long life on a reduced income. It is much smarter to delay your benefits as long as possible to provide yourself with the largest benefit you can get.</p> <h2>5. Immigrants Are Taking Social Security Benefits They Didn't Pay For</h2> <p>This myth is an election year favorite, and it conflates Social Security benefits with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Social Security benefits are only available to beneficiaries who either paid into the system themselves, or who are the dependents of those who paid into the system. If you have not paid any Social Security payroll taxes (or you haven't been the dependent of someone who has), you are not getting Social Security benefits. Period.</p> <p>SSI, on the other hand, is a welfare program designed to provide aid to the elderly and disabled, and SSI benefits are paid through general governmental revenues. Immigrants are eligible to collect SSI benefits, but only if they show the same level of extreme need as any other SSI beneficiary.</p> <h2>6. Privatizing Social Security Would Make the System Fairer</h2> <p>The possibility of privatizing Social Security is a common suggestion for fixing many of the problems inherent in such a large government program. These suggestions often promise that privatization will be cheaper for the government, more lucrative for beneficiaries, and fairer for everyone since you will get out what you put in.</p> <p>Unfortunately, none of those three promises would be true. Social Security is a very efficiently run program, with administrative expenses totaling less than 1% of the program's budget. But creating and maintaining individual investment accounts would be incredibly expensive, since it would incur broker commission fees and/or mutual fund management fees, which would either come from the program budget or individual investors.</p> <p>In addition, it is unlikely that the majority of beneficiaries would be able to improve upon their Social Security &quot;return on investment&quot; through investment accounts, since humans are notoriously irrational investors. Social Security benefits are guaranteed, while investment returns are not.</p> <p>Finally, attempting to create pay-for-what-you-get fairness in a social insurance program like Social Security is a non-starter. The intention of Social Security is to provide guaranteed income to the elderly, the disabled, and their families, by spreading the cost of that income over all of society. Strict fairness in such a system would leave our most vulnerable citizens in abject poverty or worse. It's also important to note that the transition costs of privatizing Social Security have been estimated at nearly <a href="http://www.ncpssm.org/Document/ArticleID/14">$5 trillion over the first two decades</a>. Those costs would need to be paid by current workers, who would potentially be paying into their privatized accounts and still be paying taxes that go toward current beneficiaries &mdash; which would feel incredibly unfair.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-social-security-you-shouldnt-panic-over">5 Sobering Facts About Social Security You Shouldn&#039;t Panic Over</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-you-start-claiming-your-social-security-benefits">5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Claiming Your Social Security Benefits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-tax-day-is-april-15-and-other-weird-financial-deadlines">Why Tax Day Is April 15 and Other Weird Financial Deadlines</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-claim-social-security-before-your-retirement-age">3 Reasons to Claim Social Security Before Your Retirement Age</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement baby boomers benefits Congress full retirement age government immigrants myths privatized social security ssi Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1827091 at http://www.wisebread.com It's the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th? http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_friends_piggy_bank_74667997.jpg" alt="Woman learning why her money is stuck in the 20th century" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you read financial advice these days, you could be forgiven for checking the date to see if you'd wandered back into the 1990s (or 1970s).</p> <p>What was good advice for the 20th century? Go to the best college you can, get a good job, live frugally, save and invest, buy a house, and max out your retirement savings.</p> <p>But all that generic financial advice of the 20th century isn't necessarily the surest route to success anymore. Millennials figured this out a while ago. That's why so many aren't bothering with college, why so many are living at home with their parents, and why so many are getting by with casual jobs &mdash; or no jobs.</p> <h2>Smart Moves for the 21st Century</h2> <p>So, what's the right financial advice for the 21st century? Well, Millennials' instincts aren't wrong. But these are hard waters to navigate purely on instinct. Here's what I'd do.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Don't Go to College&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Don't <em>go into debt</em> to go to college.&quot;</p> <p>Even that is a bit extreme, because there are career paths &mdash; engineering, technology &mdash; where you can earn enough to pay off student loans. It would probably be even better to say, &quot;Keep your student loans small, relative to your prospects of paying the money back.&quot;</p> <p>In particular, don't pay up to attend a mid-tier college. In the 20th century there was real ROI in going to the best college you could get into. In the 21st century, I think that's only true at the top. If you can't get into (or afford!) one of the absolute top colleges, there's no reason to pay extra to attend a second-tier college. The cost-benefit ratio shifts strongly in your favor if you do a couple of years at community college and then finish your degree at a good state school. Of course if your family is rich or you can get excellent scholarships, there's no reason not to go to a second-tier college &mdash; just not if you have to borrow extra to do it.</p> <p>Even if you can get into a top-tier college, consider whether its cost is justified. Will your degree ensure a job upon graduation, or result in better-compensated roles than you might otherwise have access to? Will it make entry into a graduate program of your choice easier? Will it materially benefit your intended life path in some way?</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Live at Home With Your Parents&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Live a lifestyle you can really afford, <em>even if that means</em> living at home with your parents.&quot;</p> <p>Do not go into debt to support your lifestyle! In fact, you'll be way ahead of the game if you can start accumulating <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-the-importance-of-having-capital">a little capital</a>. Even just a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">small emergency fund</a> can make your life enormously better.</p> <p>Other sorts of debt may not be as bad as student loan debt (which can't be discharged even in bankruptcy, and which lenders will give you even if your planned course of study gives you no hope of ever paying it off), but that doesn't mean the other sorts are okay.</p> <h3>It's Not &quot;Work Casual Jobs&quot;</h3> <p>Rather, it's &quot;Find a way to support your low-cost lifestyle, <em>even if all you can get</em> are casual jobs.&quot;</p> <p>There are all kinds of ways to make money. There are good jobs, there are crappy jobs, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job">side gigs</a> of all sorts. The key is to fund your lifestyle (plus a little extra).</p> <p>In today's economy there are times and places where crappy jobs are all you can get. That's unfortunate.</p> <p>Also unfortunate is that so many people writing about &quot;kids these days&quot; don't see that <em>these two items are paired</em>. Millennials are (very wisely) matching lifestyle choices with income opportunities, while journalists (and even financial advisers) are pretending that these two things are independent of one another.</p> <h3>All the Other Generic Financial Advice</h3> <p>Investing used to be easy.</p> <p>From around 1980 through the end of the 20th century, just about any mix of cash, bonds, and stocks purchased through low-cost index funds would yield several percentage points above inflation, letting anybody be an investing super-genius.</p> <p>Housing prices didn't go up in a straight line through the whole period, but between the tax advantages of homeownership and the leverage of mortgages with a low down payment, as long as you didn't pay too much, anybody could have both a home <em>and </em>a valuable capital asset.</p> <p>Because none of this stuff is true any more, investing is now really hard.</p> <p>The return on cash has for years been so close to zero as to be not worth worrying about. Bonds, stocks, and real estate are all up so much since the crash that they're probably a lousy place to invest new money.</p> <p>None of which is to say that you shouldn't be frugal and accumulate some savings, but doing so will not be the path to wealth this century that it was last century.</p> <p>That means that we need to look someplace besides the 20th century for financial advice. And for that, I have an idea.</p> <h2>Look to Earlier Centuries</h2> <p>The 20th century was genuinely different. For about two generations &mdash; the generation that fought World War II and the Baby Boomers &mdash; we had a unique set of circumstances that made it possible to work for a paycheck and eventually, before you got too old to work, get rich.</p> <p>Until then, for all of human history, there were only two paths to wealth: You could inherit wealth, or you could achieve wealth through some sort of risk-taking endeavor (entrepreneurship, speculation, etc.).</p> <p>Those unique circumstances no longer apply, and because of that, the best place to look for strategies for the future is to look at the strategies that worked before the 20th century. The 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries will provide fertile ground. Things that worked then are going to work <em>better </em>going forward than reflexively copying what worked in the 20th century.</p> <p>Perhaps financial professionals can be forgiven for not having figured this out &mdash; the whole financial industry is a product of the 20th century.</p> <p>I have a book of financial advice from 1883 called <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Worth-Wealth-Collection-Miscellanies-Merchants-ebook/dp/B0071IGXEG">Worth and Wealth</a> by T.L. Haines. It's a fascinating book. Much of it reads exactly like personal finance advice from today (minus any high-tech stuff like automating your bill paying) &mdash; getting an education, finding a job, living frugally, and so on &mdash; except that it has nothing about what we would consider investing. There's nothing about stocks or bonds. Instead, there's <em>investing</em> the way it was done in prior centuries.</p> <h3>Buy Productive Land</h3> <p>Land was the basis of <em>all</em> wealth right up until the 19th century. In the old days it would have been land with crops or pasture, but rental property counts too. Of course, both running a farm and being a landlord are more like a second job than like passive investing. Speaking of which...</p> <h3>Invest in a Business</h3> <p>That is, invest in <em>your own</em> business.</p> <p>The sorts of paper investments &mdash; stocks and bonds &mdash; that did so well in the 20th century are not going to go away, and no doubt a lot of people will make a lot of money in the market. But I don't think we'll see a continuation of the days in which a simple diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds provided a safe, high return.</p> <p>Of course, running a small business is more like a full-time job than like passive investing. And that's my point. The right response now to any the article on investing for &quot;passive income&quot; is to shake your head and say, &quot;That's so last century.&quot;</p> <h3>Organize Like a Family</h3> <p>The idea of an individual person as the fundamental economic unit is an idea of the late 20th century. Before that the fundamental economic unit was the <em>family</em>.</p> <p>There are all kinds of advantages to organizing your economic life around a family with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">more than one adult</a>. It meshes especially well with the ideas I've already mentioned. Family members may work outside the family to bring in wages or a salary, but if there's family land or a family business, family members who lose their jobs can work them until they find a new job. That way the family still has some income and the family member has productive work to do.</p> <p>One mental model for this might be the big farm families of the 19th century, but I suggest that you think bigger. Model your home economy after the aristocratic families of the 18th century. Everyone can contribute. The most able can be given scope to vastly increase the family's wealth, while the young and the old and those who simply lack that spark can still contribute to (and share in) the family's success.</p> <p>If organizing like a family doesn't work for you, consider organizing like a tribe. It's probably an even better metaphor.</p> <h2>The Way Things Are Going to Be</h2> <p>In all these areas, I think that the Millennials' instincts have been pretty good, except that I think they've bought in on the 20th-century idea that the economic unit is the individual.</p> <p>That's understandable. It's an appealing model, one that gives maximum freedom with minimal responsibility &mdash; you're only responsible for yourself.</p> <p>Because of this, I worry that many of them, even those who are making the right moves on a piecemeal basis, have not figured out that the 21st century is going to look a lot more like the 19th and prior centuries than like the 20th.</p> <p>The choices that they make &mdash; in particular, the choice to live at home with their parents &mdash; show them instinctively moving in the right direction, but until they can correct their mental model, they're missing out on some useful perspective that history can provide.</p> <p>Look into how families organized their home economy before the 20th century. There's a lot of practical wisdom there.</p> <p><em>Where is your money &mdash; in the 20th century or the 21st?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-think-like-a-billionaire-when-you-re-broke">How to Think Like a Billionaire When You’re Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-wise-tips-famous-ceos-would-give-their-younger-selves">8 Wise Tips Famous CEOs Would Give Their Younger Selves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-outdated-money-advice-endanger-your-money">Don&#039;t Let Outdated Money Advice Endanger Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle 20th century 21st century advice baby boomers business education family investing millennials property investing Mon, 05 Sep 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Philip Brewer 1785277 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Americans Were Better at in the 1950s Than Today http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-americans-were-better-at-in-the-1950s-than-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-americans-were-better-at-in-the-1950s-than-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000030883266_Large.jpg" alt="americans were better at some things in the 1950s" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People love to wax nostalgic about the 1950s. Our rose-colored glasses have us viewing the decade as one of unique amounts of happiness and prosperity. Perception does not always match reality, of course. But there are many things that Americans simply did better back then. We had skills or habits that many of us wish we now possessed.</p> <p>Let's examine some of the things we did better back in the 1950s.</p> <h2>1. Saving Money</h2> <p>The average American puts away about 5.5% of their earnings into savings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's up from a mere 2% a decade ago, but in the 1950s, the personal savings rate was more than 10%. Perhaps it was an attitude toward money left over from the penny-pinching days of WWII and the Great Depression. Our nation's current savings rate is especially jarring, given that working Americans are less likely to have pensions to fund their retirements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s?ref=seealso">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</a>)</p> <h2>2. Making Stuff</h2> <p>It's debatable if we were &quot;better&quot; at making things in the 1950s, but we certainly did more of it. From cars and appliances, to clothing and toys, we made it with our hands and in factories employing millions of Americans. Today, we live in an era of globalization and automation, with fewer American workers actually manufacturing products. In 1953, there were more than 16 million people working in manufacturing &mdash; almost as many as during the peak of World War II. Manufacturing continued to rise until about 1980 and has been on the decline ever since.</p> <h2>3. Fixing Cars</h2> <p>It used to be that if your car broke down, you'd know how to repair it. At the very least, you'd know plenty of people who could. But these days, there's a shortage of skilled automotive technicians. The U.S. Department of Labor says there will be a need to fill <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/automotive-service-technicians-and-mechanics.htm">39,000 open positions</a> in the automotive repair and related industries by 2024.</p> <h2>4. Cooking at Home</h2> <p>Despite our fascination with the Food Network, fewer Americans are finding the time or energy to prepare home-cooked meals. The <em>Washington Post</em> reports that <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/05/the-slow-death-of-the-home-cooked-meal/">fewer than 60% of meals</a> are cooked at home, compared to more than 90% a half-century ago. Americans used to spend 150 minutes per day in the kitchen; it's now down to 110 minutes. There are plenty of theories as to why, including the growth of good restaurants, the introduction of pre-packaged meals, and men failing to pick up the slack as more women joined the workforce.</p> <h2>5. Having Babies</h2> <p>We're all familiar with the term &quot;Baby Boomer.&quot; The 1950s was the decade of babies, with more than 25 births for every 1,000 in population. The U.S. now ranks 158th in the world in birth rate, with 12 births for every 1,000 people. This has major implications for our nation's economy, as more people equals greater economic growth.</p> <h2>6. Getting Enough Sleep</h2> <p>Research on sleep from the 1950s is not plentiful (the actual study of sleep was in its infancy then), but there's a growing concern that Americans today aren't getting enough sleep. Many researchers blame the growth in the use of electronic devices, which have bright screens that might lower melatonin levels when used before bedtime. The growth in late night television, caffeinated beverages, and other factors have also led to later bedtimes and less sleep than in the past.</p> <h2>7. Writing in Cursive</h2> <p>Be honest &mdash; can you even write in cursive anymore? It's become a lost art in the age of typing and texting. Many schools don't even teach it anymore, but there's been a recent push to encourage students to learn the writing style. Some say it will help when reading historical documents, and there's some evidence it can aid in developing fine motor skills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete?ref=seealso">11 Life Skills That Are Now Completely Obsolete</a>)</p> <h2>8. Being Happy</h2> <p>Of course, happiness is very subjective and it's hard to measure it scientifically. But the book <a href="http://amzn.to/1Qntlvi">Economics and Happiness</a> concludes that the &quot;happiest&quot; time since 1945 was actually the mid to late '50s, when more than 40% of survey respondents said they were at least fairly happy. That figure has since dropped to under 30%. America rates just 15th in the World Happiness Report, despite being the wealthiest nation on Earth.</p> <p><em>On the flip side, what have Americans gotten better at since the '50s? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-americans-were-better-at-in-the-1950s-than-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-budgeting-skills-everyone-should-master">11 Budgeting Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-negotiating-trick-puts-money-in-your-pocket">This Simple Negotiating Trick Puts Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-delicious-uses-for-leftover-hot-dogs">7 Delicious Uses for Leftover Hot Dogs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks 1950s americans baby boomers frugal living saving money skills Wed, 10 Feb 2016 12:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1653233 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_mom_grandmother_000065344773.jpg" alt="Young woman learning how the sandwich generation can get ahead" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Sandwich Generation &mdash; those caught caring for aging parents while still supporting children &mdash; face daunting financial challenges. How can they live up to their responsibilities, while still reaching their own financial goals? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have?ref=seealso">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a>)</p> <h2>1. Set Boundaries</h2> <p>Simultaneously caring for a minor and parent is taxing on your &quot;me time.&quot; All told, 42% of Gen Xers and 33% of Baby Boomers are <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2013/01/Sandwich_Generation_Report_FINAL_1-29.pdf">living this scenario</a> &mdash; and feeling the squeeze in places other than just their wallets. So, how to make time and energy for oneself when so many others are depending on you?</p> <p>One way is to set boundaries. Maybe you need one or two days away from catering to the needs of others. Set up a schedule with other members of your family so that a spouse or brother or cousin is available to relieve you from in-home care duties on certain days. Perhaps common errands like lawn mowing and grocery shopping are becoming difficult to juggle. If you have a mature and capable child, consider delegating out some of these chores.</p> <p>Setting boundaries might be as simple as carving out a two-hour block each day during which you engage in whatever activities &mdash; napping, exercising, reading &mdash; benefit you. The key, of course, is sticking to it. Honor that time you've created for yourself and know that it's helping not only you, but those who depend on you, too.</p> <h2>2. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance</h2> <p>If you're caring for an ailing parent, you may want to mandate that Mom or Dad invest in long-term care insurance. If they're resistant, explain that it's for you as much as it is for them. After all, you don't want to go bankrupt, and your parent doesn't want that for you either. Long-term care insurance policies reimburse policyholders a daily amount for services to assist with the cost of daily activities such as bathing, dressing, or eating. The cost of a long-term care policy is determined by factors such as how old the policyholder is when he or she buys in, and the predetermined maximum amount that the policy will pay per day.</p> <h2>3. Invite Mom and Dad to Move In</h2> <p>If your parents move in with you, you can all save money in property taxes &mdash; up to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where you reside. Not to mention, the average annual cost of a <a href="https://www.metlife.com/mmi/research/2012-market-survey-long-term-care-costs.html#keyfindings">private nursing home</a> room is about $91,000, while the the cost of assisted living falls around $43,000.</p> <p>Multigenerational housing eliminates such expenses and grants you the peace of mind that Mom and Dad are being well-cared for by yourself and other members of the family. Establishing a multigenerational household may seem daunting, but don't discount the many social benefits. Your children will have a better shot at developing a meaningful relationship with their grandparents if they're all living under one roof. Same goes for you and your parents.</p> <h2>4. Collect Rent From Grown Kids Who Move Back Home</h2> <p>At one time, it was embarrassing for a young adult to move back in with his or her parents. But today, that simply isn't so. In fact, thanks to The Great Recession, there are so many young adults moving back in with Mom and Dad that the stigma is practically non-existent.</p> <p>Living at home eases the burden of student debt while helping young adults save for their education, a car, and a place of their own. But remember that all of these benefits are still well in play when you charge your son or daughter a fair rent. And you should. Young adults who pay to live at home are more likely to feel motivated to get a good job, establish a career, improve their education, and put their degree to good use. You needn't charge the amount it would cost to rent an apartment in your city or town. A couple hundred dollars a month is typically enough to keep your son or daughter edging to better themselves.</p> <h2>5. Claim a Parent as a Dependent</h2> <p>If you're caring for a parent who has a gross income of no more than $3,950 &mdash; this number excludes Social Security and disability &mdash; you can <a href="http://www.elderlawanswers.com/claiming-a-parent-as-a-dependent-3657">claim them as a dependent</a> when you file your taxes.</p> <h2>6. Write Off Your Parent's Medical Expenses</h2> <p>The IRS understands the strain of paying for a parent's medical tab. If you footed the bill for a parent's medical care, you may be able to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p502/ar02.html#en_US_2015_publink1000178856">deduct those expenses</a> when you file your taxes. To quality, total medical expenses, including the cost of prescription drugs, hospital care, and doctor's visits, must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income.</p> <p><em>Are you part of the Sandwich Generation? How are you coping?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-strategies-for-the-sandwich-generation">5 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-kid-need-an-ira">Does Your Kid Need an IRA?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-your-taxes-will-change-after-you-have-a-kid">Here&#039;s How Your Taxes Will Change After You Have a Kid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-living-truths-every-stay-at-home-parent-should-know">5 Frugal Living Truths Every Stay-at-Home-Parent Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle baby boomers dependents gen x insurance parents sandwich generation taxes Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1646408 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's Why Your Parents Could Buy a Home While You Still Rent http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/older_married_couple_000014305685.jpg" alt="Learning why our parents can buy a home and we still rent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You pinch your pennies. You look for extra income. You're disciplined. And yet you can't get close to saving enough for a decent down payment on a house. It's especially frustrating because you know your parents somehow managed to buy their first home with very little trouble. Were the Baby Boomers just better than you? Or are there reasons why they could save up and you can't?</p> <p>It turns out there are some valid reasons why your folks could buy a home while you're still renting. Here's a look.</p> <h2>1. Houses Just Cost More</h2> <p>Even when you adjust for inflation, houses are more expensive than they used to be. The House-Price Index maintained by the Federal Housing Finance Agency is a tool that measures affordability, mortgage defaults, and mortgage prepayments, and it has more than tripled since 1980. The average home price, when adjusted for inflation, was $157,000 in 1980. Today, it's $180,000. (It peaked at nearly $230,000 in 2006.) Affordability is a truly, truly serious problem in many metropolitan areas, including San Francisco and New York.</p> <h2>2. There Are No New &quot;Levittowns&quot;</h2> <p>One key reason that homes cost more is because there hasn't been as much development of affordable and middle class housing. After World War II, there were many new housing developments with acres of simple, affordable homes designed for veterans and their families. Developments in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York were named &quot;Levittown&quot; after developer William Levitt, and sold quickly. Many of today's Baby Boomers grew up in these homes or purchased them in the 1950s and 60s. These days, affordable housing is more scarce and new developments of simple homes aren't as plentiful.</p> <h2>3. You Have More &quot;Necessities&quot;</h2> <p>Think of all the things that you pay for that did not even exist 40 years ago, or that might have been viewed as luxuries. A computer. Internet access. A cell phone with monthly plan. Cable TV and/or a streaming service. You <em>could</em> live without these things, but they are increasingly seen as necessities that could add up to hundreds of dollars in expenses each month.</p> <h2>4. Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Rest assured, your Baby Boomer parents did not come out of college with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. But that's the reality for many young people today. College costs have been rising above the rate of inflation for years, and the Wall Street Journal reported that the average member of the Class of 2015 will have to pay back $35,000. That's money that you might still be paying back when you probably would prefer to be saving for a good down payment on a home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Young People Can't Find Good Jobs</h2> <p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 12% of people between age 16 and 24 are unemployed. Among African-Americans, it's even worse, with one out of every five young people seeking work. If you can't find steady work at a young age, you can't begin saving. Combine that with student loan debt, and it's no wonder so many young people are behind the financial eight ball.</p> <h2>6. You Have to Save for Retirement</h2> <p>There's a good chance that your parents never put money into a 401K or Individual Retirement Account. That's because their employers were far more likely to offer a pension, or defined benefit retirement plan. The Social Security Administration reports that participation in pensions by workers in the private sector fell from 38% to 20% between 1980 and 2008. Baby Boomers are also more likely than Millennials to believe that Social Security payments will be around when they retire. If you feel like you need to set aside money for your own retirement, that's money that can't go toward saving for a home.</p> <h2>7. Incomes Haven't Been Growing</h2> <p>One of the more troubling signs in the economy in recent years is that people aren't being paid more as years go by. The Economic Policy Institute reports that the economy should be producing wage growth of between 3.5% and 4%, but that growth has been stuck at about 2.3% for almost a decade. Fortunately, inflation has been quite low, but there's no question that people aren't getting the type of salary and wage increases Baby Boomers became accustomed to.</p> <p><em>Sound familiar? What's keeping you from purchasing a home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-parents-could-buy-a-home-while-you-still-rent">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-how-much-rent-you-can-really-afford">The Simple Way to Decide How Much Rent You Can Really Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing baby boomers buying renting saving Wed, 30 Dec 2015 12:00:03 +0000 Tim Lemke 1626818 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can't http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_classic_car_000013375059.jpg" alt="Boomer parent affording things that we can&#039;t" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us have probably been subjected to the judgement of our Baby Boomer parents, who wonder why younger generations are facing more debt and financial troubles.</p> <p>I won't defend the spendthrift ways of Millennials and Gen-Xers, but the truth of the matter is that many things are simply more expensive now than they used to be. Baby Boomers &mdash; those born between 1946 and 1964 &mdash; paid less for many of the things considered essential now.</p> <p>Here are eight things that our Baby Boomer parents could afford more easily than we can.</p> <h2>1. A Home</h2> <p>Interest rates were probably higher for Baby Boomers, but the average price of a home was considerably lower, even after adjusting for inflation. The <a href="http://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted/">Case Shiller Home Price Index</a> offers a good examination of home prices over time. Through most of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the index was at about 120. Now it's near 170, an increase of about 40%. During the housing bubble, it topped 220 &mdash; that was a near doubling of prices after inflation. No wonder so many of us got into unnecessary housing debt.</p> <h2>2. College</h2> <p>We've all heard stories about Baby Boomers who claim to have attended college for just a few hundred bucks a semester. Indeed, education was a relative bargain for our folks, who in 1975 paid the <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-board-time-1974-75-2014-15-selected-years">equivalent of $2,469</a> for a year of tuition and fees at a public university. The cost is more than four times that today. The College Board reports that we experienced increases of 9.5% above inflation during the 2009-10 school year, and another 6.5% above inflation in 2010-11.</p> <h2>3. A Car</h2> <p>A Baby Boomer may have bought his or her first car in 1970 for $3,450, or $20,781 in today's dollars. The average price of a car is now more than $30,000. The good news for today's car buyers is that quality of cars has improved, and there is a wider range of choices, including many at the more affordable end.</p> <h2>4. Child Care</h2> <p>There's not a lot of data on child care costs for older Baby Boomers, but for those raising kids in the 1980s, things were much easier on the wallet than today. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the <a href="https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p70-135.pdf">average weekly child care payment</a> in 1985 was about $40, or $84 in 2011 dollars. Compare that to the $143 weekly paid by families in 2011.</p> <h2>5. Food</h2> <p>It cost less for your parents to serve dinner. The Department of Agriculture reported that the price of food has <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2015-july/growth-in-inflation-adjusted-food-prices-varies-by-food-category.aspx#.ViZwTH6rRaR">outpaced the rate of inflation</a> in many areas, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, red meat, and poultry. Fresh fruits and vegetables are 40% more expensive than in 1985, and that's after adjusting for inflation.</p> <h2>6. Health Care</h2> <p>In 1970, per capita spending on health care was a mere $356, or $2,144 in today's dollars. That rose to $8,402 per person in 2010. Some of this increase could be due to the availability of more advanced medical treatment, but there's no doubt it costs more to get sick these days.</p> <h2>7. Going to the Movies</h2> <p>In this case, it may actually depend on the year. A person born in 1946 might have attended the movies as a teenager for 50 cents, or about $4.15 in today's dollars. That's a steal compared to a current ticket, which comes in at $8.61, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But a Baby Boomer attending the movies in the 1970s may have paid prices that, when adjusted for inflation, weren't too much less than today. One thing is for sure: Moviegoers of yesteryear were not subjected to the additional charges for 3D or IMAX screenings that can often add several dollars to the price of a ticket today.</p> <h2>8. Pro Sports Tickets</h2> <p>A ticket to a baseball game cost an average of $28 in 2015, according to Team Marketing Report. The average ticket price is $54 for the NBA, $86 for the NFL, and $62 for the NHL. The cost of player salaries and state-of-the-art stadiums has brought us away from the days when a bleacher seat could be had for $1. At the first Super Bowl in 1967, the average ticket price was $12, or $85 in today's dollars, Sports Illustrated reported. The average ticket price for the Super Bowl in 2014 was an eye-popping $1,250.</p> <p><em>What else was cheaper for Boomers than the generations following?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-jars-and-8-other-clever-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund">Change Jars and 8 Other Clever Ways to Build an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the sort of person who ...</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance baby boomers inflation parents saving spending tuition Thu, 29 Oct 2015 15:15:44 +0000 Tim Lemke 1602062 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 More Exciting, Affordable American Cities to Retire In http://www.wisebread.com/4-more-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-more-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retired_couple_beach_000038686710.jpg" alt="Happy retired couple settling in affordable American city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As of February 2015, the average <a href="http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/#table2">monthly Social Security benefit</a> of a retired American worker was $1,331.44.</p> <p>This means that a couple of retirees would have about $31,954 available in annual Social Security benefits. While some people have additional savings, 26% of Americans are planning to <a href="https://www.transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/resources/center-research/tcrs2014_sr_15th_annual_compendium.pdf">rely on Social Security</a> as their primary source of income during retirement.</p> <p>Savvy folks know that they need to plan ahead and find affordable cities to make the most out of their nest eggs. Here are four more exciting, affordable U.S. cities to retire in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in?ref=seealso">4 Exciting Affordable American Cities to Retire In</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania</h2> <p>Financial advice website Nerdwallet put Pittsburgh at the top of its 2013 list of best places for baby boomers. Since over 25% of the city's population is between the ages of 50 and 70, and 13.8% is 65 years or older, retirees can enjoy an active social life.</p> <p>Senior citizens can find affordable housing options in Pittsburgh, as the <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/slideshows/10-best-places-to-retire-on-social-security-alone/8">median monthly mortgage payment</a> is $1,023 and the median monthly rent is $614. Getting around the city by bus, light rail (The T), or Mon Incline is free at all times for senior citizens age 65 or over that present a Pennsylvania Senior Citizen ID Card or a Medicare card at the time of fare payment.</p> <p>Pittsburgh is a great retirement destination for sports fans, because the city is home to the Pittsburgh Panthers (college athletics), Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey), and Pittsburgh Pirates (baseball), and of course, the Pittsburgh Steelers. If sports isn't your thing, you still have the 14-block Cultural District, which offers opera, theater, ballet, and live music events.</p> <h2>2. Tucson, Arizona</h2> <p>If you're part of the 26% of U.S. retirees planning to rely primarily on your Social Security check, then take a good look at the state of Arizona. The Grand Canyon State doesn't tax Social Security income.</p> <p>And it gets even better. Up to $2,500 total of military, civil-service, and Arizona state and local government pensions are also <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/index.php?map=&amp;state_id=3&amp;state=Arizona">exempt from taxes</a>. Plus, Arizona has no inheritance or estate taxes. Combine these tax breaks with the fact that Tucson's <a href="http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mjf45hfje/tucson-az/">cost of living</a> is 4% below the national average and you can quickly see how Tucson is one of the most affordable American cities to retire in.</p> <p>But it isn't just about the tax savings, since there's also plenty of local fun year-round. Since 1986, this city has been home to the Tucson Folk Festival, which attracts more than 10,000 folk music lovers every year with more than 20 hours of free, live bluegrass, Irish, and old country and western music. Other popular annual events are the Tucson Rodeo (a 90-year old rodeo, also known as La Fiesta de los Vaqueros), the Tucson Meet Yourself (a celebration of folk and ethnic communities of the multinational Arizona-Sonora region), and the 4th Avenue Street Fair (taking place twice a year).</p> <p>But I think it's all about the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/26/dining/26unit.html?_r=0">Sonoran hot dog</a>, which people believe to have been invented in Tucson.</p> <h2>3. St. Louis, Missouri</h2> <p>In St. Louis, retirees with an annual adjusted gross income of less than $85,000 (less than $100,000 for married couples) enjoy a <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/tool/retirement/T055-S001-state-by-state-guide-to-taxes-on-retirees/index.php?map=&amp;state_id=26&amp;state=Missouri">tax exemption</a> on their Social Security benefits. For tax purposes, residential property is assessed at 19% of fair market value, and some retirees may qualify for a property tax credit. There is no inheritance tax or estate tax.</p> <p>Baby boomers comprise about 28% of the St. Louis population for three reasons. First, the city has a low cost of living &mdash; about 16.30% lower than that of the U.S. average. Second, <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/10/15/best-places-to-retire-for-under-40000?page=2">housing costs for retirees</a> are affordable, at a median of $1,186 per month for those with a mortgage, $442 for seniors with a paid-off house, and $657 monthly for senior renters. Third, St. Louis is home to the Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, a <a href="http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/mo/barnes-jewish-hospitalwashington-university-6630930">nationally-ranked hospital</a> by U.S. News in several specialities.</p> <p>But St. Louis is an exciting city for several other reasons:</p> <ul> <li>Bud Selig, baseball's outgoing commish, proclaimed St. Louis as the <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/bud-selig-proclaims-st--louis--the-best-baseball-city-193010313.html">best baseball city</a> in 2015.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>With the highest concentration of sports bars in the country, St. Louis stands at #6 in the list of <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/manliest_cities.aspx">manliest U.S. cities</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>St. Louis ranks #4 in a list of America's <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/blockparties.aspx">best places for block parties</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The city operates more than 100 parks, including the Citygarden, the Tower Grove Park, and the Carondelet Park.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The city is within driving distance of more than 100 wineries and more than 6,000 caves.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Cleveland, Ohio</h2> <p>Located in the Buckeye State, Cleveland provides four tax breaks to retirees:</p> <ul> <li>No state taxes on Social Security benefits;</li> <li>No inheritance tax or estate tax;</li> <li>Four tax credits for retirees; and</li> <li>Homestead exemption for qualifying homeowners at least 65 years old.</li> </ul> <p>A big draw for Cleveland retirees is the state-of-the-art Cleveland Clinic, which ranks within the <a href="http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/oh/cleveland-clinic-6410670">top 10 U.S. hospitals</a> for several specialties, including geriatrics, cardiology, rheumatology, and urology. According to the latest U.S. Census, Cleveland has 476 physicians per 100,000 residents, a number much higher than the national average.</p> <p>Playhouse Square Center is the second largest performing arts center in the country, housing four theaters and attracting over one million guests every year to its more than 1,000 annual events. The Cleveland Orchestra is considered among the &quot;Big Five&quot; symphony orchestras leading the field in musical excellence and calibre of musicianship.</p> <p>Due to all these reasons (and more), Cleveland often ranks among one of the best <a href="http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/06/cleveland_ranks_no_2_as_one_of.html">U.S. cities to retire in</a>.</p> <p>Planning for retirement is a two-step process. Not only do you have to maximize your nest egg, but also you have to minimize your living expenses during your golden years. In order to achieve both objectives, consider these four American cities when you're looking at retirement destinations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-boost-an-underperforming-401k?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Boost an Underperforming 401(k)</a>)</p> <p><em>In what U.S. city are you planning to retire &mdash; and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-more-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/33-places-to-retire-if-you-love-the-rain">33 Places to Retire If You Love the Rain</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme">Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement affordable living baby boomers social security tax exemptions u.s. cities Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Damian Davila 1392146 at http://www.wisebread.com Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_and_young.jpg" alt="Elderly woman with baby" title="Elderly woman with baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once again, people are comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme. That's a bogus comparison. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-despair-over-small-retirement-savings">Don't Despair Over Small Retirement Savings</a>)</p> <p>A Ponzi scheme is a lie. Named after Charles Ponzi, it's a fraudulent investment where the operators report fake profits &mdash; and then support those illusory profits by paying out cash from new investors. Ponzi schemes always collapse eventually, because they depend on an ever-increasing number of new investors to provide enough cash to make payments to the old investors.</p> <p>The reason that Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme is that it isn't a lie. It keeps accurate books, attested to by a board of trustees and an actuary.</p> <p>What Social Security is, is an <em>inter-generational transfer</em>. To solve a problem (old-age poverty), we as a society decided to transfer some income from workers to the elderly.</p> <p>That worked pretty well for several decades. Then, in the early 1980s, the trustees realized that the baby boomers presented a problem. They were going to expect to receive a lot of money in two or three decades, but the workforce was going to be shrinking and there wouldn't be enough.</p> <p>That problem was fixed in 1983. Benefits for younger folks were cut slightly, Social Security taxes were increased slightly, and for the next three decades money was set aside, with a plan to pay it out when the baby boomers retired. That money will have all have been paid out in just a few decades &mdash; but that's fine, because the next generation doesn't have the same kind of bulge of retirees.</p> <p>See the difference? The Social Security Administration never pretended that investment returns were going to fund everyone's pension. They never lied and said that your contributions were waiting to pay your pension when you retired.</p> <p>The issue keeps getting raised &mdash; usually by people who object to the whole idea and say &quot;Ponzi scheme&quot; to inflame emotions. But anyone willing to do a little research comes up with the same answer every time &mdash; as, for example, our own Xin Lu did in her 2008 post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-social-security-just-a-grand-ponzi-scheme">Is Social Security is Just a Grand Ponzi Scheme?</a></p> <p>Social Security: Not a Ponzi scheme; an inter-generational transfer.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-expensive-mistakes-of-the-newly-retired">9 Expensive Mistakes of the Newly Retired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-more-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in">4 More Exciting, Affordable American Cities to Retire In</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-financial-advisers-wish-you-knew-about-retirement">7 Things Financial Advisers Wish You Knew About Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Retirement baby boomers scams social security Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:24:17 +0000 Philip Brewer 701502 at http://www.wisebread.com Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad! http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/china_flag_large.jpg" alt=" " width="224" height="150" /></p> <p>Can&#39;t afford to live on your pension or Social Security in the U.S.? Why not find a cheaper place to live? No, not Canada - the other communist mecca... that&#39;s right, China!</p> <p>Ha ha! I know I&#39;ll get all kinds of flack for that one. I&#39;m just kidding, Comrade, don&#39;t take me seriously! I know China isn&#39;t communist anymore.</p> <p>NPR, my favorite news source, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9348962">offered up a story yesterday</a> filed by Keva Rosenfeld, whose mother-in-law (I&#39;m not sure if it is mother-in-law per se so much as his partner, Karen Murphy&#39;s, mother) has chosen to retire in China, finding it much too difficult to live off of $400 a month in the United States. Interestingly enough, the old gal (she&#39;s 75) has chosed Shanghai, arguably the most expensive city in China, to spend out her remaining days.</p> <p>Although the story promises some amusing tales of generational misunderstandings, it&#39;s much shorter than it should be, told from Keva&#39;s viewpoint, as he goes to Shanghai with his wife for a visit with his mother-in-law. There is a short discussion about how small a dingy the Shanghai apartment is, but little about how and where she shops for groceries, if she has learned to barter for her gorceries, if she has made any friends, or what it&#39;s like to live in Shanghai knowing absolutely no Mandarin AT ALL. Where does she go for health care? How does she explain what she needs in an emergency?</p> <p>China is a place you can&#39;t really avoid hearing about these days, so I hate to add to the hullabaloo. Slate featured a couple installments about traveling to China for <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2131601/">medical treatments</a> a while back. </p> <p>Having lived in China, I can attest that unless you live in a big city like Shanghai or Beijing or Shenzhen, you&#39;re likely to have a hard time adjusting as an American. Not that the big cities are easy, either. Things are made immeasurably more difficult if you don&#39;t have any language skills. However, although Keva can be heard in the NPR story suggesting that no one in Shanghai speaks English, this is most certainly not the case.</p> <p>I&#39;d be really curious to know if this will be a trend among the Baby Boomers (Murphy&#39;s mother is not a boomer, but I can see boomers doing this), or if living in China is really more for people like Ms. Murphy&#39;s mother, who is described as a &quot;bohemian&quot;. And if Westerners start moving en masse to China, will it still be a viable place to live on less than $500 a month?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-millennial-money-habits-every-retiree-should-learn">6 Millennial Money Habits Every Retiree Should Learn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-retire-on-less-than-you-think">Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-more-exciting-affordable-american-cities-to-retire-in">4 More Exciting, Affordable American Cities to Retire In</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement baby boomers China elderly nestegg pension retire retirees Shanghai social security Thu, 05 Apr 2007 15:20:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 459 at http://www.wisebread.com