August 2013

Photo: Workers in office orange

Desperate to Retire? Don’t.

A new article in the Journal of Financial Planning lays out the unpleasant reality facing baby boomers who really want to retire but can’t afford it: working longer helps a lot.

In the article, David Blanchett, who heads the retirement research group for Morningstar’s money management unit in Chicago, calculated the impact of delaying one’s retirement date and found that it can sharply improve a retiree’s odds of financial success.

“There is not one silver bullet for success but if there were it would be delaying retirement,” he said in an interview.

The same case has been made for years by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which supports this blog. Working beyond age 62, when individuals are first eligible to receive Social Security benefits, helps in three important ways: …Learn More

Photo of house header

Student Debt May Slow Home Buying

First-time buyers are currently responsible for about 29 percent of all U.S. house sales, down from historical levels of 40 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. The share of young adults who own a house has also declined sharply.

There’s debate about whether buying a house is a good financial move. But the waning of this coming-of-age ritual is a significant change in behavior for young adults in this country.

One culprit may be student debt, which is becoming more prevalent – 43 percent of young adults have some, compared with 25 percent a decade ago. The average borrower’s balance has also doubled in the past decade, to more than $20,000 in 2012.

Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York believe these unprecedented student debt levels may be dampening house purchases by first-time buyers. Student loans cause individuals to do poorly under two of the primary tests by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that lenders use to approve standard home loans. …Learn More

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