Building a Financial Safety Net


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Creating a financial safety net has rarely been as crucial as it is today. The term ‘retirement security’ has entered the pantheon of great oxymorons, and assets considered safe are flashing danger signals. Combatting the asset-sapping ravages of a long life means rethinking long-term care options, portfolio risk, living wills, withdrawal rates from retirement savings and more.

Featured Stories

  • Stalking the Silent Financial Killer in Our Midst

    The vast majority of older Americans, facing steep and rising health-care costs that threaten to bankrupt them, are doing little to protect themselves. Ninety percent of people don't buy long-term care insurance policies, for example. The reasons why are simple.

  • The Calamity of So Long Life: How Not to Outlive Your Money

    Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s exhortation for women to "lean in" to their careers has encountered more than a bit of pushback. But if there is one thing women need to seriously lean into, it is planning what comes after the career: a long post-work life.

  • The Right Way to Craft a Living Will

    You're hospitalized and your family faces impossible choices. This is the scenario living wills are supposed to help with. Very often, the instructions in living wills aren't worth the paper they're written on, say experts.

  • The Scary Risks of Safety Bubble Up

    People usually associate financial bubbles with greed and investors throwing caution to the wind. Seth Masters sees a different dynamic behind a bubble today: fear and investors' desire for safety. He argues that asset classes investors consider safe havens are dangerously overpriced.

  • Maybe Past Performance Does Predict Your Savings' Future

    Even those who think they have saved enough money to retire comfortably may run out of money if they can't figure out how much to safely withdraw from retirement savings each year. Michael Kitces of Pinnacle Advisory Group has developed a system to determine withdrawal rates based on the stock market's price-earnings ratio.

How Gray Is Your State?

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Can This Retirement System Be Saved?

Averting a retirement crisis in the U.S. requires fresh thinking, not to mention political will. Investing and retirement experts (below) tell us what ideas they think can improve retirement security.

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