Retirement Income Calculators: Not Much Better Than Counting On Your Fingers?

When average Americans confront the complicated problem of how much to save for retirement, they often use so-called “rules of thumb,” or greatly-simplified approaches, to figure out how much to save and how to invest. It turns out that many of the computer programs created to help with retirement income planning do exactly the same thing: use rules of thumb.Read More

Here’s How to Get More People to Delay Claiming Social Security

By: Olivia S. Mitchell Olivia S. Mitchell (@OS_Mitchell) is a professor of business economics/policy and insurance/risk management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she focuses on pensions, household finance, retirement, and risk management.  Global aging paired with pension shortfalls have led many governments to raise retirementRead More

Is Social Security Really Running Short?

Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system, since payroll taxes collected from today’s workers mostly go to pay today’s retirees. But as the U.S. population ages, fewer young workers are paying into the system relative to rising numbers of ever-longer-lived retirees drawing benefits, according to this opinion piece by Olivia S. Mitchell, a Wharton professor of business economics and public policy, and also insurance and risk management.Read More

What The U.S. Can Learn From Chile’s Retirement System

Chile provides a safety net for those who fall into poverty in old age, but it’s still an imperfect pension system that needs work.

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) retirement programs in the U.S. and many European countries are struggling to remain solvent in the face of an aging population, fewer workers, and a shortfall in private savings. A different approach would strengthen individual savings accounts by requiring workers to contribute out of pre-tax income, combined with a redistributive means-tested safety net for those who fall into poverty in old age.Read More

Chile’s Fabled Retirement System: Why Fix It?

Since its launch 35 years ago, Chile’s retirement system has been hailed as “best in class” by pension experts near and far. The country’s fabled individual and privately-managed accounts include around 10 million affiliates, hold $160 billion in investments, and pay retirement benefits to over a million retirees. So why did President Michelle Bachelet establish a Pension Reform Commission that just delivered to her 58 specific reforms and three comprehensive proposals to overhaul remodel Chile’s retirement system?Read More