Friday, September 17, 2010

New York Times has special section on Retirement; warnings about CCRC's, 2011 estate tax jump

The New York Times, on Thursday Sept. 16, 2010, had a complete “Special Section” called Retirement, featuring a sequence of time-lapse photos of a young man as he ages (face only; please don’t show the gams). (the basic link is here).

The lead story by Jennifer Saranon Schultz is “Looking ahead to the spend-down years” with talk of “decumulation”. Insurance companies offering annuities and employers with defined benefit pensions face the same problems as social security: rapidly increasing life spans (Fran Hawthorne: “Income until death do your annuity part”). And Jan Rosen has an article “Investing after a flight to safety.”

Hawthorne also talks about employers “hesitancy to restore those 401(k) matches” and John Wasik talks about the recent attention to excessive 401(k) fees (the “retail” vs. “investment “ class issue).

Deborah Jacobs, on p F6, has a segmented article “Devising strategies while the estate tax is in limbo”, which refers to the fact that, as things stand now, the estate tax exemption ceiling goes back down to $1 million on Jan 1 2011 unless Congress acts, and the incremental rate may be an Eisenhower-era like 55%. She suggests getting married, giveaways, and buying life insurance, all of which comport with "family values". She also discusses the GRAT, or guaranteed retained annuity trust.

Elizabeth Olson has a major piece “Concerns rise about continuing care enclaves”. Many CCRC’s (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) charge large entrance fees, partially refundable, but some of them have a tendency to use the fees for ongoing caregiving expensive. There is a concern that some of them could become financially unstable after having collected the fees.

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