Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Retirement’ Category

J.P. Morgan’s 5 Resolutions for Your Retirement Plan

NEW YORK, Jan. 2, 2015, The beginning of the new year is a great time to check in on your retirement savings plan, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management Chief Retirement Strategist Katherine Roy.  The firm has shared 5 tips for individuals to consider heading into 2015.

  1.  Know where you stand

“Whether you’re nearing retirement or still several decades away, it’s important to know where you stand now,” says Katherine. Find out if you’re on track with J.P. Morgan’s Guide to Retirement savings checkpoint: http://bit.ly/jpm_gtr_check

  1.  15 is the new 10

The single most important thing you can do is to target saving at least 15% of your gross annual income (before taxes) each and every year. Katherine offers these tips to help avoid “undersaving” and maximize your savings potential:

  • Pay yourself first with automatic deductions from each paycheck, so you are benefitting from dollar cost averaging throughout the year.
  • Max out on employer retirement plans – such as 401(k), 403(b) and 457 plans. The 15% target includes your employer match.
  • If you aren’t covered by an employer plan, be sure to make your IRA contribution. If you are, consider a non-tax-deductible contribution to shelter more long-term income for income tax purposes.
  • Don’t forget to take advantage of catch-up contributions if you’re age 50 or over.
  • Get a better grasp of your spending behavior. The less you spend, the more you can save and invest.

Take a look at the chart to better understand the benefit of saving early from J.P. Morgan’s Guide to Retirement: http://bit.ly/jpm_gtr_saveearly

  1.  How you invest matters

How you invest will have a large impact on how much you have at retirement. No matter how much you save, investing in a portfolio that is too conservative is likely to lead to a poor outcome. “You can’t count on unrealistic investment returns to make up for saving too little,” says Katherine. “Maintaining a disciplined, balanced saving and investment strategy is critical.” And, now is a good time to take stock of how your retirement portfolio is allocated. http://bit.ly/jpm_gtr_returns

  1. Prepare to pay more for health care in retirement

The estimated annual out-of-pocket health care costs for the average 65-year-old retiree is currently about $4,000 a year and, in 20 years, is projected to grow to more than $10,000. For someone with high prescription expenses, those costs are around $7,000 per year, projected to grow to more than $14,000 in 30 years. http://bit.ly/jpm_gtr_hccosts

Katherine advises, “ensure your retirement portfolio is positioned for this growing expense. With health care costs rising faster than inflation, we recommend planning for 7% to account for both health care inflation as well as higher spending on health care costs as you age.”

  1. Consider delaying Social Security

As you can see in the chart, for every year you delay taking Social Security beyond your full retirement age (age 66 for those born 1943-1954; age 67 for those born in 1960 or after), you can expect an 8% per year increase in benefits up until age 70. If you can’t wait until age 70, at least hold off until your full retirement age. “If you start taking benefits earlier than full retirement age, you’ll not only lock in reduced benefits for your lifetime, but benefits to your survivors could also be significantly reduced,” says Katherine. http://bit.ly/jpm_gtr_delay

A well-informed plan can help take some of the emotion out of saving and investing. Work with a financial advisor who can help you develop a plan and course correct along the way. Katherine recommends, “Meet with your financial advisor at least annually to ensure your retirement plan stays on track.”

About J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Retirement

J.P. Morgan Retirement, part of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is a leading provider of comprehensive retirement solutions and is dedicated to improving individual retirement outcomes. The group has defined contribution assets under management of nearly $135 billion, as of September 30, 2014.

About J.P. Morgan Asset Management

J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with assets under management of $1.6 trillion, is a global leader in investment management. J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s clients include institutions, retail investors and high net worth individuals in every major market throughout the world.  J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity and liquidity.  JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), the parent company of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, is a leading global asset management firm with assets of approximately $2.4 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries.  Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

 

SOURCE:

J.P. Morgan Asset Management http://www.jpmorganchase.com

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Transamerica Retirement Solutions Today Honored Financial Educators of the Year

Inaugural awards ceremony recognized outstanding financial advisors who help increase financial literacy for their communities and clients

HARRISON, New York, April 25, 2014, Transamerica Retirement Solutions today recognized two financial advisors with its inaugural Transamerica Financial Educators Award.  The awards ceremony took place during Transamerica’s second annual Retirement Readiness Summit (April 23-25) and coincides with National Financial Educators Day on April 25.

The awards acknowledged the work of two financial advisors whose efforts to improve financial literacy have positively impacted their communities and clients – Tom Hoffman with Lincoln Investment Planning, Inc. and Jania Stout with the Fiduciary Consulting Group at PSA.

Mr. Hoffman received the Transamerica Financial Educators Award for community education for his outstanding educational outreach to high school students in Massachusetts. Through his successful, community-based financial education program, local high school students have learned real-world financial management skills such as how to create a budget and manage financial events like unforeseen health expenses.

Ms. Stout received the Transamerica Financial Educators Award for employee engagement for her unique educational program for retirement plan participants. To address the challenge of low retirement savings rates among U.S. workers, Ms. Stout developed the Retirement HERO Program to provide an easy-to-understand method of saving for retirement. Ms. Stout’s four-step program encourages workers to have a budget, eliminate debt, know their retirement number, and own their plan.

A special Financial Education Leadership Award was also presented by the National Financial Educators Council to Deb Rubin, senior vice president of TPA and specialist advisor distribution for Transamerica Retirement Solutions, for her leadership and dedication to improving retirement outcomes for American workers.

“Financial education is an integral part of any effort to help American workers achieve a secure retirement. Transamerica is proud to recognize the winners of the Transamerica Financial Educators Award for their efforts to increase financial literacy in their communities,” said Stig Nybo, president of pension sales and distribution for Transamerica Retirement Solutions. “We’re especially proud of Transamerica’s Deb Rubin. She is passionate about improving financial security and her work to promote the importance of financial education will help create better retirement outcomes for many Americans.”

Transamerica is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Transamerica Financial Educators Award.  To submit a nomination, apply online at trsretire.com.

About Transamerica Retirement Solutions

Transamerica Retirement Solutions (Transamerica) is a leading provider of customized retirement plan solutions for small to large organizations.

Transamerica partners with financial advisors, third party administrators, and consultants to cover the entire spectrum of defined benefit and defined contribution plans, including: 401(k) and 403(b) (Traditional and Roth); 457; profit sharing; money purchase; cash balance; Taft-Hartley; multiple employer plans; nonqualified deferred compensation; and rollover and Roth IRAs.

Transamerica helps more than three million retirement plan participants save and invest wisely to secure their retirement dreams. For more information about Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation, please visit trsretire.com.

About The National Financial Educators Council

The National Financial Educators Council is a personal finance company dedicated to creating a world where people are informed to make qualified financial decisions that improve their lives, the lives of their loved ones, and the lives of people they impact around the globe. The NFEC promotes advocacy campaigns, sets standards, conducts research and shares best practices that further the financial literacy movement.  Learn more at FinancialEducatorsCouncil.org.

Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation is not affiliated with the National Financial Educators Council.

15378-PR  (4/14)

Media inquiries

Hank Williams Phone: +1-319-355-7789 Email: hank.williams@transamerica.com

Julie Quinlan Phone: +1-213-742-5134 Email: julie.quinlan@transamerica.com

 

SOURCE:

Aegon N.V.

 

Read Full Post »

U.S. News & World Report Releases Best Nursing Homes 2013

–Ratings highlight top nursing homes in each state, metro area–

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013, U.S. News & World Report today released its fifth annual Best Nursing Homes ratings, highlighting the top nursing homes in each state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. The ratings cover more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide and are freely available at http://www.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes.

More than 3 million Americans will spend at least part of 2013 in a nursing home. Too often, they and their families will encounter great difficulty in choosing the right nursing home. Best Nursing Homes will simplify their work by helping them pick a home with a strong track record, whether they live in California, which has twice as many highly rated homes as any other state, or in a region where good nursing homes may be few and far between.

Articles and a step-by-step video walk consumers through selecting a nursing home. Advice includes:

  • Visit homes at different times and on different days of the week to make sure residents are occupied throughout the day;
  • Look for signs that staff has a close relationship with residents, such as calling them by name and making sure they eat;
  • Ask to see inspection reports, then ask how any safety or health problems were resolved;
  • Review hidden costs, such as physical therapy or dentist appointments.

Best Nursing Homes also provides advice on spotting warning signs of bad care and how to pay for care. The articles and searchable database of ratings are exclusive to the website and aren’t expected to appear in print.

To create Best Nursing Homes, U.S. News drew on data from Nursing Home Compare, run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes. U.S. News awarded the “Best Nursing Home” designation to homes that recently earned an overall rating of five stars, the agency’s highest. Each home is also rated separately on quality of care, health-inspections record, and level of nurse staffing.

“Using trustworthy data, we’ve built a consumer-friendly tool to help seniors and their families confront one of life’s most difficult and anxious transitions,” says Avery Comarow , U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Best Nursing Homes makes it easier for consumers to identify nursing homes that can best meet their needs in terms of location, quality of care, staffing, and more. All seniors deserve the best nursing care available, and we’ve made sure the information they need is at their fingertips.”

About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis, which includes the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, www.usnews.com, and www.rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Personal Finance, Education, Travel, Cars, and Public Service/Opinion, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. U.S. News & World Report’s signature franchise includes its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its annual “Best” series of consumer web guides and publications, which include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, mutual funds, health plans, and more.

SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report

 

Read Full Post »

Aon Hewitt Survey Reveals More U.S. Employers Likely to Add Roth Features to their Defined Contribution Plans in 2013

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Provision Opens Door for Increased Roth 401(k) Adoption

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill., Feb. 6, 2013, A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals an increasing number of U.S. employers are planning to add Roth features to their defined contribution (DC) plans in 2013. This comes on the heels of new legislation that makes it easier for DC investors to convert balances within their savings plan into Roth accounts.

Immediately following the passage of the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012—or so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ deal—Aon Hewitt conducted a pulse survey of more than 300 individuals representing large U.S. employers to determine the prevalence of Roth accounts and employers’ likely actions with respect to their plans over the next 12 months. According to Aon Hewitt’s findings, while almost half (49 percent) of respondents currently offer no Roth provisions, 29 percent of those that don’t offer Roth are very or somewhat likely to add this feature in the next 12 months. Of those new adopters, more than three-quarters (76 percent) will add both Roth contribution and in-plan conversion features.

“While employers have steadily been adopting Roth features in recent years, the new law, along with a better understanding of Roth by both participants and companies, will encourage more plan sponsors to add these options in the near-term,” said Patti Balthazor Bjork , director of Retirement Research at Aon Hewitt.

Aon Hewitt’s survey also found that employers that already have a Roth contribution option are likely to allow employees to make in-plan conversions to Roth accounts. Of those respondents that currently allow Roth contributions but do not offer in-plan conversions, more than half (53 percent) are very or somewhat likely to add this feature in the next 12 months.

For companies that already allow Roth contributions and in-plan conversions, more than three-quarters (79 percent) are very or somewhat likely to expand the eligibility for in-plan conversions, allowing them for previously non-distributable amounts.

“The new rules open the door for employers to allow expanded in-plan conversions, but it’s not a requirement,” explained Bjork. “However, it makes the Roth conversions more attractive for employees, so there will likely be increased interest and incentive for employers to offer them.”

Aon Hewitt’s retirement practice advises, designs and administers defined contribution benefits for hundreds of mid-sized and large plans. For more information visit aonhewitt.com.

Sign up for News Alerts: http://aon.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=58
Follow Aon Hewitt on Twitter @AonHewitt

About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions. The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world’s best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

MacKenzie Lucas , 847-442-2995, mackenzie.lucas@aonhewitt.com
Maurissa Kanter , 847-442-0952, maurissa.kanter@aonhewitt.com

SOURCE: Aon plc

Read Full Post »

Hotwire Reveals January 2013 Travel Savings Indicator

Shed the Winter Chill with Deep Discounts in Warmer Weather Destinations like Hawaii, the Florida Keys and Las Vegas.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23, 2013, Hotwire.com®, a leading discount travel site, today released the January 2013 Hotwire® Travel Savings Indicator, which features the top five cities in North America where hotel, air and car rental rates have dropped the most as compared to the same time last year. Using extensive pricing research to cover the three most popular travel products, the report helps guide travelers to the best destinations for maximizing their travel dollars each month.

“With the major holidays and conventions mostly behind us, mid- to late-January is one of the most affordable times to travel all year,” said Clem Bason, president of the Hotwire Group. “This slower winter season has led travel providers in warmer weather destinations like Hawaii, Daytona Beach, the Florida Keys and Las Vegas to discount more competitively in their bid to win travelers, who in turn can take advantage of the low prices to grab an affordable wintertime escape.”

Hotel Price Drops

Daytona tops the list this month with an eight percent drop followed by another popular Florida destination, the Florida Keys with a six percent drop. While January is typically a busier month for these sunny Floridian beach towns, the mild winter in the Northeast has translated into decreased demand and, in turn, better discounts. And with the weather in the Keys averaging 70 degrees this time of year, the archipelago is perfect for travelers looking to escape the winter chill.

Raleigh, returning after a brief absence from the list, comes in at the number three spot, with a price drop of six percent. More hotels in the city are beginning to offer more rooms at a big discount on Hotwire, which translates to more competition among hoteliers for the lowest prices.

Next is Las Vegas, appearing on the list for the sixth month in a row, though down two spots from December with a price drop of six percent. Travelers can expect lots of last-minute price drops on the weekends throughout early January, as well as some stellar discounts on 5-star luxury properties.

Rounding out the list is Nashville with a two percent drop. Now that the college and pro football seasons have wrapped up and the country music awards are through, the demand is low in Music City, and so are the prices.

When compared to this time last year, the top five hotel price reductions for January 2013 include:

Rank

Hotel Market

Price Drops

Example of a Current Hotwire Deal,

US$/Night

1

Daytona Beach, FL

– 8%

3.5-star

$66

2

Florida Keys

– 6%

3.5-star

$139

3

Raleigh – Durham, NC

– 6%

4-star

$86

4

Las Vegas, NV

– 6%

5-star

$107

5

Nashville, TN

– 3%

4-star

$89

Air Price Drops

This month, beachgoers are in luck because Hawaii is the hottest deal market, with nearly every island seeing a considerable drop in airfare prices. As United, Hawaiian, Delta and Alaskan airlines continue to compete for more passengers, each airline is offering more seats and better deals for visitors headed to the Aloha State. Prices in Honolulu and Kailua Kona – tied for first place – are both down 15 percent, while the prices in fifth-place Kahului are down 12 percent.

Meanwhile, Toronto returns to the list in the number three spot with a 14 percent drop due to its continued competition with U.S. border towns. Along with its hosting of the Toronto International Boat Show and Canadian Bridal show, this Canadian destination backs up its low airfares with lots of early-year activities. Rounding out the list is another Tennessean city – Memphis – down three spots to number four with a 13 percent drop.

When compared to this time last year, the top five airfare price reductions for January 2013 include:

Rank

Air Market

Price Drops

Average Hotwire Airfare

1

Honolulu, Oahu, HI

-15%

$587

2

Kailua Kona, Big Island, HI

-15%

$528

3

Toronto, Ontario

-14%

$384

4

Memphis, TN

-13%

$323

5

Kahului, Maui, HI

-12%

$512

Car Price Drops

In car rental deals, January is seeing newcomers for spots two through five, giving way to fantastic coast to coast savings. Monterey, absent from the list since this past September, took the number one spot with a 19 percent price drop, and with January being California Restaurant Month, it’s a prime time for couples looking to wine and dine their way around Central California’s coast.

Raleigh is another hot deal market this month, as folks traveling to the City of Oaks are not only able to score some great airfare deals, but they can take advantage of car discounts (17 percent drop) as well. Finishing off the list are two Midwest cities, Indianapolis (12 percent) and Columbus (10 percent), as well as a Rocky Mountain favorite, Colorado Springs (11 percent), where some of the country’s best skiing is within easy driving distance.

When compared to this time last year, the top five car rental price reductions for January 2013 include:

Rank

Car Rental Market

Price Drops

Average Hotwire Car Rental Price

1

Monterey, CA

-19%

$24

2

Raleigh, NC

-17%

$19

3

Indianapolis, IN

-12%

$23

4

Colorado Springs, CO

– 11%

$28

5

Columbus, Ohio

– 10%

$23

For over 12 years, Hotwire has worked with hotels, airlines and car rental companies to fill unsold inventory. As a result, Hotwire offers travelers amazing deals, every day of the year, across a variety of markets. Through Hotwire’s deep understanding of the industry and unique relationships, consumers have been able to save millions of dollars on all their travel needs.

About the Hotwire Travel Savings Indicator

The Hotwire Travel Savings Indicator runs results during the second week of each month. Results are calculated by looking at Hotwire booking data for select regions in the current month, and comparing prices in the current month against Hotwire prices in the same month in the prior year. Prices are compared within the same categories (e.g., star rating, class of car) for consistency, and the percent change in price for each region is generated as an overall average of the changes in those categories. The hotel prices in the charts above are examples for a particular Hot Rate® deal within that market. The airfare and car rental prices are average prices based on bookings across all car and seat classes. Actual prices may be higher or lower than the examples that are provided.

About Hotwire

Hotwire.com is a leading discount travel site with low rates on airline tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Launched in 2000, Hotwire, Inc. obtains deep discounts from its travel suppliers to help travelers book unsold airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars. Hotwire.com is an award-winning website and Hotwire, Inc. is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. CST # 2029030-50. NST: 20003-0209. For more information, visit http://www.hotwire.com. Hotwire.com operates sites in 8 countries worldwide: www.hotwire.com, www.hotwire.com/uk, www.hotwire.com/ie, www.hotwire.com/au, www.hotwire.com/nz, www.hotwire.com/se, www.hotwire.com/no and www.hotwire.com/dk. In addition to Hotwire, The Hotwire Group of websites includes: www.hotwire.com and www.carrentals.com.

Hotwire, Hotwire.com and the Hotwire logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotwire, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Hotwire, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2053390-50.

Contact:
Andrew Reynolds
Atomic PR
(323) 648-5425
Andrew@atomicpr.com

 

SOURCE: Hotwire.com

 

Read Full Post »

Manulife Financial, John Hancock Investor Sentiment Surveys: Affluent North American Investors Believe They Are Financially On Track

  • Affluent Canadian and American investors optimistic about the future
  • Seventy per cent of affluent North American investors on track to meet financial goals
  • US investor sentiment holds steady while Canadian sentiment rises
  • Canadians and Americans aligned in financial New Year’s resolutions and priorities

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2013, Affluent North American investors are feeling very optimistic about their personal finances heading into 2013. Seventy per cent of affluent investors in both Canada and the United States agree that they are either ahead of plan, or on track, to meet their personal financial goals and about 50 per cent anticipate that their financial position will improve over the next two years.

Six out of ten affluent Canadian and American investors say that they are on track to meet their current financial goals while roughly 10 per cent say that they are ahead of plan on their goals. Just one in five investors surveyed in both countries indicate that they are behind on their financial goals but they are likely to catch up.

“It’s positive to see that, despite ongoing news about the fiscal cliff, global debt and U.S. debt ceiling, economic uncertainty and other challenges, our surveys indicate that affluent North American investors are feeling very confident about their financial future,” said Paul Lorentz , Executive Vice-President, Investment and Insurance Solutions for Manulife Financial.

The findings are derived from a comparison of the results of the latest Manulife Financial and John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index surveys. The surveys – conducted in Canada and the U.S in December 2012 – measure affluent investors’ feelings about whether or not this is a good time to invest in a variety of savings and investment vehicles and the likelihood of purchasing specific financial products and services.

Investor sentiment differs in North America
In Canada, overall affluent investor sentiment index strengthened in the second half of the year, rising to +31, from +26 in January 2012. In the U.S., investors’ confidence held steady in the fourth quarter of 2012, with the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Index® ticking upward slightly to +18 from a score of +17 in the third quarter of last year.

New Year’s resolutions, financial priorities aligned
Other findings from the surveys show that Canadians and Americans are aligned in their financial New Year’s resolutions and how they plan to achieve their top financial goals.

  • In Canada (31 per cent) and the United States (29 per cent), the top financial-planning related New Year’s Resolution is to trim household budgets.
  • Rebalancing portfolios is the second top resolution for 19 per cent of Canadians and also for 19 per cent of Americans.

Top financial priorities for 2013 among affluent Canadians and Americans differ slightly.

  • Canadians’ top three priorities are to manage/maintain current lifestyle (32 per cent), pay down debt (18 per cent) and save for retirement (15 per cent).
  • American respondents say their top financial priorities are the same: however, they differ in order with maintain/manage their current lifestyle (35 per cent) topping the list followed by, saving for retirement (29 per cent) and paying down debt (11 per cent).

Similar steps to achieving financial goals
When asked what steps, if any, affluent investors are taking to achieve their financial goals, Canadians and Americans identified the same top four steps. However, these steps varied in terms of priority.

Percentage of Affluent investors that indicated what steps they have taken to achieve their financial goals:

Step taken

Affluent Canadians

Affluent Americans

Talked to a   financial
professional for advice

45%

40%

Saved a certain   amount on
a regular basis

41%

59%

Reduced spending

40%

45%

Calculated how much
money needed to achieve
goal

27%

41%

Seven in ten affluent Canadians work with a financial advisor to achieve their financial goals while in the U.S., five in ten affluent investors choose to seek professional financial advice. However, affluent investors in both countries indicated that they work with advisors for a similar reason. Seeking advice on how to get better returns is the main reason for Canadians (24 per cent) and Americans (56 per cent) to work with a professional financial advisor.

“We encourage people to work closely with an advisor and stick to a financial plan,” Mr. Lorentz added. “People with integrated financial plans, working with strong, reliable and trustworthy companies, generally feel better prepared for the future, are more confident about reaching their goals and are better equipped deal with the ups and downs in the economy.”

In both countries, those who do not work with a financial advisor say it is because they feel knowledgeable enough to manage their investments on their own (Canada, 26 per cent, U.S., 43 per cent).

About the Investor Sentiment Index Surveys
Both Investor Sentiment Index surveys are conducted in a similar fashion. The survey measures affluent investors’ feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment. The poll also asks consumers about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and the likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

An online survey of 1,127 investors was conducted in the U.S. between November 26th to December 7th. In Canada, a sample of 1,003 investors were surveyed between November 30th to December 8th. Both surveys included household decision-makers at least 25 years of age, with a household income of $75,000 or greater and investable assets of $100,000 or more.

The Canadian research was conducted by Research House, an Environics Company. The U.S. survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.

In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus +/- 3.10 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions.

Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

About John Hancock
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

Read Full Post »

New Study Shows That 1 In 4 Americans Will Tap Retirement Plans For Non-Retirement Needs

Cash-Outs, Loans, and Heavy Fees Take Heavy Toll on Nation’s Premier Retirement Savings Program

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2013, New research released today by HelloWallet finds that over 25% of U.S. workers participating in a 401(k) plan will access their 401(k) savings before they reach retirement, now withdrawing $70 billion annually. The study, which analyzed consumer finance data from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Census Bureau, raises significant questions about the future of the bedrock retirement program as more workers move from traditional pension benefits towards tax-incented defined contribution programs. The survey results also hold significant implications for employers, who collectively invest $118 billion annually in 401(k) programs for their workers’ retirement.

The research finds that one out of four participants in 401(k) retirement programs will either cash-out their savings before retirement – incurring substantial penalties and taxes – or forfeit them to loans. Among the other findings in the research:

 

  • 26 percent of 401(k) participants now use their 401(k) savings for non-retirement needs;
  • 75 percent report that they breached their savings because of basic money management problems;
  • Workers now withdraw or breach over $70 billion annually out of their 401(k)s for non-retirement needs;
  • Penalized withdrawals increased from $36 billion to about $60 billion between 2004 and 2010;
  • Workers in their 40’s are most likely to breach their savings for non-retirement needs.

“This research shows that employers are not getting the ROI that they may think they are from their retirement investments,” said HelloWallet founder and CEO Matt Fellowes , a former Brookings Scholar who led the study. “Investing in retirement savings is essential for all Americans, but this study demonstrates that a large share of U.S. workers lack the basic financial skills needed to actually benefit from those savings, and it’s costing both them and their employer dearly.”

“While there is no question about the need for retirement savings, the issue raised by our research is whether employees are given the financial tools, including unbiased guidance, to make the best decisions every step of the way,” said Fellowes. “These data strongly indicate that, for many workers, investment advice is misaligned with their investment needs and, as importantly, with their basic day-to-day financial needs.”

The research also finds that only a small percentage of employees (8 percent) are withdrawing funds because they have lost their jobs. Instead, 75 percent of those who have made early withdrawals have done so because they lack basic money management skills and need to meet basic money management challenges, such as emergencies, credit card payments, and health care. In many cases, better planning and guidance would put them on a track to avoid costly mistakes, take advantage of the tax incentives, and accumulate the savings needed for retirement.

For employers, the implications of the research are substantial. American companies now spend $118 billion annually on retirement contributions with the expectation that employees will take maximum advantage of these programs to improve their financial well-being. The new research suggests that employers’ massive investment is not always delivering the intended results.

To aid employers in evaluating the effectiveness of their retirement and other Rewards programs, HelloWallet is providing an online diagnostic. Called the “Financial Wellness Diagnostic,” this free tool provides employers with insight into the needs of their workforce to help them better align their benefits investments to meet that need.

To receive a complete copy of the study, click here.

About HelloWallet. HelloWallet is the leading provider of behavioral technology applications that help organizations improve their performance through aligning their Total Rewards spending with their human capital needs. HelloWallet is headquartered in Washington DC and is backed by Morningstar, Inc., TD Fund, Grotech Ventures, and Revolution LLC. For more information, please visit our website www.hellowallet.com or call 866.55.HELLO.

Contact:
Don Goldberg
don@bluetext.com
202-365-5224

SOURCE: HelloWallet

RELATED LINKS: http://www.hellowallet.com

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »