March/April 2017

NEWS STORIES

Study: Too Many Americans Are Underfunding Their Retirement

New research from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave warns that too many Americans are underfunding their retirement, states ThinkAdvisor. Titled Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions, the joint study is the culmination of a four-year, 50,000-respondent overview of the retirement years, which researchers say carries the highest average price tag versus life’s other biggest expenses, such as homeownership and raising a child. According to the research, the average cost of retirement is more than $700,000. By contrast, the average cost of a home purchase is $278,300, while the cost of raising a kid from birth to age 18 is $245,300. Even more unnerving, the researchers determined that a whopping 81 percent of Americans don’t know how much they will need to fund their senior years.

Retirement is the most expensive purchase most people will make, yet many Americans are underfunding their retirement, according to a new study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.

The study, Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions, is the capstone of a four-year, 50,000-respondent investigation into the changing lifescape of retirement conducted by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave.

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States Where Home Health Aides Cost the Most

It is getting more expensive to hire home health aides .  This is due to a combination of inflation and an increasing consumer demand will only raise prices in years to come, according to the Lincoln Financial  Group.  Nationally, the average cost of a home health aide is $23 per hour.  That’s up from $22 from April 2016

For the first time, Lincoln Financial Group also projected how much  home health will cost residents  in different U.S. states in the future. For example, a home health aide in Minnesota will cost $100/hour in 2056 when the population of America when the populations over 65 will have doubled. Currently a home health aide in Minnesota  costs $31 per hour. Ranked second most expensive is North Dakota followed  by Alaska at $28 an hour, Vermont at $26 per hour, and Rhode Island at $26 per hour.

Meanwhile the least expensive state is Alabama where the hourly rate is $17.

The average cost of a licensed nurse is currently $131 per visit and the average cost for a registered nurse is $139 per visit.

For more detailed information about the cost of care, visit www.whatcarecosts.com .

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2017’s Best and Worst States for Retirement

Retirement might be the end of the line, but doesn’t have to be the end of financial security or life satisfaction. Timing is often a primary concern with retirement as it generally coincides with the age at which we become eligible to draw Social Security or pension benefits.  Hopefully the choice will be ours and not dictated by our circumstances – the unfortunate case for nearly a third of non-retires who haven’t put away a single penny for retirement, though not necessarily through any fault of their own.

But in addition to when you want to retire, a good question to ask is where, which can be difficult if you haven’t adequately planned for your golden years.  Even in the in the most affordable areas of the United States, most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover their cost of living.  Social Security benefits increase progressively with local inflation, but they replace only about 40 percent of the amount you earned if you were and average worker, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

If retirement is still a big question mark for you because of finances, consider relocating to a state that lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change.

To help you find that permanent affordable place to call home, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 31 key indicators of retirement-friendliness.  Their analysis exams affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

The top 10 states are Florida, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, Nevada, Delaware, Wisconsin.

The 10 worst states are Rhode Island (10), Alaska (9), District of Columbia (8), Connecticut (7), Hawaii (6), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (4), Vermont (3), Kentucky (2), and Arkansas (1).

Click here for WalletHub’s findings, expert commentary and a full description of its methodology.

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Too Much Sleep Increases Alzheimer’s Risk

Older adults who started sleeping more than nine hours a night – but had not previously slept so much – were at more than double the risk of developing dementia a decade later than those who slept nine hours or less, researchers report.

The increased risk was not seen in people who had always slept more than nine hours.

“We’re not suggesting you go wake up Grandpa.  We think this might be a marker for the risk of dementia, not a cause” of the illness, said Dr. Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and the senior author of the study, in Neurology.

Using data from 2,457 people, average age 72, who were part of a study in Framingham, Mass., the researchers found that those with a new habit of excessive slumber were at a greater risk of all forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, which is characterized by a buildup of beta amyloid, a toxic protein fragment that forms plaques in the brain.

“My suspicion is that this is a compensatory mechanism: that at a time when amyloid is building up in the brain, people may be sleeping longer as the body is reacting and trying to remove it from the brain,” Dr. Seshadri added.

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