Managing a Retirement Portfolio: Do Annuities Provide More Safety?

Spitzer, J.J. (2009). Managing a retirement portfolio: Do annuities provide more safety? Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 20(1), 58-69.

Brief Description:  One of the biggest concerns of retirees is the risk of outliving their assets. This study used a technique called “bootstrap simulations” to estimate the probability of someone outliving a retirement portfolio as increasing proportions of a tax-deferred account are annuitized. It also examined the sizes of the portfolio balance as the annuity amount increased. Required …

Spousal differences in financial risk tolerance

 

Gilliam, J.E., Goetz, J.W. & Hampton, V. L. (2008). Spousal differences in financial risk tolerance. Financial Counseling and Planning, 19(1), 3-11.

Brief Description: This study explored the financial risk tolerance of 110 couples who completed a Web-based survey. Wives who were university graduates had a higher tolerance for risk, whereas their husbands’ mean risk tolerance score was lower than husbands whose wives did not have degrees. Perhaps, due to a higher level of household income, it is unnecessary for …

What is a Roth 401(k)?

A Roth 401(k) is retirement savings option that became available in 2006. With Roth 401(k)s, companies can add an option to their 401(k) plan that enables employees to make after-tax contributions. The contribution limit for a Roth 401(k) is the same as the contribution limit for a regular 401(k). In 2017, the limit is $18,000 plus an extra $6,000 “catch up” amount for those who will be age 50 or older by the end of the year ($24,000 total).

If …

Are Savings Accounts Insured?

Financial institutions such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions offer the safest alternatives for savings. Government insurance programs such as FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) or NCUA (National Credit Union Association) guarantee the safety of deposits up to certain amounts (currently $250,000 per depositor). Savings accounts are very liquid and require a low or no minimum balance. However, the rate of return for passbook accounts is frequently below the rate of inflation, which results in a …

Should I Invest in the Stock Market Now?

The answer to this question depends on many personal factors including your age, your current portfolio holdings, your investment risk tolerance and financial goals, and how soon you might need to get back money from your invested assets. The younger you are, the more time is on your side to ride out the effects of stock market volatility.

A strong case for buying stocks can certainly be made. Historically, common stocks have outperformed all other investments over time periods of …

Encouraging Savings by Low-Income Individuals

 

Fry, T., Mihajilo, S., Russell, R. & Brooks, R. (2008). The factors influencing saving in a matched savings program: goals, knowledge of payment instruments and other behavior. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29(2), 234-250.

Brief Description: This study investigates the factors that influence the saving behavior of low-income participants in a matched savings program. The factors found to play a positive role in encouraging saving were goal-setting and the financial literacy education component offered in the program. The …

A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings

Wiener, J. & Doescher, T. (2008). A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings, The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42 (2), 137-164.

Brief description: This paper identifies the constructs that influence an individual’s intention to save for retirement. It discusses how and when these factors can be changed by an agent trying to induce an individual to enroll in a retirement plan, increase his or her contribution to a plan, or purchase a particular retirement product. A broad array of psychological theories …

Impact of Health on Financial Security of Older Americans

Kim, H. & Lyons, A. C. (2008). No Pain, No Strain: Impact of Health on the Financial Security of Older Americans. The Journal of Consumer Affairs; Spring 2008, 42(1), 9-36.

Brief Description: This study investigated the impact that new and existing health problems have on the financial strain of older Americans. Health problems significantly increased the likelihood of financial strain for older individuals, but the effects varied by the measure of financial strain used and how health status is …

Banking Experience and Individual Development Accounts

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Yeo, Y. H., Despard, M. R., Casalotti, A. M., and Zhan, M. (2010). Does prior banking experience matter? Differences of the banked and unbanked in Individual Development Accounts. Journal of Family and Economic Issues 31, 212-227.

Brief Description: This study compares the saving performance and program participation of participants who owned bank accounts and those who did not prior to program enrollment in 14 Individual Development Account programs. Banked participants were shown to have higher average monthly net …

High School Economic Education and Access to Financial Services

 

Grimes, P.W., Rogers, K.E., & Smith, R.C. (2010) High School Economic Education and Access to Financial Services, Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44(2), 317-335.

Brief Description: This study examines the relationship between students taking economics and business courses while in high school and their decision to open and maintain a commercial bank account as an adult. The results of a nationwide telephone survey revealed that high school courses in economics and business reduced the probability that an adult was unbanked, …