Top 10 Ways To Prepare For Retirement
Last changed: May 15, 2011 12:40 by susan fifer canby
Financial security in retirement doesn't just happen.
Putting money away for retirement is a habit we can all live with.
*Fewer than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement.
*In 2009, 13 percent of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401(k) plan) did not participate.
*The average American spends 20 years in retirement.
1. Start saving, keep saving and stick to your goals
If you are already saving, whether for retirement or another goal, keep going! You know that saving is a rewarding habit. If you're not saving, it's time to get started. Start small if you have to increase the amount you save each month. The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Make saving for retirement a priority. Devise a plan, stick to it, and set goals. Remember, it's never too early or too late to start saving.
2. Know your retirement needs
Retirement is inexpensive. Experts estimate that you will need about 70 percent of your preretirement income - lower earners, 90 percent or more - to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. Take charge of your financial future. The key to a secure retirement is to plan ahead. Start by requesting. "Savings Fitness: A guide to Your Financial Future" and, for those near retirement, "Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning."
3. Contribute to your employer's retirement savings plan
If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan, sign up and contribute all you can. Your taxes will be lower, your company may kick in more, and automatic deductions make it easy. Over time, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate. Find out about your plan. For example, how much would you need to contribute to get the full employer contribution and how long would you need to stay in the plan to get your money.
4. Learn about your employer's pension plan
If your employer has a traditional pension plan, check to see if you are covered by the plan and understand how it works. Ask for an individual benefit statement to see what your benefit is worth. Before you change jobs, find out what will happen to your pension benefit. Learn what benefits you may have from a previous employer. Find out if you will be entitled to benefits from your spouse's plan. For more information, request What You Should Know about Your Retirement Plan.
5. Consider basic investment principles
How you save can be an important as how much you save. Inflation and the type of investments you make play important roles in how much you'll have saved at retirement. Know how your savings or pension plan is invested. Learn about your plan's investment options and ask questions. Put your savings in different types of investments. By diversifying this way, you are more likely to reduce risk and improve return. Your investment mix may change over time depending on a number of factors such as your age, goals, and financial circumstances. Financial Security and knowledge go hand in hand.
6. Don't touch your retirement savings
If you withdraw your retirement savings now, you'll ose principal and interest and you may lose tax benefits or have to pay withdrawal penalties. If you change jobs, leave leave your savings invested in your current retirement plan, or roll tem over to an IRA or your new employer's plan.
7. Ask your employer to start a plan
If your employer doesn't offer a retirement plan, suggest that it start one. There are a number of retirement savings plan options available. Your employer may be able to set up a simplified plan that can help both you and your employer. For more information, request a copy of Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business.
8. Put money into an Individual Retirement Account
You can put up to $5,000 a year into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); you can contribute even more if you are 50 or over. You can also start with much less. IRAs also provide tax advantages.
When you open an IRA, you have two options - a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. The tax treatment of your contributions and withdrawals will depend on which option you select. Also, the after-tax value of your withdrawal will depend on inflation and the type of IRA you choose. IRAs can provide an easy way to save. You can set it up so that an amount is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account and deposited in the IRA.
9. Find out about your Social Security benefits
Social Security pays benefits that are on average equal to about 40 percent of what you earned before retirement. You should receive a Social Security Statement each year that gives you an estimate of how much your benefit will be and when you can receive it. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration's Web site or call 1.800.772.1213.
10. Ask Questions
While these tips are meant to point you in the right direction, you'll need more information. Read Department of Labor Publications. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Get practical advice and act now.
While these tips are meant to point you in the right direction, you'll need more information. Read our publications listed below. Talk to your employer, your bank, your union, or a financial adviser. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Get practical advice and act now.
To find out more, call the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 1.866.444.3272 and request the following brochures:
Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future
Taking The Mystery Out Of Retirement Planning
What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan
Filing a Claim for Your Retirement Benefits
Women and Retirement Savings
Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business
The following Web sites can also be helpful:
American Savings Education Council
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
Consumer Federation of America
The Investor's Clearinghouse
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Special Report on Pensions - "The Economist"
Last changed: Apr 12, 2011 18:59 by Sharon Lenius
The Economist: Special Report on Pensions
Falling short - People in rich countries are living longer.
Without big reforms they will not be able to retire in comfort, says Philip
Coggan"There are big national differences, but in most developed countries
the bulk of retirement income (around 60%, according to the OECD) comes from
the state. Most countries offer some kind of basic safety net for those who
have no other income. In addition to this, they may have a social-insurance
scheme to which workers and employers contribute. Despite the insurance label,
these are essentially pay-as-you-go (PAYG) systems in which benefits are paid
out of current taxes.In some countries workers also have pension rights that
are linked to their employment, whether it is in the public or the private
sector. Such schemes can be funded (as in America, Britain and the Netherlands)
or unfunded (as in much of Europe). In some cases the state has required such
schemes to cover all employees. Australia, for instance, has turned itself into
the world's fourth-largest market for fund management by setting up a
compulsory national pension scheme for its 22m people. On top of that, people
accumulate savings (sometimes called pensions and sometimes not) that they
expect to draw on during their declining years."
Source: beSpacific, Apr 10, 2011
Retirement Confidence Survey 2011
Last changed: Mar 26, 2011 21:12 by Sharon Lenius
Retirement Confidence Survey 2011
The 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey: Confidence Drops to Record Lows, Reflecting "the New Normal"
The 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey: Confidence Drops to Record Lows, Reflecting "the New Normal", by Ruth Helman, Mathew Greenwald & Associates, and Craig Copeland and Jack VanDerhei, Employee Benefit Research Institute, March 2011"The 21st wave of the Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) finds that Americans' confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has plunged to a new low at the same time that the recent declines in other retirement confidence indicators appear to be stabilizing. Instead of making fundamental adjustments to their spending and saving patterns in response to the decline in confidence, workers continue to change their expectations about how they will transition from work to retirement in what has been called an age of "the new normal."
Source: beSpacific Mar 15, 2011
Retiremen, affordable, "new normal"
Looking for a label? Just start typing.
Friday, March 25, 2011
"Encore - Retired Members Caucus" is Now Official
Last changed: Mar 08, 2011 16:25 by susan fifer canby
Thank you to all of you who voted to update our caucus name to Encore. It is now officially changed.
82.5% agreed we needed to refresh our name. To see the results of the survey monkey vote done last month, please click on:
<a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQKRDQH" Survey Monkey Results on Name Change</a>
Join us at our annual meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday June 14th from 10-11 am, to hear Stephen Abram address us: The New Retiree: Connected and Social: Stereotypes of retirees are rarely, if ever, true. Stephen Abram, contributing author to the book Boomers & Beyond (ALA Editions 2010), will share some of the expected changes in the post, post WW2 generation retired cohort. What technologies do they prefer - or not? What information and reading choices will they or are they making? What are the opportunities for a full and long retirement?
Following his talk,11:00-11:30 am we will convene a business meeting with the following agenda (please advise if you have items to add):
-discuss the WordPress evolution (or status of our wiki)
-discuss options for program and meeting for June 2012 (Lynne McCay)
-review (based on the survey done this year) the intentionality of the group for activities (Susan Fifer Canby)
-finance report (Ty Webb)
-review state of membership and strategy for incorporating more retiring or retired members
-mentoring potential (Sharon Lenius)
January Leadership Summit About Learning
New and returning Chapter and Division leaders were introduced or reminded of their key responsibilities (support their members with great programming, recruit new members, manage their finances, mentor other chapter and division leaders who were unable to attend). There were about 300 of us at the summit and you would have been proud of our SLA if you'd been able to join us.
Things I heard:
"We are about curation – providing access to actionable information that is edited to its valued source bits" (Cindy Romaine)
"None of us are as smart as all of us." (Satchel Paige via Cindy Romaine)
"It is a time to optimize rather than maximize – go broad with our skills." (Cindy Romaine)
"We are on a membership journey." (Janice LaChance)
The new fellows and rising stars were announced to much applause. Serving on the Awards committee is the best, because it reminds you of what accomplished colleagues we have.
Some of the topics discussed at the Summit: Building community with social networks, remote and virtual programming, expanding community outside our current membership, enhancing the community with new alignment tools. There was much participation and many question and answer sessions. We learned that Daniel Lee and team have developed a new template for all divisions and chapters to convert to Wordpress to create a more consistent SLA presence, which will encourage all to update their content and provide much more effective functionality.
We enjoyed much conviviality at a reception at the Navy Memorial Museum thanks to the DC Chapter, who manned information desks and worked closely with SLA staff to make the meeting run effectively.
We heard from Susan Robertson, CAE, about the decision to volunteer and the decision to join. She said "engagement is essential." All of us need to connect to our organizations in some way for them to be relevant to us. We are influenced by the "mission" of our organizations - whether we support it or not. Organizations are made up of local leaders, shapers (help people connect), teachers, and writers (produce knowledge). Each of us can choose which area to contribute in. Most people don't volunteer to go on a "busman's holiday" - we prefer enrichment. Many people are only waiting to be asked to join or contribute. We want volunteering to be fun.
The conference theme will be about practicing agility in an open world economy. This translates for all chapters and divisions to focus on collaboration and co-sponsoring – so we ensure members benefit most from program planning. Stephen Abrams is developing an interesting presentation for our caucus in Philadelphia – hope to see many of you there. The agenda for the meeting will follow to remind you when and where to come, and what we will discuss at our business meeting. Let me know if you have an agenda item.
Many SLAers are interested in Encore – and we will set up a Linked-in profile as well as a Facebook presence. We need to explore these social medias to share information and help define our personalities in our disconnected world. Expect to receive a survey monkey link to enable you to vote on updating our name from KRET: Retired Members Caucus to ENCORE: Retired Members Caucus.
Best to all. Susan
New Convener and Steering Committee Plan for Philadelphia 2011
Last changed: Mar 08, 2011 16:21 by susan fifer canby
Happy New Year!
Charlotte Kohrs is stepping down after ten faithful years as convener of the Retired Members Caucus and I have agreed to assume the role of convener for January-December 2011, after which Lynne McCay will take the gavel. In addition we have a steering committee of our own who will be working on various aspects of the caucus:
Susan Fifer Canby: 2011 Convener
Lynne McCay: 2012 Convener, Programming co-Chair
Ty Webb: Secretary and Treasurer
Irene Laursen: Programming co-Chair
Robyn Frank: Membership Chair
Sharon Lenius: Mentoring Chair
Charlotte Kohrs: Archivist; Past Convener
As a heads up, Irene and Lynne have arranged for that wonderful leader Stephen Abrams to give us his thoughts on retirement and staying "with it." At our business meeting we plan to discuss:
-discuss the WordPress evolution (or status of our wiki)
-discuss options for program and meeting for June 2012
-review (based on the survey done this year) the intentionality of the group
-review state of membership and strategy for incorporating more retiring or retired members
We hope you will plan to be in Philadelphia and join us for this meeting. AND if any of you would like to be part of our steering committee or have ideas about what you'd like to see or do as part of the Caucus, we all will be interested in hearing from you.
Hope to see some of you at the Leadership meeting next week in Washington, DC. Best, Susan Fifer Canby
Are we Clueless about Retirement Needs?
Last changed: Dec 28, 2010 11:02 by susan fifer canby
DECEMBER 14, 2010
Workers Clueless About Retirement Needs
44% of people with at least $100,000 to invest said in a survey that they have "no idea" how large a nest egg they will need for retirement, according to The Wall Street Journal. Retirement savings took a hit during the recession: The average 401(k) balance at the end of 2009 for U.S. workers in their fifties was $139,932, down from $146,877 in 2007, the Journal reports.
Source: Retiring in 10 Years? Uh-Oh.
Retire Retirement: Career Strategies for the Boomer Generation
Harvard Business Review Press Book
Good news: there is no need to retire. There is no need to pack up your desk or attend one more retirement party. Why? With the widening gap between the number of workers and the demand for talent, employers are looking to keep smart, productive workers in the workplace. Retire Retirement shows you how to think about what you want, and how to get it.
Shared by James King
Social Media and Us
Last changed: Sep 04, 2010 08:45 by susan fifer canby
Pew Internet Report: Older Adults and Social Media
Older Adults and Social Media - Social networking use among those ages 50 and older nearly doubled over the past year, Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist, August 27, 2010: "While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.
Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%--from 25% to 47%.
During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%--from 13% to 26%.
By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%."
Source: Bespecific, Aug 30, 2010
From Sharon Lenius – "Would be a great topic for discussion at conference."
Posted to the Retired Members Caucus - What is SLA Encore all about?
Last changed: Aug 25, 2010 12:58 by susan fifer canby
Dear Colleagues -
I respectfully recommend that the Retired Members Caucus vote on evolving our name to "SLA Encore: the Retirement Members Caucus " to introduce more vitality into our current name.
Here's the story: President Anne Caputo asked me to explore the potential of engaging more of you as you begin to consider retirement (at least your first career) to join SLA's Retirement Caucus. She sees an opportunity here for us.
At the time I was not a member of the Caucus and was wondering about the future of my involvement in SLA as well (since I retired in January this year)- I decided to check out the Retired Members Caucus when I was in New Orleans at conference, although I didn't consider myself either "retiring or really retired." I found a small group - who seemed interested in increasing its numbers and participation.
I volunteered to survey Caucus members, those who had belonged to SLA at least 25 years (and might be thinking about retirement) and those who belonged and were on SLA rolls as "retired" (but not members of the Caucus) to see what they thought about joining the Caucus, if the name expressed enough vitality, what people most wanted to do, how aligned they were with SLA, as they entered the next stage of life.
The first survey, SLA Encore, is open for your perusal. 344 members responded and this is what they said:
38% of you were thinking about retiring.
22% of you are actually retired now.
27% of you are not thinking about retirement yet.
81% read Information Outlook
75% use the SLA website
49% attended local meetings in 2009; 41% in 2010
42% attended conference in 2009; 32% in 2010
90% did not belong to the Retired Members Caucus. Of those 279 colleagues,
80% didn't know there was one.
310 responded to this question, saying:
95% to keep current with the profession
83% to network and maintain friendships
80% because of the learning opportunities
74% to support the work of SLA
60% to participate in local meetings
You said based on your interests, this is what most appealed:
60% networking lunches or dinners
52% participate in a discussion list
34% would add advice, stories to the SLA Encore wiki to share knowledge with those contemplating retirement
31% participating in Facebook
30% attending annual conference
22% inviting new professionals to join local meetings
47% of us see ourselves actively involved with SLA going forward
41% are ambivalent
11% don't see continued involvement.
This says to me that Anne Caputo is right - there is an opportunity here and at least half of us are trying to determine what our connection to SLA should be in the future. So I followed up with a shorter survey to those who said they were retired or thinking about retirement: 150 people responded. This survey is called SLA Encore Encore.
I specifically asked the question – "If we were to consider re-branding the current Retired Members Caucus - what would you favor?" (I attached the chart - since it didn't seem to load into the body of this)
48.9% prefer "SLA Encore: Retired Members Caucus" (orange line)
35% prefer "SLA Encore" (blue line)
29% prefer "Retired Members Caucus" (purple line)
58 of the people surveyed (retired or not) were interested in joining the caucus now and provided their names and email addresses
77 others said they didn't want to join now, but would consider joining later.
Only 12 said they weren't interested.
Based on this survey, I believe we alerted many to the option of joining the Caucus and advised them of the minimal cost involved ($12). Chair Charlotte Kuhrs has emailed the 60 people, who said they were interested, encouraging them to join us.
In this process I decided to join as well, particularly since there seemed an opportunity to re-position the Caucus and I think some of my favorite colleagues will soon be looking for a new place in SLA and I'm going to want them with us. Thanks to new Caucus member, Irene Laursen, we have talked Stephen Abrams into speaking to us at our annual meeting next June in Philadelphia. We think we will have opportunities to have a good exchange and also to explore what is next for the Caucus.
Best, Susan Fifer Canby
Retired 2010, but not retiring...
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Last changed: Aug 12, 2010 15:08 by susan fifer canby
"Creation spaces" help employees share complex ideas
Many complex ideas are easier to enact and demonstrate than to articulate and explicitly teach, says John Hagel of Deloitte's Center for the Edge. To help workers share their stocks of "tacit knowledge," Hagel recommends developing "creation spaces" where workers can engage and interact with one another over a long period of time, developing solid, trusting relationships that facilitate modeling and indirect communication. Harvard Business Review online/Video blog (7/20)
Submitted by Sharon Lenius
More Advice for Retirees
Last changed: Jul 07, 2010 11:27 by Jean M. Scanlan
I retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers three years ago. My best advice to those thinking about retiring is to stay active in SLA. Since June 2007, I have remained an active member of SLA. I am currently the Project Manager for "Voices of SLA" which is the SLA Fellows' oral history project. We have completed nine oral histories; have one in final editing, and chosen the next five members to be interviewed.
I am a member of the Boston Chapter Centennial Committee. We are planning an event for September 2010 and all SLA members are invited. In addition, the Boston Chapter is attempting to find ways to keep members involved as they approach retirement or have joined the happy ranks of the retired. Our attempt is known as the Long Standing Members Committee. So far we have had a Spring 2010 dine around in Boston. We are watching the Encore Group closely!
There is time for travel and I have been to Ireland three times, Florida for several weeks each winter and the coast of Maine where I have house on Casco Bay.
There is also time for family activities and I am very lucky to have two grand nieces close by to share adventures like getting a first library card and learning to swim in the local pond.
If you are vacationing in Maine this summer, please drop by.
Army Librarian Gene Kubal's Encore Tips
Last changed: May 01, 2010 13:19 by susan fifer canby
"After retiring I think it's most important to have a daily schedule and a short list of things to do. I don't think its mentally or emotionally healthy to just drift. Also one should do at least one or two volunteer jobs of some kind though it doesn't have to be on a set schedule always. One needs to get out of their house or apartment almost every day if only for a short time. If you live alone a pet is very good company and a responsibility I'll be a docent at St. James House this coming Monday and Saturday. Have also agreed to be the Monday afternoon docent at St. George's for the summer. I read a daily paper and watch television news at night. I read and do handwork, Sudoku, crossword puzzles and more. Garden a bit if you enjoy it. Keep in touch with friends by writing letters or an occasional phone call. Keep busy doing something you enjoy and be as active physically as you can. Don't concentrate on ill health - be positive. I have a friend who will suggest we do lunch or an outing, but its always based on how she'll feel then. I don't think that's good - be positive that you'll feel OK. Plan balanced meals and eat regularly - lots of people don't cook much. Keep in touch with the family members that you have."
(Gene Kubal was head of reference for the Pentagon Library in Washington, DC. 1970-1980's)
Fifer Canby, McCay, Lenius Encore Stories in DC Chapter Notes
Last changed: May 01, 2010 11:37 by susan fifer canby
DC Chapter Notes Editor Chris Vestal just posted the March/April issue of Chapter Notes You can download the issue in pdf format at:
and you will read the stories of Susan Fifer Canby, Lynne McCay, and Sharon Lenius retirement plans as well as their forecasts for our profession.
Retiring Abroad Tips
Last changed: May 01, 2010 11:31 by susan fifer canby
From Sharon Lenius: Somehow as I was driving along, on Apr 15, 2010, I listened to the Kojo Nnambi show on WAMU. There was a very interesting segment with good links on Retiring Abroad.
Last changed: Mar 25, 2010 16:41 by susan fifer canby
Now that you aren't getting work emails anymore – here are two good ones to sign up for in the DC to be in the know:
Here's the URL for the Cultural Tourism DC webpage weekly email.
Plus here's a link to a mag about B'More - see the "Things to Do " link on the upper tab.