Friday Top Five: Retirement Related News for 10/02/2015

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From PLANSPONSOR: Retirement Readiness in the Age of High Tuition

Adults who think it’s their duty to put the kids through college may want to think a little further—that is, if they are also saving for retirement. A recent LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute study explored the incidence of parents and grandparents helping, or being willing to help, finance a four-year college education and their attitudes behind that. More than collecting numbers, the researchers wanted to give a warning, if needed, to self-sacrificing family who might later find they’ve given up more than they bargained for.

From Forbes: Four Must-Know Social Security Facts

When it comes to Social Security, far too many retirees — and future retirees — are in the wilderness. Not only are most Americans not fully informed about the program, they don’t know how to maximize their benefits.

Of course, knowing what Social Security offers and how to get the highest-possible benefits are two different things. There’s a lot you have to know.

From CBS News: Is more money the key to a happy retirement?

With so many people approaching their retirement years with meager retirement savings, rather than aiming to fully retire and not work at all, it might be more realistic to aim for being happy. To help you get there, it's important to think about how much money you really need to be happy. A long time ago, someone said "money can't buy you happiness," and indeed considerable thought and research has gone into the question of whether having more money makes you happier. The so-called "Easterlin paradox" maintains that once your basic needs are met, having additional income won't add to your happiness.

From CNN Money: Low gas prices may doom Social Security raise

Cheap gas is good news for most people -- except senior citizens. Falling prices at the pump mean that retirees probably won't get a boost to their Social Security benefits next year.

The amount of money that Social Security pays out is adjusted each year to taken into account the rate of inflation in the 12 months leading up to September. This is known as the cost of living adjustment, or COLA. This year benefits rose 1.7%, and they've climbed by less than 2% for three years in a row.

From Daily Finance: How to Start Investing, & Why Now Is a Good Time

There is a big percentage of Americans who don't like complex financial problems. It's why things get crazy around tax season. It's why personal debt and credit are out of control for many. And it's why so many Americans don't invest for their retirement. Sure, there are plenty of people who rightly say they don't have the extra money to invest. But I suspect that these people are actually in the minority. With careful planning, it's possible for most people to invest in such a way that -- at least -- they will be somewhat financially secure upon retirement.

Related:  As a Missouri state employee, you can easily start investing through the State of Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan by using Target Date Funds or a Self-Directed Brokerage account.
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