articles 1 to 15 of 55
On April 10, President Barack Obama released his budget proposal for fiscal 2014, which included a controversial plan to change how Social Security benefits are calculated. Rather than using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security, the President proposed switching to "chained CPI," which would take into account the possibility that when prices rise for certain goods and services, consumers buy cheaper products instead. Experts from Wharton and elsewhere weigh in on what this change -- and others -- could mean for retirees and the Social Security system.
From: April 24, 2013
The defining characteristic of future change, according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is that it is impossible -- and foolhardy -- to try to predict it. Nonetheless, the dominant impulse among policymakers and so-called experts is to attempt to reduce volatility rather than deal with it more productively. In his new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
, Taleb argues that in order for individuals, institutions, industries and societies to not only survive but also thrive, it is essential to make peace with uncertainty.
From: December 17, 2012
Everyone knows that pension plans, both public and private, are in trouble -- not on life support yet, but definitely facing a host of difficulties, including a poor economy and changing demographics. To shed light on the situation, Wharton's Pension Research Council recently asked two top pension-protection officials to discuss conditions in the United States and the United Kingdom. The forum was titled, "Saving Pensions: What Can the U.S. and U.K. Learn from Each Other?"
From: August 29, 2012
People are working longer and retirement ages are rising everywhere as aging populations, broken nest eggs and distressed pension funds make staying in the workforce a growing necessity. The baby boomers' desire to remain active and engaged further blurs the distinction between work and retirement -- a sharp reversal from attitudes that held sway during much of the 20th century, when retirement was seen as the ticket to an endless weekend.
From: December 06, 2010
From Chicago to the Champs-Elysees, distressed retirement plans are coming under fire as they struggle to keep pace with projected payouts. Responses range from raising national retirement ages to whacking corporate profits to meet funding requirements. With state and local plans facing the widest gaps, some policy makers are taking increasingly risky steps to keep the funds solvent. According to some experts, resolving these pension-plan woes will take years of hard work.
From: December 06, 2010
Following the global financial crisis, troubled retirement systems around the world face new challenges that may result in sharply reduced income for retirees -- as well as the possibility that younger workers will need to work much longer, according to Wharton insurance and risk management professor Olivia Mitchell. In a recent paper titled, "Implications of the Financial Crisis for Long Run Retirement Security," Mitchell argues that current and future generations must "build new frameworks [with] public and private partnerships to better educate people about the risks they face, to help them work longer ... and to better regulate products and markets for an aging world."
From: May 26, 2010
Unlike micro lending -- the better-known side of micro finance -- micro insurance has been a hard sell among the world's poor. The reasons why include a lack of understanding of how insurance products work, a general reticence on the part of poor populations to part with their meager financial resources, badly designed products and a shortage of localized risk management knowledge among providers. What needs to happen for micro insurance to prove that it can be both socially beneficial and economically viable?
From: September 30, 2009
The golden years for most Americans appear increasingly threatened by the global financial crisis. Retirement accounts have lost from $2 trillion to $4 trillion as stocks have tumbled nearly 50% from their peak in 2007. Pension funds -- which typically invest between 60% and 70% in equities -- are also finding their accounts billions of dollars below minimum requirements. For Americans facing retirement, the details of how these plans work may be fuzzy, but the big picture is clear: Whatever comfortable cushion retirees may have had is now gone, and the process of building it back up will be arduous and long.
From: April 01, 2009
After refusing to bail out Lehman Brothers, the government agreed to an $85 billion loan to insurance giant AIG, effectively taking over the company. Knowledge@Wharton talked to Wharton insurance professors Olivia Mitchell and Kent Smetters to find out how the world's largest insurer got into this situation and how it can be prevented from happening again.
From: September 17, 2008
As baby boomers retire and start spending their nest eggs, they will need new financial products to make their money last, according to speakers at a recent Wharton Impact Conference titled, "Managing Retirement Payouts: Positioning, Investing and Spending Assets." The conference explored emerging patterns in spending during retirement and debated new ideas to help retirees manage their finances after leaving the workforce.
From: June 13, 2007
According to some industry estimates, fantasy sports is now a $4 billion industry and growing quickly. What is fantasy sports, who provides fantasy sports platforms, what are the most popular fantasy sports, and -- coming off the Indianapolis Colts' recent Super Bowl win -- can we assume there will be a Super Bowl for fantasy football, or for baseball, basketball or hockey? Knowledge@Wharton asked Kent Smetters, professor of insurance and risk management, to bring us up to speed on the future of this industry.
From: February 07, 2007
If 401(k)s and similar plans are the main way Americans invest for retirement, how can employers improve them? By making enrollment automatic, minimizing the use of the employer's stock, expanding the role of annuities and improving employees' financial knowledge, according to a set of recommendations issued by the Financial Economists Roundtable, a group of about 50 prominent economists, including several Wharton faculty members.
From: October 18, 2006
In the five years since the attacks on September 11, 2001, Howard Kunreuther, Wharton professor of operations and information management, has collaborated with members of the private and public sectors to determine how individuals and firms can be motivated to enhance security in our interconnected world. In a new book titled, Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability
, Kunreuther and other contributors argue that the United States will continue to be at risk for low-probability, high-consequence events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina until the private sector and public leadership develop strategies to persuade individuals and firms to invest in cost-effective protective measures. The book is edited by Erwann Michel-Kerjan, managing director of Wharton's Center for Risk Management and Decision Processes, and three others.
From: September 27, 2006
In the United States alone, an unprecedented 77 million baby-boomers will be living the next 20 to 30 years in retirement. With long lives ahead of them -- and without adequate planning -- what are the risks they are facing? According to Olivia Mitchell, Wharton professor of insurance and risk management, and Christopher "Kip" Condron, president and CEO of AXA Financial, the world's largest financial services firm, the rising tide of boomers in the U.S. and around the world needs to meet challenges that previous generations never faced, including changes to key retirement institutions, as well as medical-care cost inflation and the "lump-sum illusion." Knowledge@Wharton spoke with Mitchell and Condron about how the financial services industry is working to meet the needs of this next wave of retirees.
From: July 26, 2006
With $2.5 trillion invested in 401(k) retirement accounts, 60 million Americans control a powerful chunk of cash. So how much attention do investors pay to this vast pool of savings? Not much. According to a new Wharton analysis of retirement accounts managed by The Vanguard Group in 2003 and 2004, participants in 401(k) plans made little effort to tend their defined-contribution plans once they were set up. Even among those who did trade regularly, turnover rates were one-third those of professional money managers. Olivia S. Mitchell, executive director of Wharton's Pension Research Council, Stephen P. Utkus, principal, Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, and researchers Gary Mottola and Takeshi Yamaguchi present their findings in a paper entitled, "The Inattentive Participant: Portfolio Trading Behavior in 401(k) Plans."
From: March 08, 2006
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