How did we get here? As long predicted, demographics explain a good deal: In a decade, the entirety of the boomer generation — some 70 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — will have hit retirement age. As a result, the number of people receiving Social Security benefits come 2034 will be more than double the beneficiaries in 1985.
But what wasn’t known as accurately was how much longer those boomers would live. “From 1940 to 2019, life expectancies at age 65 have increased by about 6.5 years,” says Amy Kemp, chair of the Social Security Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries.
The impact: Many workers will be receiving benefits for a longer period of time. And those with higher incomes, which are generally those who receive higher benefit amounts, tend to live longer on average.
The COVID-19 death rate in U.S. nursing homes hit a new high in the weeks surrounding New Year’s Day, a new AARP analysis of federal data shows. It found that roughly 1 in every 51 residents died from COVID-19 over the four-week period from Dec. 21 to Jan. 17. A total of 19,299 deaths were reported.
The death rate captured in the analysis topped that of previous four-week reporting periods, making it the highest COVID-19 death rate reported to the government since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began requiring nursing homes to do so in late May.
While the record high death rate in the four weeks ending Jan. 17 represents only a slight increase from the previous month, when 1 in every 53 residents died from COVID-19, it is more than a quadrupling of the resident death rate at the end of the summer.
To date, 12 states and Seattle have enacted retirement savings programs for private-sector workers. They include OregonSaves with more than 90,000 funded accounts and $92 million in assets, the Illinois Secure Choice retirement savings program with $52.6 million and 82,852 funded accounts, and the $38 million CalSavers Retirement Savings Program that as of February had enrolled 274,024 participants, with another enrollment phase coming up.
The predominant model is an auto IRA, in which employer participation is required if no plan is already offered. Other options are a voluntary payroll deduction Roth IRA, a multiple employer plan, and a service provider marketplace, or a hybrid.