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The American Instistute of CPAs recently released results of a poll that  asked people about their retirement expectations. The survey of 1005 working American citizens came back with a depressing result: for the second year in a row, four out of ten say they don’t think they will ever be able to retire. Other results are just as depressing: 55% don’t know how much they need to have in savings to retire, and many who think they know are way off in their estimates. Read the full story on the AICPA web site for more.

The survey didn’t even ask about affording health care in retirement – but we know from other surveys that mostly as a result of the closing of the Medicare Part D donut hole over the next few years, that cost has actually gone down a bit. Long term, however, rising health care costs are still an issue for retirees and the underlying factor in yearly insurance premium increases. That’s why we’ve been writing about things like the CMS proposed rules for ACOs and the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation on this blog. Medicare is still the most cost-effective way to deliver health care to seniors – and we hope that CMS can use its influence to accelerate the development and dissemination of innovations that will help slow or reverse rising health care cost trends.

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In light of the unrest in France over changes to the mandatory retirement age, as well as the ongoing discussions in this country of the effect of retirement age on Social Security, Extend Health last week polled our retiree panel for their opinion on the issue.  CNBC picked up on the results this morning in a story on why retirement age matters.

We learned that most people (85%) don’t think there should be a mandatory retirement age. Of the 15% minority who think there should be a mandatory retirement age, 42% say it should be 65; 31% say it should be 70; 21% say it should be 67; and the remaining 6% say it should be 72.

Out of the total, 17% are still working at a paying job or have their own business; the majority of that group (62%) say they do it to stay active and engaged.

Click on the link to see the full results, based on responses from 431 retirees over the age of 65. Read the rest of this entry »

Affordable health insurance is one of the thorniest issues facing early retirees, but the health care reform legislation creates a program, being launched today, that will make it easier for businesses to help out with coverage. Here are links to a couple of resources for more information. The first is by CBS MoneyWatch writer Steve Vernon, author of the Money for Life blog, who gives you an overview of the program.

The second is an upcoming “live chat”  on May 5 with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who will explain the program and take questions from individuals and businesses. You can send your questions to healthreform@hhs.gov in advance of the webcast, or send them live during the event via Twitter using the handle @HHSGOV. If you miss the web event you’ll find it posted later at the healthreform.gov website.