By Penelope Wang
March 10, 2017
Chad Griffith

This week House Republicans unveiled their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act and secured approval by two committees. Among other things, the package would undo the tax hikes on the wealthy that Obamacare had put in place to subsidize health care for lower-income Americans. Still, many of the reviews for the GOP Obamacare replacement plan weren’t good, as groups on both ends of the political spectrum leveled criticisms. Among other issues, some of the bill’s provisions would create financial hardship for many older Americans. Premiums would rise steeply for those in their 50s and early 60s, while changes in funding for Medicaid would threaten support for long-term-care services. Keep your eyes peeled for the next developments in Washington.

Meanwhile, I have some personal news to report: This is my final week at Money. No worries, though. The Retire with Money newsletter will continue under the expert management of my colleagues. I wish you all good luck on your journeys to—and into—retirement.

Best wishes,

Penny

P.S. If you like this weekly update, please pass it on to a friend! And if you got it from a friend, sign up here for email delivery each Friday to make sure you don’t miss the next issue.

THIS WEEK’S RETIREMENT NEWS, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE

The Secret to Spending Time Abroad in Retirement

College students often spend a semester abroad. If you’ve put work behind you, why not plan an extended overseas sojourn of your own? Writer Ingrid Case has suggestions on finding the right place to stay, securing your safety net, and managing your money far from home. Time to grab those travel guides! MONEY

How a 20-Something Got On Track to Saving a $1 Million by Age 45

The blogger known as J. Money started tracking his personal finances in 2008, when he was still in his 20s. Now, at age 37, he is on track to becoming a millionaire by the time he turns 45. As writer Kathy Kristof explains, he had a key advantage: He put time on his side. INC.

Older Americans May Have to Delay Retirement Under GOP Health Bill

The House Republicans’ plan to replace the Affordable Care Act poses big challenges to older Americans. The bill would allow insurers to charge people approaching age 65 premiums that are five times those for younger ones, up from a current limit of three times. If enacted, the provisions would discourage veteran workers from retiring early or starting up their own businesses, says columnist Robert Powell. MARKETWATCH

Some People Have a Crazy Idea of What They Can Afford in Retirement

As you plan for retirement, you need to answer a difficult question: How much can you withdraw from your savings each year without running out of money? Unfortunately, many people are coming up with wildly wrong answers, notes contributor Walter Updegrave. He has tips to help you arrive at a more reasonable estimate. MONEY

How Retirees Can Brace for Market Volatility

The bull market celebrated its eighth birthday this week. The length of the run-up is all the more reason for retirees and pre-retirees to be a bit more cautious in their portfolio allocations. Morningstar’s Christine Benz offers some timely investing tips. Hint: Have you rebalanced recently? MORNINGSTAR

Fixed Indexed Annuities: ‘Magical’ or Unsuitable?

Many older Americans receive invitations to free dinners at which they are subjected to a big sales push for an inappropriate investment: fixed indexed annuities. These are complicated and expensive products, which also pay hefty commissions to the salesmen. Here’s why you need to beware. PHILLY.COM

Fixed Indexed Annuities: ‘Magical’ or Unsuitable?

Many older Americans receive invitations to free dinners at which they are subjected to a big sales push for an inappropriate investment: fixed indexed annuities. These are complicated and expensive products, which also pay hefty commissions to the salesmen. Here’s why you need to beware. PHILLY.COM

A Popular Cure for the Retirement Crisis Isn’t Making Much Headway

The 401(k) plan is the de facto national retirement plan, and automatic enrollment is a tool that gets many workers started on saving at a young age. But it’s not working nearly as well as once thought, new U.S. Census data show. Few employers outside of large companies have adopted this practice—only 20% to 33% of businesses with 10 to 50 employees. Overall, only 41% of eligible workers participate in their plan. Contributor Dan Kadlec lays out the details. MONEY

Long-Term Care on a Boxed-Wine Budget

When your parents or another loved one have to move to a long-term care facility, finding the right one is a nearly impossible task. All too often families have to settle for something that’s just acceptable. So it’s nice to hear that a compromise choice can sometimes work out well, as Annabelle Gurwitch explains in this video. PBS NEWSHOUR via SQUARED AWAY

YOUR RETIREMENT QUESTIONS ANSWERED

How Much Social Security Would My Wife Get as a Survivor?

Q: I’m drawing my full Social Security benefit, which I qualified for at age 66. My wife is 54, so I will most likely pass away before she does. My monthly benefit is approximately $2,380, much more than her expected benefit. If she claims mine, will she get 100% of my benefits?

A: It depends. As a widow, your wife would be able to get 100% of your Social Security benefits as long as she waited until she reached her full retirement age to claim them. Full retirement age is determined by year of birth. Since your wife was born after 1959, her full retirement age is 67. READ MORE

WORDS OF WISDOM

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”

–Writer G.K. Chesterton

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