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At Arctic conference in Alaska, Obama calls for U.S. leadership on climate
  Reuters
Mount McKinley in Alaska is renamed Denali
Which U.S. president has the tallest mountain?

3 major hurricanes over Pacific for first time ever
 NASA
Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans 10 years later
Atlantic hurricanes lose sway over oil and gas

State Department releases more Clinton emails
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during an event at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York July 24, 2015.  Reuters
Clinton says she supports ‘revolving door’ bill
Biden a tougher matchup than Clinton: poll

Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films
Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films  Everett Collection

Beijing bumbling is now China’s biggest problem
Paramilitary police officers stand in a line next to passengers as they stand guard at a bus station on Chang'an Avenue near Tiananmen Square, ahead of the APEC leaders summit in central Beijing, on Friday, November 7, 2014.   Reuters
Goldman cuts China economic growth targets
China ‘punishes’ nearly 200 over rumors
Chinese stocks cap a brutal August with loss

Apple, Cisco team to put business users on iOS
Apple Inc.'s iPad Mini is held for a photograph during an Apple launch event in San Jose, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. Apple Inc. introduced a smaller version of the iPad designed to keep customers from buying low-cost tablets from competitors Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. Photographer: Noah Berger/BloombergA iPad mini is pictured during an Apple Inc. launch event on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in San Jose, California, U.S.Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg News.  Bloomberg
Apple TV could soon be twice as expensive
Lost Apple deal leads to 40% job cut at GT
What to expect at Apple event in September

His brother wants a loan from their late dad repaid
 Terrence Horan/MarketWatch

Here’s why Elon Musk   fears the ‘robocalypse’
Here’s why Elon Musk fears the ‘robocalypse’ Elon Musk
Google’s ‘terrifying’ takes to the wild
A tour of the world’s first robot-staffed hotel

Jobs report could stop rate hike — but not ensure one
Jobs report could prevent rate hike — but unlikely to ensure one
After Jackson Hole, no clear path for the Fed
Where every Fed member stands on rates
Fischer: Fed watching China more closely

Is this all the investing advice you’ll ever need?
Is this all the investing advice you’ll ever need? Harold Pollack
Wild market no threat to your income, spending
/conga/frontpage.html 353762

Markets »

141.44MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 109.98M
Unchanged
217
Decliners
3378
Advancers
3004
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,528 -115 0.69%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,777 -52 1.07%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.84%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,354 0 0.01%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +9 0.77%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47.71 -1.49 3.03%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,259 -39 0.38%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,653 -22 0.47%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,942 -52 0.24%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,259 -94 0.91%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 363 0 0.13%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,754 -30 1.07%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,440 -450 2.38%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,569 -102 0.47%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,172 -34 1.06%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,909 -12 0.42%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.01 0.53%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 120.79 -0.44 0.36%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 +0.01 0.33%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.31%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.57 -0.36 0.37%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.14 -0.29 0.33%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.19 -0.02 1.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 +0.01 1.78%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 48 -1 3.03%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +9 0.77%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 374 -2 0.47%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,253 -255 1.54%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,936 -34 1.71%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 +0 0.34%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.43 -1.58 -1.74%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 618.25 -12.13 -1.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.48 0.20 0.38%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.87 0.13 0.95%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.20 -0.09 -0.27%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.54 0.28 0.84%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.82 -0.34 -1.35%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Why QE3 Makes Retirees Queasy

Readers of SmartMoney.com and of Encore in particular are probably familiar by now with stories that start something like this:

Retirees and other income-seekers, hunting for higher yields in the low-interest rate environment, have been pouring money into riskier investments like [dividend-paying bank stocks/mah-jongg tournament betting pools/South Sudanese pipeline partnerships].

If you like the theme, settle back and enjoy: the Fed’s announcement last week of a new, open-ended round of “QE”—quantitative easing, or bond buying designed to grease the wheels of the economy—means downward pressure on rates is likely to continue for a while.

Coincidentally, a group called Better Markets, an advocacy group lobbying for more aggressive financial reforms, recently released a report with the eye-catching, spoiler title The Cost Of The Wall Street-Caused Financial Collapse And Ongoing Economic Crisis Is More Than $12.8 Trillion. Whatever the merits of that number, now being debated on the pages of Slate’s Moneybox, the Washington Post and elsewhere , there are even more costs that the report excludes, its authors say, because they’re “simply unquantifiable.” Among them: the income investors in general are losing due to lower rates. As the report notes: “Zero interest rates have prevented families from rebuilding their net worth…because yields are historically low or even negative.”

Because I know just enough math to get myself in trouble, I decided to try to quantify the unquantifiable.  Just how much does a low-rate universe cost a hypothetical safety-seeking retiree? Here’s my stab at some crude, I-am-so-not-an-economist calculations:

Couple X is retiring. They’ve decided to split a $600,000 portfolio into three equal piles and invest it on in 10-year Treasurys, 5-year CDs and a mix of investment-grade corporate bonds that yields the average for that sector. And because they’re a hypothetical couple who live in my head, they’re making all these investments on the same day.

If they’d retired five years ago today—before our most recent recession kicked in–they’d have nailed down annual yields 4.81% a year on the Treasurys, roughly 5% on the CDs and roughly 6% on the investment-grade bonds, according to data from the Treasury Department and the BondsOnline Group. Annual pre-tax income from their portfolio: $31,620, not a bad supplement to the monthly Social Security checks.

If they’d retired today, based on yesterday’s closing prices they’d be earning 1.83% on their Treasurys, 1.37% on the CDs, and 2.92% on the corporate portfolio. Now we’re talking annual income of $12,240—less than 40% of what they might have earned with different timing. Without making some other aggressive moves or trimming their spending, this couple is more likely to be eating into their principal to pay for living expenses each year. Now they’re wondering if they can wait another year before fixing the roof, and the grandkids are wondering why Pops and Mamaw can’t afford to upgrade to the next-generation Wii.

Bottom line: Today’s monetary policy creates a pool of retirees who feel they have to take some bigger investment risks, whether they like it or not. Spread that calculus over some 40 million retirees over the age of 65, and about $5.2 trillion in assets held in IRAs, and you’ve got a lot of money roaming into some very unfamiliar places.

 

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 15)

View all Comments »
    • I was beginning to think I was the only one that realized what was going on. Every senior needs to vote out every incumbent until the politicians finally get it that they work for us, and to stop giving OUR money to deadbeats and nations that want to destroy us and others because we’re different. Please tell me why our military is in 160 countries! Sorry for the rant. Look to REITs for at least some returns.

    • How many senior citizens will decide to defer their retirement, just because they will not have enough income from their investments? Every non-retired senior is holding a job that might otherwise go to a currently unemployed worker. Low interest rates are causing major disruptions in our economy.

    • Isn’t repeating the same action over and over (QE1,2,3); while expecting different results (economy hasn’t been “stimulated” either of the first two times) called MADNESS? This artificially holding interest rates near zero is positively destructive to our economy, punishing thrift and encouraging debt. Do they never learn???

    • Federal plus state interest and dividend income TAXES will wipe out your “earnings”

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Close in:

At Arctic conference in Alaska, Obama calls for U.S. leadership on climate
  Reuters
Mount McKinley in Alaska is renamed Denali
Which U.S. president has the tallest mountain?

3 major hurricanes over Pacific for first time ever
 NASA
Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans 10 years later
Atlantic hurricanes lose sway over oil and gas

State Department releases more Clinton emails
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during an event at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York July 24, 2015.  Reuters
Clinton says she supports ‘revolving door’ bill
Biden a tougher matchup than Clinton: poll

Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films
Wes Craven’s 5 highest grossing films  Everett Collection

Beijing bumbling is now China’s biggest problem
Paramilitary police officers stand in a line next to passengers as they stand guard at a bus station on Chang'an Avenue near Tiananmen Square, ahead of the APEC leaders summit in central Beijing, on Friday, November 7, 2014.   Reuters
Goldman cuts China economic growth targets
China ‘punishes’ nearly 200 over rumors
Chinese stocks cap a brutal August with loss

Apple, Cisco team to put business users on iOS
Apple Inc.'s iPad Mini is held for a photograph during an Apple launch event in San Jose, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. Apple Inc. introduced a smaller version of the iPad designed to keep customers from buying low-cost tablets from competitors Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc. Photographer: Noah Berger/BloombergA iPad mini is pictured during an Apple Inc. launch event on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in San Jose, California, U.S.Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg News.  Bloomberg
Apple TV could soon be twice as expensive
Lost Apple deal leads to 40% job cut at GT
What to expect at Apple event in September

His brother wants a loan from their late dad repaid
 Terrence Horan/MarketWatch

Here’s why Elon Musk   fears the ‘robocalypse’
Here’s why Elon Musk fears the ‘robocalypse’ Elon Musk
Google’s ‘terrifying’ takes to the wild
A tour of the world’s first robot-staffed hotel

Jobs report could stop rate hike — but not ensure one
Jobs report could prevent rate hike — but unlikely to ensure one
After Jackson Hole, no clear path for the Fed
Where every Fed member stands on rates
Fischer: Fed watching China more closely

Is this all the investing advice you’ll ever need?
Is this all the investing advice you’ll ever need? Harold Pollack
Wild market no threat to your income, spending
/conga/frontpage.html 353762

Markets »

141.44MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 109.98M
Unchanged
217
Decliners
3378
Advancers
3004
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,528 -115 0.69%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,777 -52 1.07%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.84%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,354 0 0.01%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +9 0.77%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47.71 -1.49 3.03%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,259 -39 0.38%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,653 -22 0.47%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,942 -52 0.24%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,259 -94 0.91%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 363 0 0.13%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,755 -30 1.06%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,440 -450 2.38%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,569 -102 0.47%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,172 -34 1.06%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,909 -12 0.42%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.01 0.53%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 120.79 -0.43 0.36%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 +0.01 0.33%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 +0.00 0.31%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.57 -0.36 0.37%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.14 -0.29 0.33%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.19 -0.02 1.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 +0.01 1.52%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 48 -1 3.03%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +9 0.77%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 374 -2 0.47%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,253 -255 1.54%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,936 -34 1.71%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 +0 0.34%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.43 -1.58 -1.74%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 618.25 -12.13 -1.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.48 0.20 0.38%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.87 0.13 0.95%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.20 -0.09 -0.27%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.54 0.28 0.84%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.82 -0.34 -1.35%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
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MarketWatch Portfolio

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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/12221594/composite AMBA-0.71%
  • /quotes/zigman/83890/composite MDCO+21.88%
  • /quotes/zigman/413712/composite USO+6.79%
  • /quotes/zigman/242119/composite STJ-2.49%
  • /quotes/zigman/282674/composite FTI+1.46%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

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  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
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