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How did Kissinger get into Clinton-Sanders debate?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens to a question at China Development Forum, in Beijing March 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee  Reuters
Clinton, Sanders clash over costs at debate

Challenging job: President Trump’s top diplomat
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
Voters don’t care about promises — just vision

Looks like time for bottom fishing in U.S. stocks

Stocks will likely be higher in six months
The Dow’s downtrend is now official
5 signs we’re in a bear market

What ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 means for buyers
What the ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 rollout means for car buyers Getty Images
Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla’s Model 3: The 5 things we now know

Why you probably won’t see 99-cents-a-gallon gas
 Getty Images

The top 10 tax havens for individuals in the world
 Shutterstock.com
Watch out for these tricky tax issues this year

A rare bit of good news about dementia
LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

Don’t get smoked by your marijuana investment
Don't get smoked by your marijuana investment Getty Images

Burger King’s hot dog plan is so crazy it could work
Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images

Actually, the most popular new emoji isn’t the taco
Rolling eyes are the most popular of the new iOs emojis for iPhone users.

need to know
Pope Francis in Cuba for historic meeting
Zika vaccine is at least a year and a half away
U.S., Russia agree to terms of Syrian cease-fire
10 big stories you’ve missed this week
Biggest rise in Treasury yields in 2½ months
Import prices drop 1.1% on cheaper oil
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Mattel names new boss for Barbie business

Grammys make Memphis candy shop a winner

How grocery business got ‘barbell’ shape

Penney responds to lawsuit over Burberry plaid
Kohl’s eliminates three executives
Retail sales increase 0.2% in January

This can’t be why Apple made Beats deal with Dre

Google exec squirms when questioned about pay

Economists increasingly see Fed hands as tied
What central-bank failures mean for investors
Have central banks lost market credibility?

First-quarter earnings forecast is getting worse

Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Boomers are loading up on debt, not millennials

CEO Jamie Dimon’s $26 million bet on J.P. Morgan
Jamie Dimon joins the ex-billionaires club

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 15:  A financial news update in Canary Wharf on September 15, 2008 in London, England. The fourth largest American investment bank has announced that it's filing for bankruptcy protection during a growing financial crisis.  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Is it 2008 all over again? (And what to expect if it is)

Time for a coordinated response to China’s yuan
Japan warns investors about the surging yen
Worried about the stock market? Watch yen

Sweden’s negative  rate isn’t as scary as it appears

Think like Buffett, and buy what's ugly
Think like Buffett, and buy stocks at their worst

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

6 perfect roles for Martin Shkreli, Hollywood’s next leading man
Martin Shkreli: Star of stage, screen and pharma
There’s a ‘Jane’ in nearly all Hollywood scripts

Taxpayers already paying for future Super Bowls

Beer’s incessant infighting clouds the big picture

How to buy a used car
The correct way to go about buying a used car

College freshmen are most liberal since Vietnam


/conga/frontpage.html 367868

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
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/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 +0.06 442.45%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 359 -1 0.35%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.26 0.81 2.95%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
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 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
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
How did Kissinger get into Clinton-Sanders debate?
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger listens to a question at China Development Forum, in Beijing March 21, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee  Reuters
Clinton, Sanders clash over costs at debate

Challenging job: President Trump’s top diplomat
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally aboard the USS Iowa on September 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Donald Trump is campaigning in Los Angeles a day ahead of the CNN GOP debate that will be broadcast from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  Getty Images
Voters don’t care about promises — just vision

Looks like time for bottom fishing in U.S. stocks

Stocks will likely be higher in six months
The Dow’s downtrend is now official
5 signs we’re in a bear market

What ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 means for buyers
What the ‘affordable’ Tesla Model 3 rollout means for car buyers Getty Images
Tesla predicts rosy 2016 —can Musk deliver?
Tesla’s Model 3: The 5 things we now know

Why you probably won’t see 99-cents-a-gallon gas
 Getty Images

The top 10 tax havens for individuals in the world
 Shutterstock.com
Watch out for these tricky tax issues this year

A rare bit of good news about dementia
LLANDUDNO, WALES - SEPTEMBER 08:  Senior citizens walk along Llandudno Pier on September 8, 2014 in Llandudno, Wales. Britain is facing multiple problems stemming from an increase in the elderly proportion of its population, including increasing health care costs, strains on its social security system, a shortage of senior care workers and challenges to the employment market.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)  Getty Images

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Don't get smoked by your marijuana investment Getty Images

Burger King’s hot dog plan is so crazy it could work
Burger King to make its biggest menu change yet  Getty Images

Actually, the most popular new emoji isn’t the taco
Rolling eyes are the most popular of the new iOs emojis for iPhone users.

need to know
Pope Francis in Cuba for historic meeting
Zika vaccine is at least a year and a half away
U.S., Russia agree to terms of Syrian cease-fire
10 big stories you’ve missed this week
Biggest rise in Treasury yields in 2½ months
Import prices drop 1.1% on cheaper oil
Uber to pay riders millions to settle safety suits
Mattel names new boss for Barbie business

Grammys make Memphis candy shop a winner

How grocery business got ‘barbell’ shape

Penney responds to lawsuit over Burberry plaid
Kohl’s eliminates three executives
Retail sales increase 0.2% in January

This can’t be why Apple made Beats deal with Dre

Google exec squirms when questioned about pay

Economists increasingly see Fed hands as tied
What central-bank failures mean for investors
Have central banks lost market credibility?

First-quarter earnings forecast is getting worse

Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Big banks are fleeing the mortgage market
Boomers are loading up on debt, not millennials

CEO Jamie Dimon’s $26 million bet on J.P. Morgan
Jamie Dimon joins the ex-billionaires club

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 15:  A financial news update in Canary Wharf on September 15, 2008 in London, England. The fourth largest American investment bank has announced that it's filing for bankruptcy protection during a growing financial crisis.  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)
Is it 2008 all over again? (And what to expect if it is)

Time for a coordinated response to China’s yuan
Japan warns investors about the surging yen
Worried about the stock market? Watch yen

Sweden’s negative  rate isn’t as scary as it appears

Think like Buffett, and buy what's ugly
Think like Buffett, and buy stocks at their worst

5 things to know about the Costco and AmEx breakup

6 perfect roles for Martin Shkreli, Hollywood’s next leading man
Martin Shkreli: Star of stage, screen and pharma
There’s a ‘Jane’ in nearly all Hollywood scripts

Taxpayers already paying for future Super Bowls

Beer’s incessant infighting clouds the big picture

How to buy a used car
The correct way to go about buying a used car

College freshmen are most liberal since Vietnam


/conga/frontpage.html 367868

Markets »

132.55MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 132.70M
Unchanged
134
Decliners
1500
Advancers
4873
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 15,974 +314 2.00%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,338 +71 1.66%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,865 +36 1.95%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,070 +23 1.11%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29.02 +2.81 10.72%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,708 +171 3.08%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,968 +215 2.45%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,995 +98 2.52%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 16,515 +742 4.70%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,921 +175 2.25%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 312 +9 2.91%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,385 -51 2.10%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 14,953 -761 4.84%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,320 -226 1.22%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,986 +34 0.15%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,540 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 -0.01 0.61%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 113.25 +0.83 0.74%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.18%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.04%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.97 +0.36 0.38%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.99 +0.23 0.26%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.75 0.00 0.00%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.26 +0.07 37.97%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.64 -0.08 4.67%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.74 -0.04 2.01%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.08 +0.06 442.45%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +3 10.72%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,239 -9 0.75%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 359 -1 0.35%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,925 +313 2.00%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,860 +36 1.95%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 0 0.03%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 102.01 0.10 0.10%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 93.99 0.29 0.31%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 682.40 -0.71 -0.10%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.95 0.79 7.08%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.54 2.56 7.32%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.55 0.38 3.40%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.47 0.26 0.72%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 29.02 1.38 4.99%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.26 0.81 2.95%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
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 11.96% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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