Millions of Americans that will rely on Social Security and pensions in retirement may benefit from adjusting traditional retirement guidelines.
Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009 hasn’t been easy. Gross domestic product did not regain pre-recession levels until 2011, making this the slowest recovery in economic output since World War II. While output growth was sluggish, the situation for employment was even gloomier.
Social Security checks will increase slightly starting in January 2015 because of the annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. AIER estimates that the COLA next year will be between 1.6 and 1.8 percent. This is a bit higher than last year’s increase of 1.5 percent, which fell within the boundaries of the earlier AIER forecast of 1.4-1.6 percent (see https://www.aier.org/research/social-security-rise-again).
How, or even whether, H-1B visa holders have an impact on American wages is a hotly debated topic. Many argue that H-1B workers, the foreign-born, temporary, highly skilled workers that companies can hire for three to six years, drive down American wages. Others argue that H-1B workers actually earn more than Americans. At the heart of this debate is whether companies purposefully hire H-1B workers over U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Choosing where to go to college is a complicated decision. Parents and students have to consider ever-rising tuition, academic reputation, college size…the list goes on and on. Thankfully, there are resources that examine these elements. AIER’s 2014-2015 College Destination Index (CDI) is meant to go beyond the individual college to look at cities and towns.
More than one in three Americans is aged between 45 and 74 and is either in retirement or thinking about it. For most of these 100 million people, the days of pension plans are all but gone. Fewer than one in five workers is covered by a defined benefit retirement plan. Meanwhile, the 401(k) experiment is well underway. These defined contribution plans make individuals responsible for financing and managing their own retirements.
Business leaders in industries such as computer technology and finance claim that there are not enough high-skilled Americans to meet their demand for workers. They further argue that the dearth of qualified employees stifles industry competitiveness and U.S. economic growth. Consequently, firms have lobbied Washington since 2004 to increase the number of H1B visas, which grant temporary entrance to highly skilled immigrant workers.
Retirees will see their monthly Social Security checks increase slightly beginning January because of the 2014 cost-of-living adjustment or COLA. AIER experts estimate that the COLA next year will be between 1.4 and 1.6 percent, a bit smaller than the 1.7 percent increase in 2013.