During the streak of bad weather this winter some concern was expressed that the economy would lose steam.  Despite the bad weather, the economy managed to produce a decent number of jobs in February.  We address Friday’s jobs report and what it means.  We’ve had a number of questions posed recently about the size of the nest egg one needs to retire.  As it turns out, many tools and online calculators have been over-estimating the amount of money you need in retirement.  Also, we have had a number of inquiries recently about the best time for claiming social security.  We address all these issues in this week’s blog.

U.S. posts gain in job creation.  Employers added 175,000 jobs last month, double the December number, easing fears of another prolonged slowdown.  The number of jobs created suggests the numbers will improve more as the weather improves.  With job numbers at this pace, it is expected that the Federal Reserve will continue its plan to ease its stimulus efforts at their next meeting. The New York Times (tiered subscription model).

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Retirement may not be as costly as many say.  People may not need to save as much money to have a comfortable retirement as many professionals assume, according to Morningstar’s head of retirement research.  Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests online calculators and assumptions can overestimate the cost of retirement by as much as 20%.  According to the data, spending may be higher in the earlier years of retirement, then decline for a considerable period, with a final increase near the end for higher healthcare costs.  In the final analysis, the true cost of retirement is highly personalized based on each household’s unique facts and circumstances.

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When is the Right Time to Claim Social Security?   We have had a number of clients ask this question recently.  The decision has big, long-lasting financial consequences for individuals and spouses.  There is no one-size-fits all approach.  This article addresses some of the major issues to consider.

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And in case you missed itclick here to read last week’s blog post which shares lessons learned through our family’s journey with Alzheimer’s.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles along with us and hope you find them informative.  Please forward this to your family and friends.

J. Mark Nickell & Co.

Disclosure – The articles mentioned in This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. are for information and educational purposes only. They represent a sample of the numerous articles that the firm reads each week to stay current on financial and economic topics. The articles are linked to websites separate from the J. Mark Nickell & Co. website. The opinions expressed in these articles are the opinions of the author and not J. Mark Nickell & Co. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security.  J. Mark Nickell & Co. is under no obligation to update any of the information in these articles. We cannot attest to the accuracy of the data in the articles.