Taxation of International Executives

Taxation of International Executives

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  • Can You Afford to Retire?

    n the 1990s, Decker Consulting clients were on the cover of Fortune Magazine headlined, Will You Be Able To Retire? At that time, Ken Decker, CPA/PFS, CFP advised the editors, “Our calculations indicate the average baby boomer is saving at a rate that would allow him to retire at age 72.” Over the years we have seen the US personal savings rate erode to the present negative percentage rate. Therefore, whenever an article talks retirement, we are curious as to the findings.

    We call to our clients’ attention the official study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College —

    Nearly 45% of US households are at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to a new retirement index from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Younger workers are more vulnerable, with nearly half of households at risk of falling short in retirement.

    “Even if people retire at age 65 and annuitize all their wealth, including the receipts from reverse mortgages on their homes, 43% will be at risk,” Boston College researchers state. “But the situation is not hopeless. If people choose to work longer, even just two years, and save 3% more, they can substantially improve the outlook for their retirement security.” Benefit.News.com June 8, 2006

    This doesn’t sound too bad. Half of the people who retire will run out of money before they run out of life. OK, so what’s the fuss? One of our good friends, Don Reiser always says, “The devil is in the details.” So get ready for a little heat!


    Here are three items from the survey you may find extremely interesting:

    1. The study reveals the median balance in 401(k) plans for households “approaching retirement” is $60,000. Why so little? “Individuals make mistakes every step along the way.” Other than not saving enough, the mistake we find our Decker clients making is in the investment area. They have minimal knowledge of what their accounts are earning, what funds to select, and how to manage the timing of their investments. Many are on “investment auto-pilot” and assume, like a savings account, if they put the money in, it will be there when they need it. So how do you score?
      1. Score three points if you have significantly more than $60,000 and know how to invest and are applying that knowledge either personally or are managing the performance of asset managers.
      2. Score two points if you have significantly more than $60,000 and are committed to learning how to invest
      3. Score one point if you have significantly more than $60,000 and are operating on “investment auto-pilot”
      4. Score zero if you’re an average American, and is in deep trouble.
    2. The study dispels the myth that retirement is mainly a problem of the poor. Lack of adequate retirement income clearly is a problem of the poor, but the table below shows that the problem cuts across age and income.

    Percent of Households “At Risk” by Income Group

    Income Group

    Early Boomers
    1946-1954

    Late Boomers
    1955-1964

    Generation X
    1965-1972

    All

    35%

    44%

    49%

    Top Third

    33%

    35%

    42%

    Middle Third

    28%

    44%

    46%

    Bottom Third

    45%

    54%

    60%