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Massachusetts Retiree Income Shortfall Predicted

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NU Online News Service, Jan. 10, 11:59 a.m. – Financial advisors may have to come up with creative ideas to help Massachusetts retirees cope with looming shortfalls in the state’s budget.

Researchers from Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, and the Milbank Memorial Fund, New York, say many Massachusetts retirees will have a hard time finding the income to cover basic basic living expenses and medical costs.

The shortfall will reach $1 billion by 2031, the researchers predict.

The researchers’ study yields conclusions similar to those found earlier in similar research focusing on Kansas and Oregon.

The study concludes that many retirees, including a majority of single women and a substantial number of single men, will ultimately find they have too little income to fund a basic lifestyle. The problem is less acute for married couples, according to the research. In every case, it is substantially more severe for those who require more than 121 days of home health care.

To avoid the inability to fund a basic lifestyle in retirement, people, not only in Massachusetts but anywhere in the United States, should think about what they’ll want in retirement, rather than what they’ll need, according to Joe Sciabica, a financial planner with Wealth Advisory Group, New York.

“The industry often focuses on what people need and can put artificial limits on” the amount of money they can actually make, Sciabica says. “You could say, ?I need to eat,’ but at what restaurant, and I may want to eat a particular meal.”

People should think about how to use their dollars most effectively and make sure that they get the most out of all of their resources, including protection resources such as liability insurance, life insurance and disability insurance, so that they don’t risk losing any of the wealth they’ve built up due to death, disability or inflation, Sciabica says.