Americans should have access to a free website that tracks all of their retirement benefits, including Social Security, employer-sponsored savings plans, and individual retirement accounts, according to a new paper from the Brookings Institution. In a separate paper, the nonprofit public-policy organization says that “tontines” should be explored as potential savings vehicles for retirement. Meanwhile, a new study shows that seniors who stay engaged in retirement—say by helping to raise grandchildren or volunteering—lessen the likelihood of memory loss as they age.
Here is the latest Barron’s roundup of news and research to help you make informed decisions and gauge your relative retirement readiness.
Study: The Engaged Retiree Suffers Less Memory Loss
Seniors should see retirement not as a permanent vacation but as an opportunity to engage in meaningful, stimulating activities, says Dr. Ross Andel, director of the School of Aging Studies at the University of South Florida. He says that seniors taking a long “mental vacation” in retirement are falling into a trap that could lead to significant memory loss.
As part of a study conducted at the Australian National University using data from the Personal and Total Health Through Life project, participants were given a list of 16 words and then were tested to see how many they could remember 20 minutes later. Not surprisingly, older seniors remembered fewer words. At 62, participants remembered an average of 7.18 words, compared with 6.67 for 66-year-olds, 6.15 for 70-year-olds, and 5.64 for 74-year-olds.