Retirement Planner: 1 trillion reasons to examine buybacks

Now is probably a good time to explain stock buyback plans since they have recently outpaced dividends as the greater "rewards program" for stock investors. Last year's total payouts in dividends and buybacks was more than $1 trillion -- the highest amount in history.  
The health care sector of the mutual fund industry has been on fire for the past five years and anyone buying one of the several health care funds as of the end of 2009 would have tripled their money by the end of last year. The 10-year average annual return has been about 15 percent. So now what?  
 
What struck me was the fact that today's 16 million who benefit from the Affordable Care Act program may be an entirely different group from the 16 million covered five to 10 years from now.  
 
Last week's Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. banks were now scrambling to shift their bond holdings into a category labeled as being "held to maturity." Meanwhile, there's an object lesson here for "little people" like you and me that recalls Cuba Gooding's chant in the movie "Jerry Maguire" -- "Show me the money!"  
 
Putting your faith in financial adviser.  
 
Irving Kahn, the founder of the money management firm Kahn Brothers Advisors, just died at age 109 in New York City, where he had been coming to work on a daily basis.  
 
Social support is key during our senior years  
 
With American stocks reaching an historic high water mark last week, the feeling I now have reminds me of the days when I was the parent of teenage children.  
 
A recent study said that more than 70,000 Americans are over 100 years old and that one-third of them were still driving. What those folks represent is the statistical "long tail" of the bell curve that represents how long the average male and female will live beyond 65.  
 
Everything I read on the subject tells me that the most anyone can safely expect to take as income from their retirement accounts is 4 percent per year.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
(PBS)
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