Why Do People Retire Earlier Than Planned?

Most pre-retirees have received the standard advice from experts that retiring later means more money in the long run, but sometimes unexpected situations arise and people are forced to retire earlier than they had planned.

A study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College finds the main reason people retire earlier than expected is health. According to their findings, people in bad health overestimate how long they can work and/or their health worsens forcing them to retire early. Another big change that can cause early retirement is job loss.

Those "Puppy Dog Eyes" You Can't Resist? Shaped by Evolution, Study Finds

You know that feeling when a dog looks at you with that look - those “puppy dog eyes” - and you can’t seem to resist? It turns out, dogs’ facial muscles evolved to fit with human preferences, according to a new study.

Scientists found a muscle responsible for raising the inner eyebrow intensely, is uniformly present in dogs, but not in wolves. The expression is similar to the one humans make when they are sad.

Researchers say the “puppy dog eyes” expression not only elicits a nurturing response from humans, but it might play a role in dog-human communication because humans are especially good at reading eyebrow expression during interactions.

40% of Older Workers Will Fall Into or Near Poverty in Retirement

40% of workers 50-60 years of age - that’s 8.5 million people - will likely fall into or near poverty in retirement, finds a Schwartz Center for Economic Analysis study. The study says insufficient savings in DC plans and low coverage by DB plans are among the main drivers of the projected downward mobility.

The report also found that delaying the retirement age from 62 to 65 years old, will still leave people with insufficient incomes - 5 million people will be downwardly mobile and 1.2 million will fall below the Federal Poverty Level. Delaying retirement until 65 would only increase a couple’s annual retirement income by just $8,500.

The report says to solve this problem policymakers should strengthen Social Security and American workers need a stronger second tier. The study says Guaranteed Retirement Accounts “provide a safe, effective vehicle for workers to accumulate personal retirement savings over their working lives.”

Single Women More Likely to Have Retirement Deficits

Single women are the most likely to have retirement shortfalls, finds a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

In their study, EBRI’s projection model classified households as single female, widow, single male, and widower. According to EBRI’s research, single women are also more likely to have significantly larger retirement deficits than other groups.

The average retirement savings shortfall for single females is $72,893. The average for widows is $22,783 and widowers have an average retirement savings shortfall of $18,476.

Dogs Mirror Their Owner's Stress Levels, Finds a Study

To all the dog lovers out there - you called it! Your dog does mimic your stress levels.

A Swedish study found dogs mirror their owner’s stress levels.

Researchers at Linköping University conducted the study by measuring the concentration of stress hormone, cortisol, in hair from dogs and their owners. They found long-term levels of cortisol in dogs and their owners were synchronized. The study included 25 border collies and 22 Shetland sheepdogs - both herding dog breeds. All of them were owned by women. The Swedish researchers hope to expand their study into other breeds.