Money in a Minute: Headlines for March 16, 2011

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In today's news: The working class worries about retirement, the rich worry about being rich enough, the glass-half-full version of the earthquake's economic impact is "net positive," tax rules are confusing people, and rental rates are up.

RETIREMENT: Most workers have saved just $25,000 for retirement

A new survey finds only 13 percent of Americans are confident they’ve built a nest egg large enough to see them through. More shocking: “29% of workers have less than $1,000 saved, and 43% have less than $25,000” CNN Money reports.

WEALTH: Many U.S. millionaires do not feel rich enough: survey

You’re not actually rich until you have $7.5 million in assets, says a recent survey of investors with more than $1 million in savings.  Two-thirds “said they were ‘extremely or very concerned’ about the impact of potential tax changes on their investments,” Reuters reports.

ECONOMY: Quake’s economic effects likely to be short term

Economists believe rebuilding efforts may actually spur growth in Japan over the long term. But while “the government’s reconstruction should boost growth, it will add to Japan’s public debt, the world’s largest at 200% of gross domestic product,” USA Today reports.

TAXES: Some credits, deductions could trip up taxpayers

Taxes are tricky business, and some recent changes are confusing consumers. These include rules on home-buying and energy credits, unemployment-based deductions, and IRA conversions. But you have a few extra days to figure things out this year, MSNBC notes, “because of the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline for submitting tax returns is April 18 for everyone.”

RENT: Renew your lease – rents could rise 10%

Vacancy rates are starting to drop, which means demand — and rates — may be headed higher. While average national rates might rise 10 percent, some cities could see more marked increases over the next year, such as “in Boston, they may jump between 25% and 30%,” CNN Money reports.

Stacy Johnson

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