How gender pay gap haunts women even in retirement

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

The gender pay gap is a hot topic in the presidential campaign, and President Barack Obama has been hammering on it, too. Women who work full-time, year-round, made just 79 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts in 2014, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. But the injustice of the gender pay gap also […]

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When not to save for retirement

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Everyone should save for retirement – that is a mantra we have all heard endlessly. But for many people, saving for retirement actually should be fairly low on the financial priority list – well behind the more immediate goals of building a rainy day fund and reducing their consumer debt. That is evident in new […]

The 2016 Retirement Landscape: 5 Predictions

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“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Yogi Berra, the late baseball great.* But let’s give it a try: Here’s my forecast of the five most important stories that will unfold on the retirement beat in 2016. No market predictions here: In my view, the smart retirement investor owns a well-balanced portfolio […]

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IRA charitable donations are permanent: Here’s what it means for retirement planning

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There won’t be any doubt about it this year – charitably-minded retirees will be able to make donations from their Individual Retirement Accounts. Really. For sure. Congress permitted donations direct from IRAs under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, but it’s been a rollercoaster ever since. The Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) would sunset every couple […]

Retired, but working? How it impacts your financial plan

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, seniors relied on the three-legged stool to navigate the financial universe in retirement: A pension, Social Security and their own investments. But in our galaxy, traditional pensions are disappearing, longevity is rising and investments, as well as savings, are inadequate. So the stool has a new leg: […]

Fiduciary rule and the case of JPMorgan Chase

Tom Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor

A New Year’s prediction: 2016 will be a very good year for retirement investors. Not because the stock market will be strong – if anything, we’re headed for a rocky ride. But 2016 is shaping up as the year when investment advisers will at long last be required to put your best interests ahead of […]

Inflation in retirement: What you can do to keep up

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The news that Social Security beneficiaries won’t receive an inflation adjustment next year has renewed debate about how we measure the cost of living for seniors. A strong case can be made that the current formula driving Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is out of whack. The COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index […]

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Why backdoor Roths look more attractive this year

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If you are still licking wounds inflicted by this year’s volatile stock market, a Roth conversion might be the healing balm you are seeking as 2015 draws to a close. Converting assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth is worth considering in any year as a way to diversify retirement holdings for tax purposes. […]

Fed rate hike: Start of something good for retirees?

Janet Yellen, chairman, Federal Reserve

The interest rate hike announced today by the Federal Reserve is a major milestone for retirees, who have been caught between a rock and hard place ever since the Great Recession, with zero interest rates and higher-than-average inflation. The Fed’s quarter-point hike in the benchmark federal funds rate is the first in nearly a decade, […]

File-and-suspend phaseout sparks scramble for optimization tools

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The phase-out of Social Security’s file-and-suspend loophole has sparked a scramble among companies that offer benefit-optimization software to rewrite their programs and advisors to rethink client retirement plans. The Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law by President Obama in November shuts down two Social Security claiming maneuvers that can boost benefits substantially for married couples […]