Multiemployer pension benefit cuts: A Q&A on what you need to know

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The last-minute deal to allow retiree pension benefit cuts as part of the federal spending bill for 2015 passed by Congress last week has set off shock waves in the U.S. retirement system. Buried in the $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus” legislation signed this week by President Barack Obama was a provision that aims to head off […]

Longer life expectancies raise the bar on pensions

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Americans are living longer. That’s good news for people–but it’s creating challenges in the world of traditional defined-benefit pensions. American men are living an average of two years longer than they were in 2000 (the last time the tables were revised), and women are getting an additional 2.4 years of life, according to new mortality […]

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When does it make sense to accelerate tax payments on retirement accounts?

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It’s almost a mantra of financial planning: Defer taxes on investments whenever you can, for as long as possible. But in some situations, it can make sense. Consider this: Recent Vanguard research found that 20 percent of account holders who take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement funds put the money in taxable accounts. In other words, […]

Lame duck Congress tries a lame move on pensions

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The mid-term election results have changed the political landscape in a way that threatens the retirement security of middle class households. But we don’t even have to wait for the new Congress to be seated in January to know just how bad things could get. This week, the lame duck Congress pulled a lame move, inserting “Solutions Not […]

The trouble with financial literacy

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Financial literacy education is a mom-and-apple-pie proposition – who can be opposed to getting smarter about money? But I’m struck often by just how much the topic rings hollow as a solution to the retirement security crisis we’re facing. This week’s Reuters column looks at two recent studies touching on this topic. The American College of Financial […]

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Retirement planning: The view from Vanguard

Steve Utkus, director of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research.

The dramatic shift by retirement savers to passive investing means financial advisors will spend less time in the future picking stocks, and that leads to questions about new ways to add value. Nowhere are those questions more pressing than at Vanguard, the king of passive mutual fund investing. The company has been testing its Personal […]

Retirement planning for singles: Three must-do items

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If retirement planning had a soundtrack, a great candidate would be “Love and Marriage,” the old Sammy Kahn lyric made famous by Frank Sinatra: Love and marriage, love and marriage . . go together like a horse and carriage . . . So much planning advice focuses on married couples–and no doubt, that’s where some of […]

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Year-end tips for retirement savers young and not-so-young

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It’s year-end, and retirement savers of all ages need to check their to-do lists. These year-end lists often feel to me like endless, laborious chores, so I decided to limit suggestions in my Reuters column this week to just three – one apiece for three stages of life: already retired, close to retirement and just starting […]

Kristof’s “A Path Appears” is a must-read for boomers who want to give back

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Many people approach retirement with thoughts of giving back and leaving a legacy, but they’re unsure about the specific path to take. Many struggle with tough questions – where to volunteer? How to give money effectively? Should I focus here or abroad? What’s the most important cause to work on? How do I get started? If […]

Medicare, ACA care and how to navigate during enrollment

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This is enrollment season for two huge public health insurance programs: Medicare and the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. For older Americans, the overlapping sign-up periods can lead to confusion and enrollment errors. Insurers offering Medicare and ACA policies have big money at stake, and consumers are subject to a blizzard of marketing messages. […]