Medicare fall enrollment: It pays to shop as premiums surge


Seniors have received some unpleasant news in their mailboxes in recent weeks: premiums for many Medicare prescription drug insurance plans will rise at double-digit rates next year. Premiums for the ten most popular Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) will rise an average of 8 percent next year – the fastest clip in five […]

QLACs: A New Tool for Retirement Income


Is there a QLAC in your future? Not disability insurance from that noisy duck of TV-ad fame, but a qualified longevity annuity contract. QLACs are a new form of deferred income annuity (DIA) promoted by the Obama administration as a way to address longevity risk–the risk that you’ll run out of money in retirement. The […]

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Obamacare isn’t spurring earlier retirement – at least, not yet


The Affordable Care Act is doing plenty of good for older Americans, but one thing it is not doing is convincing them to retire early. One prediction of the impact of the healthcare law, commonly known as Obamacare, was that the ACA would end job lock – the phenomenon of workers hanging onto jobs just […]

How flat income growth late in your career can hurt your retirement plan


How much will your income grow during the course of your career – and how much of that growth can you safely bake into a financial plan for retirement? For successful people in the middle of their careers, should your assumptions keep pace with inflation or go higher? For typical American households, the correct answer is […]

Beefing up advice options in 401(k) plans


Would you like some advice with that 401(k) plan? Two of the leading companies in online investment advice launched initiatives this month aimed at getting more personalized financial advice to workplace retirement savers. Betterment, a leader in the “robo-advisory” automated portfolio market for retail investors, announced plans this month for a new technology-driven offering for […]

Wanted: More African American financial planners

Lazetta Rainey Braxton

Lazetta Rainey Braxton is a rare bird in the financial planning profession. She is African-American, a group that accounts for no more than 2 percent of all planners. Braxton, 42, is working to change that. She runs her own registered investment advisory firm in Baltimore called Financial Fountains. She also is president of the Association of […]

Push is on to protect Medicare enrollees from huge 2016 premium increase


Should 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries shoulder a 52 percent premium hike next year while the other 70 percent pay no more at all? Advocates for seniors don’t think so, and they’re making a push to convince Congress to stop it from happening. The Medicare population vulnerable to shouldering the larger premium includes some federal […]

Premature retirement: Who faces the greatest risk?


Planning to work longer to bolster your retirement finances? It can make a big difference, but it is tough to pull off. Half of all retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned due to a health problem or job loss. Blue collar workers with physically demanding jobs are most susceptible to early retirement, according to […]

Why haven’t 401(k) managed accounts gained more traction?


Retirement savers who get professional help with their 401(k) portfolios stand a good chance of seeing better outcomes than those who don’t. But that doesn’t mean plan sponsors or participants are rushing to adopt one-on-one advisory services. The U.S. Department of Labor gives defined contribution plan sponsors three options for a qualified default investment alternative […]

Young workers in target-date funds hit hard by market drop


As the stock market has whipsawed for the past two weeks, young workers who have all their retirement funds tied up in long-range target-date funds may have been the hardest hit. The average 25-year-old fully invested in a 2060 target-date fund series saw a 10 percent decline in account value from the market’s recent peak […]