Senate could aid retirement saving by doing nothing

At the risk of stating the obvious: People are much more likely to save for retirement when they can do it automatically at work. How much more likely? Ten times, according to a study released this week. But someone apparently forgot to tell U.S. Congress and the White House, because both are moving to block […]

Life insurance in retirement: Who needs it?

The KISS principle–invented by the U.S. Navy in the 1960s–holds that most systems work best when they are kept simple. And KISS is a great principle to apply to this question: When, if ever, does it make sense to own life insurance in retirement? Keeping things simple, here’s the answer: In most cases, never. The […]

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Republican health reform is the real disaster for older Americans

The health reform bill proposed by the White House and Speaker Paul Ryan is predicated on the political assertion that Obamacare is a “disaster,” characterized by collapsing insurance markets and soaring premiums. Some states have had problems, to be sure – and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could stand some tweaking. But if your income is […]

Threatened pension cuts will test Trump ties to Rust Belt voters

Karen Friedman has been traveling the country speaking at meetings of retired union members – and they are angry. What riles them is the prospect of deep cuts in promised pension benefits, and they are hoping for relief from President Donald Trump. “Many of them were Trump voters,” said Friedman, executive vice president and policy […]

Retirement planning for special needs families

The financial planning challenges for parents of special needs children are myriad and complex–and retirement planning presents one of the toughest challenges. The core challenge is balancing the financial needs of retirement with long-term needs of a child with a disability–needs that usually outlive the parents. “If we aren’t asking the right questions, we’re going […]

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Why living longer shouldn’t mean a higher Medicare age

When you hear a politician start a sentence with the phrase “We’re all living longer,” grab your wallet. You are about to be told that Social Security or Medicare benefits should be cut because of America’s rising longevity. The argument is not only specious, but hazardous to your health. That much is clear from a […]

Longevity risk: Making money last as long as you do

How long should you plan to live? No one can really know, of course. But the answer to that question may be the most critical factor in making a successful financial plan for retirement. Expected longevity for men and women at age 65 has jumped more than 10 percent since 2000, according to the Society […]

States’ rights? Not so much, when it comes to retirement savings

So much for states’ rights. The Republican-controlled Congress took aim this week at states that are creating retirement saving programs for workers who do not already have 401(k)s through their jobs. Seven states – including populous California, Illinois and Maryland – are implementing government-sponsored auto-IRA plans, and another 30 are considering their own, according to […]

Fiduciary-ish: Sorting out healthy, unhealthy retirement investing options

The Trump administration ordered a review last week of a new federal rule prohibiting conflicted advice to retirement savers, a move that signals its intention to withdraw or defang the regulation. As things stand now, companies have until April 10 to comply with the rule. What is the White House’s complaint against the so-called fiduciary […]

The facts about Social Security, Medicare may surprise you

While the era of “alternative facts” dawned in Washington last week, experts from across the ideological spectrum gathered in the capital for a review of real facts about our two most important retirement programs: Social Security and Medicare. The annual policy research conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) focused on the group’s […]