Tapping retirement accounts early: the ins and outs

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401(k) accounts aren’t designed as piggy banks to be tapped for non-retirement expenses. But stuff happens. Since the Great Recession, loans from 401(k) accounts have been rising. Some 17.6 percent of plan participants had loans outstanding last year, compared with 15.3 percent in 2008, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). A much smaller number […]

Medicare end-of-life counseling off to slow start

Dr. Tony Back

Older patients want to talk with their doctors about how they will die, but are doctors ready to have the conversation? Medicare began reimbursing physicians in January for time spent discussing their patients’ end-of-life wishes. While 95 percent of U.S. physicians support the new benefit, only 14 percent say they have yet billed Medicare for advance planning patient visits, according to […]

Retirement planning 101 for young people

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I am asked often what young people can do now to start building for a secure retirement. The question itself is a great start – frankly, I never gave this much of a thought until I was well past 40. I have five short answers. First: start saving as soon as you can – even […]

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Going back for a doctorate at mid-life and beyond

Lisa Goff

While the overall age of Ph.D. candidates has dropped in the last decade, about 14 percent of all doctoral recipients are over age 40, according to the National Science Foundation. Educators are seeing increasing enrollment in doctoral programs by students in their 40s and 50s. Many candidates hope doctorates will help them advance careers in […]

Employer health benefits for retirees continue their decline

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Planning for retirement is tough enough – and it gets even tougher when retirement benefits you expect to receive from an employer are changed on short notice. But a growing number of U.S. employers are capping their risk of rising health insurance costs by sending retirees into private exchanges to buy coverage – often with […]

Free guide explains phase-out of Social Security file-and-suspend option

Andy Landis

The recent clampdown on Social Security’s “file-and-suspend” and “restricted claim” maneuvers has prompted many questions for married couples about Social Security claiming strategies. For answers, let’s turn to Andy Landis, a leading expert on both Social Security and Medicare. Landis is a retirement educator, speaker and author and former Social Security Administration staffer. The 2016 edition of his […]

The best-interest rule is a game-changer for IRA rollovers

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A friend called recently looking for advice about her 401(k). Kate had decided to leave her job to pursue new career options, and money was tight during the transition. Should she roll over her $250,000 nest egg and withdraw some of the funds to help her through the career transition? An adviser at a brokerage […]

Five questions for Emily Brandon

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In the days when defined benefit pensions roamed the land, retirement income was automatic: you worked for a company, the company contributed to the pension fund. Checks started arriving when you retired, and didn’t stop until you did. End of story, for the most part. Plenty retirees still have traditional pensions, but they are on […]

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Goodbye to the backdoor Roth IRA?

Washington-slider

The White House has a long list of ideas for both streamlining and improving our retirement savings system, but so far we haven’t heard much about the changes outlined in President Obama’s 2017 budget. Perhaps that’s no surprise, considering that we’re in the midst of a raucous, chaotic presidential election campaign and Congress is deadlocked […]

How your tax burden lightens when you retire

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Tax day is April 18th this year, and it will be an unpleasant day for millions of American working households. But cheer up: your tax situation likely will lighten up a bit when you retire. The Internal Revenue Service takes it easy when it comes to taxation of Social Security, and many retirees drop into […]