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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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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Mastering midlife and beyond

At a time of life when they hoped to “have it made,” tens of millions of Americans in their 40s, 50s, and 60s are today facing career, financial and personal challenges beyond anything their generation anticipated. In the past decade, millions have seen their work lives derailed and nest eggs devastated by economic uncertainty. Others […]

How would GOP’s Medicare “modernization” proposals affect enrollees?

Not much was said during the presidential election about Medicare reform, but “modernization” of one of our most critical retirement programs is on the agenda in Washington. The term applies to a basketful of reform ideas long favored by Republicans. But if Medicare modernization moves forward this year, it will set in motion a long-term […]

Will Your Social Security Get Whacked by the WEP?

A friend called recently about her Social Security benefit, and she was not happy. Preparing to retire following a successful career in academic, private sector, and federal government positions, she expected to retire on a mix of Social Security, a pension, and savings. Then she checked the amount of her projected Social Security benefit and […]

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Medicare open enrollment 2016: Shopping tips

Medicare enrollees can save hundreds of dollars on premiums and out-of-pocket costs by doing a checkup on their coverage in the weeks to come. But few bother to review what they’ve got or make changes. Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 – the period when enrollees can shop for […]

Military prepares for overhaul in retirement benefits

U.S. Armed Forces – Get Ready to Salute the 401(k). The military, which currently has a traditional defined benefit plan, will adopt a new hybrid program next year that blends an existing defined benefit for career personnel with a matching contribution to a 401(k)-style account aimed at covering those who don’t make a lifelong career […]

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Retirement: The Other Economic Gender Gap

The gender pay gap is a hot topic these days, but it’s not the only economic gender gap. Women also are lagging behind men in building retirement security. Lower pay translates into a gap for women in retirement security, reducing Social Security benefits, pensions, and retirement saving. At the same time, women enjoy greater longevity, […]

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Fresh approaches to paying for long-term care

Long-term care is a wild card in the deck for any retirement plan. Half of all Americans develop a disability at age 65 or older that is serious enough to need long-term care, and one in six will spend at least $100,000 out of pocket for care, federal data shows. The financial risk is real, […]

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The ins and outs of Social Security benefits and taxes

It’s an unpleasant fact of life: The taxman can take a bite out of your Social Security benefits. The federal tax formula was crafted to initially target higher-income households, but the share of benefits taxed has risen over the years, because the income thresholds for taxation aren’t indexed for inflation or real income growth. Meanwhile, […]

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