Military prepares for overhaul in retirement benefits

Photo by Fort Rucker via Flickr.

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

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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

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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

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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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The 2016 Retirement Landscape: 5 Predictions

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“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Yogi Berra, the late baseball great.* But let’s give it a try: Here’s my forecast of the five most important stories that will unfold on the retirement beat in 2016. No market predictions here: In my view, the smart retirement investor owns a well-balanced portfolio […]

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Inflation in retirement: What you can do to keep up

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The news that Social Security beneficiaries didn’t receive an inflation adjustment this year has renewed debate about how we measure the cost of living for seniors. A strong case can be made that the current formula driving Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is out of whack. The COLA is tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban […]

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Eight questions about Social Security claiming strategies

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The bipartisan budget deal signed into law last last month by President Obama jolted some near-retirement couples–and the retirement-planning world–by closing a loophole in Social Security law that a growing number of married couples were using to substantially increase their benefits. The law makes changes in two Social Security claiming maneuvers–“file-and-suspend” and “restricted claims”–that have […]

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Can state auto-IRA plans improve retirement security?

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Remember the auto-IRA? It’s a good–but modest–idea for improving retirement security that President Obama has been trying to get going since 2010. Auto-IRAs would cover millions of workers who don’t have 401(k)s on the job–mostly lower-income workers at small businesses. But Congress has refused to cooperate, so the White House threw in the towel on […]

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Medicare fall enrollment: It pays to shop as drug plan premiums surge

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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 […]

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QLACs: A New Tool for Retirement Income

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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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