Why last-minute IRA contributors are leaving money on the table

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Individual Retirement Account contributions are getting larger – an encouraging sign of a recovering economy and improved habits among retirement savers. But there is an “I” in IRA for a reason: investors are in charge of managing their accounts. And recent research by Vanguard finds that many of us are leaving returns on the table […]

Why 401(k)s won’t offer longevity annuities anytime soon

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Longevity risk – that is, the risk of outliving your retirement savings – is among retirees’ biggest worries these days. The Obama administration is trying to nudge employers to add a special type of annuity to their investment menus that addresses that risk. But here’s the response they’re likely to get: “Meh.” The U.S. Treasury […]

Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

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The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]

Retirees: Have you checked bank CD rates lately?

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Getting  low-risk yield has been one of the toughest challenges for retirees ever since the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Interest rates are near zero, and many retirees are nervous about bonds out of fear that rates might jump. All of which leaves a simple question: How about a good old-fashioned certificate of deposit? Retirees desperate […]

Hello, Congress: Americans want a strong Social Security system

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Political polarization is at a historic peak. Americans are divided on gun control, abortion, healthcare and privacy, according to a study released last month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press documenting our increasing ideological rigidity and partisan antipathy. Then there’s Social Security. The public is worried deeply about the finances […]

Retirement and same-sex couples, a year after DOMA ruling

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Something big happened in the world of retirement benefits a year ago today: The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The court’s recognition of marriage equality has transformed life for many same-sex couples. In the realm of retirement benefits, the DOMA ruling opened the door for couples to receive spousal benefits […]

Senate turns up heat on cuts in Social Security offices, services

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Until earlier this year, there was a Social Security field office in Gadsden County, Florida, in the state’s panhandle. It’s the kind of place where seniors need to get in-person help with their benefits rather than pick up a phone or go online. “Our poverty rate is nearly double the state average, and we trail […]

How money comes between couples: Q&A with Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

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Money can be a very tough topic for couples. A recent Fidelity Investments survey found that 51% of working couples argue about money, and 38% never resolve their differences. More than one third don’t both know where their important household financial and legal papers are located; four in 10 working couples disagree about the lifestyle […]

When to take Social Security? Employers adding advice to 401(k) plans

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Deciding when to file for Social Security is no simple task, and most Americans don’t handle it well. But increasingly, help is available from an unexpected source: your employer. The nation’s largest independent investment financial advisory firm is rolling out a service today that walks 401(k) plan participants through their Social Security claiming options, with […]

Surprise: Even affluent retirees live on Social Security and pensions

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Where do affluent retirees get their income? Portfolios invested in stocks and bonds, you might think – but you’d be wrong. Turns out many are living mainly on Social Security and good old pensions. That’s the surprising finding of new research from a surprising source: Vanguard, a leading provider of retirement saving products like individual […]