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?

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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 […]

Retirement confidence improves, but actual planning lags

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Denial is not just a river in Africa. It also is a powerful driver of how Americans think about their prospects for a secure retirement. A new survey of retirement confidence published on Tuesday confirms that many workers lack realistic plans for making ends meet in retirement. It also suggests there is a disconnect between […]

Is a mandatory U.S. retirement saving plan in your future?

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Make a list of the most toxic words in American politics, and “employer mandate” certainly would be in the top 10. Requiring employers to provide health insurance to workers is one of the most controversial features of the Affordable Care Act – along with the requirement that individuals buy insurance. But a mandatory retirement savings […]

Is Social Security too generous? Conservatives want us to think so

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Just how much pre-retirement income does Social Security replace? It’s an important question for workers planning for retirement, and the standard answer – for quite some time – has been “about 40 percent, depending on your income history.” But for the past two years, a battle has been waged inside the Beltway by conservatives to […]

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Does risk tolerance testing work for retirement investors?

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So far this year the stock market has been a relentless ride of unnerving drops and sudden rebounds. Anxious clients are calling their financial advisers. The advisers remind clients that you have both agreed to a plan based on their risk tolerance and goals. That equation drives your portfolio allocation, but the more the ground falls out from […]

How the little-known Saver’s Credit could work better for low-income workers

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It sounds too good to be true: some workers can get a double tax benefit by saving for retirement. But the federal Saver’s Credit does just that by providing a second layer of tax incentives for lower-income households beyond the benefit of tax deferral that everyone receives for contributing to a 401(k) or IRA. The […]

Bipartisan solutions on long-term care come into view

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Ask Americans what they fear most about aging, and many will tell you it is the possibility of needing nursing care – and not being able to pay for it. They are right to worry. Federal data shows that about half the people who turn 65 today will not have any need for long-term care. […]

How gender pay gap haunts women even in retirement

Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

The gender pay gap is a hot topic in the presidential campaign, and President Barack Obama has been hammering on it, too. Women who work full-time, year-round, made just 79 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts in 2014, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. But the injustice of the gender pay gap also […]

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