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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When not to save for retirement

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Everyone should save for retirement – that is a mantra we have all heard endlessly. But for many people, saving for retirement actually should be fairly low on the financial priority list – well behind the more immediate goals of building a rainy day fund and reducing their consumer debt. That is evident in new […]

IRA charitable donations are permanent: Here’s what it means for retirement planning

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There won’t be any doubt about it this year – charitably-minded retirees will be able to make donations from their Individual Retirement Accounts. Really. For sure. Congress permitted donations direct from IRAs under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, but it’s been a rollercoaster ever since. The Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) would sunset every couple […]

Fiduciary rule and the case of JPMorgan Chase

Tom Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor

A New Year’s prediction: 2016 will be a very good year for retirement investors. Not because the stock market will be strong – if anything, we’re headed for a rocky ride. But 2016 is shaping up as the year when investment advisers will at long last be required to put your best interests ahead of […]

Why backdoor Roths look more attractive this year

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If you are still licking wounds inflicted by this year’s volatile stock market, a Roth conversion might be the healing balm you are seeking as 2015 draws to a close. Converting assets from a traditional IRA to a Roth is worth considering in any year as a way to diversify retirement holdings for tax purposes. […]

Fed rate hike: Start of something good for retirees?

Janet Yellen, chairman, Federal Reserve

The interest rate hike announced today by the Federal Reserve is a major milestone for retirees, who have been caught between a rock and hard place ever since the Great Recession, with zero interest rates and higher-than-average inflation. The Fed’s quarter-point hike in the benchmark federal funds rate is the first in nearly a decade, […]