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 […]

Warning: Not all ‘target date’ funds have the same target

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If you contribute to a target date fund in your 401(k) plan, you probably have a sense of how it works. The fund’s balance between stocks and bonds automatically shifts as you age, with less weight on equities as you get close to retirement. But it’s important to read the fine print on these funds, […]

How much are public-sector pensions shrinking? Often, a lot

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You’d have to be living in a cave not to have heard that many states are bailing out struggling pension plans by cutting benefits. But how will that affect workers in these states? Researchers who have been sorting through the cuts say the picture isn’t pretty. Some 15 million state and local workers – about […]

Senator Rubio’s surprisingly bipartisan retirement saving idea

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

When Republican politicians talk about how important Social Security and Medicare have been for their parents, it’s time to grab your wallet. These stories usually precede a proposal to cut benefits under the guise of “saving” the programs – and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tore a page from that playbook this week. Rubio, a […]

Cruise control can drive your 401(k) – just don’t hit the gas

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401(k) plans are all about automation these days, especially target date funds, which keep workers’ accounts in balance for an age-appropriate level of risk. It’s the investing world’s version of cruise control, but a study released today finds that many investors are turning on cruise control while putting their feet on the gas pedal – […]

Why moms – and all women – need a solid retirement plan

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On the hunt for a Mother’s Day gift this weekend? Here’s one that won’t cost a dime but could provide a big boost to Mom’s pocketbook down the road: Sit down and have a talk about retirement planning. Women who aren’t mothers need to have the talk, too. That’s because women face a much tougher […]

The vanishing pension and its discontents

Dallas Salisbury, Employee Benefit Research Institute

If only we could revive the good old pension. You retire after 30 or 40 years at a company, get the gold watch, and the monthly checks start flowing. Many Americans still get those checks, but Corporate America has been running away from defined-benefit (DB) pensions for decades, and many experts see that as a […]

Why the IRS wants you to be careful with those IRA rollovers

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Memo from the Internal Revenue Service to retirement investors: Be careful with those individual retirement account rollovers. That’s the gist of a recent IRS ruling that puts new restrictions on the number of “indirect rollovers” from one IRA to another you can do annually. The ruling comes on the heels of a federal court decision […]

Social Security will resume mailing paper statements for some workers

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Paper Social Security benefits statements, which used to be mailed out every year and then fell victim to budget cuts, are going to make a partial comeback. Starting this September, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will resume mailings at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to view their statements online, an agency […]