Romney’s huge IRA makes a comeback in Obama retirement proposal

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It was a memorable moment in the 2012 presidential race. In their October 16 debate, Defending his blind trust investments, Gov. Romney said: ROMNEY: Just going to make a point. Any investments I have over the last eight years have been managed by a blind trust. And I understand they do include investments outside the United […]

State plans for low-income retirement saving gain momentum

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss.

My home state of Illinois is not the first place that comes to mind for innovative approaches to retirement savings. We are much more infamous for our pension plan for state workers, which is the worst-funded in the country. But Illinois just became the first U.S. state to adopt a promising new approach to a […]

Defending Social Security should be next on Obama’s to-do list

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Since the midterm elections, President Obama has taken decisive action on immigration reform, climate change and relations with Cuba. Now, the new Republican-controlled Congress has handed him another opportunity to act boldly – by leaving a legacy as a strong defender of Social Security. House Republicans signaled this week that they are gearing up for […]

Own or rent in retirement? Let’s run the numbers

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If you own your own home are you reconsidering the wisdom of that move? Pride of ownership is worth a lot – I agree with that 100 percent. But what about the cost of ownership? It’s something that many people underestimate – especially as they build equity in their property. Should you own a home […]

Thinking of an IRA rollver? Think twice

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John Turner wondered if he should roll over his federal government retirement account into an individual retirement account. So he called 15 IRA providers to get some guidance. That may sound like overkill, but Turner wasn’t really contemplating a rollover. He was calling IRA providers to test the truthfulness and value of their advice on […]

Charitable IRA makes a last-minute comeback for 2014

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Gotta love the way we make tax policy these days. Congress finally okayed charitable IRA transfers for 2014 (!) this week. This provision – which bounces in and out of existence like a yo-yo – allows IRA account owners who need to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) to make direct contributions to charitable organizations, and […]

Multiemployer pension benefit cuts: A Q&A on what you need to know

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The last-minute deal to allow retiree pension benefit cuts as part of the federal spending bill for 2015 passed by Congress last week has set off shock waves in the U.S. retirement system. Buried in the $1.1 trillion “Cromnibus” legislation signed this week by President Barack Obama was a provision that aims to head off […]

When does it make sense to accelerate tax payments on retirement accounts?

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It’s almost a mantra of financial planning: Defer taxes on investments whenever you can, for as long as possible. But in some situations, it can make sense to get the tax bill out of the way sooner than later. Consider this: Recent Vanguard research found that 20 percent of account holders who take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) […]

Lame duck Congress tries a lame move on pensions

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The mid-term election results have changed the political landscape in a way that threatens the retirement security of middle class households. But we don’t even have to wait for the new Congress to be seated in January to know just how bad things could get. This week, the lame duck Congress pulled a lame move, inserting “Solutions Not […]

The trouble with financial literacy

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Financial literacy education is a mom-and-apple-pie proposition – who can be opposed to getting smarter about money? But I’m struck often by just how much the topic rings hollow as a solution to the retirement security crisis we’re facing. This week’s Reuters column looks at two recent studies touching on this topic. The American College of Financial […]

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