Will Republicans fund tax cuts by tapping retirement piggy bank?

Tax reform is up next for our Attention Deficit Disorder Republican government, which just rushed through a chaotic, ugly battle to reform our complex healthcare system. The fight over tax reform promises to be just as chaotic and ugly – and it could mean big changes for Americans saving for retirement. The Republican tax plan […]

Longevity risk: Making money last as long as you do

How long should you plan to live? No one can really know, of course. But the answer to that question may be the most critical factor in making a successful financial plan for retirement. Expected longevity for men and women at age 65 has jumped more than 10 percent since 2000, according to the Society […]

How part-time work hurts retirement security for millennials, minorities

The Great Recession took any number of wrecking balls to the retirement security of American workers, including wages and pension benefits, home equity and savings. But one of the less understood areas of hurt continues to this day: part-time work. The recession pushed the U.S. part-time labor force to 20.1 percent in January 2010 from […]

Retirement investors not hitting post-election panic button

Emotion can drive investor behavior – and feelings are in overdrive following last month’s election.Across the United States, the mood ranges from a state of mourning to euphoria, depending on one’s political views. But retirement investors are not hitting the panic button in the wake of the Nov. 8 election. The Vanguard Group reports that […]

Five ways to improve retirement math when you haven’t saved

A large segment of American workers are approaching retirement with very little or nothing saved: Among workers age 55 or higher and nearing retirement, 48 percent have saved less than $100,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A third have less than $25,000. The savings shortfall means many Americans face the prospect of retiring […]

Mandatory worker retirement plans gain momentum with California legislation

The movement to require employers to offer retirement plans to their workers just took a big leap forward. California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last week launching the state’s Secure Choice plan – a government-sponsored retirement savings vehicle that would be offered to employees of most companies that do not have their own workplace retirement […]

Military prepares for overhaul in retirement benefits

U.S. Armed Forces – Get Ready to Salute the 401(k). The military, which currently has a traditional defined benefit plan, will adopt a new hybrid program next year that blends an existing defined benefit for career personnel with a matching contribution to a 401(k)-style account aimed at covering those who don’t make a lifelong career […]

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Heed the warning label on mutual funds – passive is better

The warning is posted in fine print at the bottom of all mutual fund advertisements: “Past performance does not guarantee future results.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires it. But when it comes to actively managed mutual funds, that warning should perhaps be updated to: “Strong performance almost certainly guarantees worse performance in the […]

Decade after landmark pension law, changes still needed

Next week marks the 10th anniversary of a landmark federal law with a hopeful name – the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Has the law lived up to its name? The anniversary is an apt time to consider changes still needed to improve the retirement security of American workers. The track record of the Pension […]

Tapping retirement accounts early: the ins and outs

401(k) accounts aren’t designed as piggy banks to be tapped for non-retirement expenses. But stuff happens. Since the Great Recession, loans from 401(k) accounts have been rising. Some 17.6 percent of plan participants had loans outstanding last year, compared with 15.3 percent in 2008, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). A much smaller number […]