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. […]

MyRA launch shows we need to get over our problems with mandates

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The Obama Administration launched the myRA this week – a Roth IRA with payroll deduction features invested in conservative government securities. MyRA is a praiseworthy but small-bore initiative aimed at encouraging retirement saving for the more than 40 million Americans who don’t have accounts. In my Reuters column this week, I describe it as a kid’s bike […]

Can state auto-IRA plans improve retirement security?

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Remember the auto-IRA? It’s a good–but modest–idea for improving retirement security that President Obama has been trying to get going since 2010. Auto-IRAs would cover millions of workers who don’t have 401(k)s on the job–mostly lower-income workers at small businesses. But Congress has refused to cooperate, so the White House threw in the towel on […]

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Social Security’s file-and-suspend feature is on Washington’s hit list

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File-and-suspend is hot. The once-obscure Social Security strategy for married couples has become almost mainstream in the past couple of years; a growing number of financial planners recommend the strategy to clients. But you’d be well-advised to get it while you can: file-and-suspend is at the top of Washington’s hit list for changes to retirement policy. […]

White House throws in the towel on auto-IRA, and turns attention to the states

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The White House is throwing in the towel on its stalled initiative to extend retirement saving accounts to millions of workers who currently aren’t covered by employer plans. Instead, the Obama Administration is turning its attention to helping states close the coverage gap. That’s one headline that surfaced at the recent White House Conference on […]

Survey finds an unfounded rise in retirement confidence

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Denial is the first emotional stage of grief – and that may be where Americans are at right now in their attitudes about retirement security. The 2015 edition of the longest-running national survey of retirement confidence, released today by the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), reveals a second consecutive annual jump in the percentage […]

IRA providers are waving cash; should you take it?

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Back in the day you could walk into a bank to open a new account and walk out with a free toaster. Today, you can walk into the office of a big mutual fund company or bank and get a wad of cash if you open a retirement savings account. You can get anywhere from […]