Time to declare “game over” for active fund management?

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Is it time to declare “game over” in the contest between active and passive fund management? Funds are pouring into Vanguard Group’s passively-managed index funds, with total assets at the firm nearing $3 trillion. No less a stock picking legend than Warren Buffett is endorsing passive – he has advised his own trustees to put […]

Why last-minute IRA contributors are leaving money on the table

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Individual Retirement Account contributions are getting larger – an encouraging sign of a recovering economy and improved habits among retirement savers. But there is an “I” in IRA for a reason: investors are in charge of managing their accounts. And recent research by Vanguard finds that many of us are leaving returns on the table […]

Why 401(k)s won’t offer longevity annuities anytime soon

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Longevity risk – that is, the risk of outliving your retirement savings – is among retirees’ biggest worries these days. The Obama administration is trying to nudge employers to add a special type of annuity to their investment menus that addresses that risk. But here’s the response they’re likely to get: “Meh.” The U.S. Treasury […]

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 […]

Retirement confidence bounces back, but only among wealthy savers

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Americans who owned stocks in 2013 are feeling better about their retirement prospects than they did just a few years ago. For everyone else, not so much. The longest-running survey of American retirement sentiment shows confidence rose in 2013, the first increase since sentiment plunged following the Great Recession of 2008-2009. But the 2014 Retirement Confidence […]

Why a Roth IRA for the baby would be a blessed event

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When an infant is born, the hospital paperwork for parents includes birth certificate and Social Security number applications. Soon, though, there could be another document to fill out: a Roth IRA account setup form. That’s the thrust of the Roth Account for Youths Savings Act, or RAYS Act,introduced last week in the U.S. House of […]

MyRA won’t close the nest egg gap, but maybe the states can

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If states are the laboratories of democracy, they need to start some retirement savings experiments – quick. About half of Americans haven’t been able to create nest eggs at all, and the labs working the problem in Washington haven’t found solutions. That’s my take on MyRA, the retirement saving program PresidentBarack Obama announced during his […]

The problem with investing glidepaths

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Investors should reduce their equity exposure as retirement approaches—that’s the conventional wisdom, and it’s the fundamental premise of the current 800-pound gorilla of workplace retirement investing: the target date fund (TDF). But conventional wisdom can be wrong—and a handful of well-respected researchers set out to prove it in recent papers questioning the current glide path […]

Why minorities are losing the retirement race

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The issue of retirement inequality has caught fire in Washington, D.C., and a report issued this week turns up the heat. The report zeroes in on the appalling gap in retirement security among racial groups in America. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), a non-profit research group, found that workers of color – especially […]

How to navigate benefits if you’re working past age 65

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It’s no secret that Americans are working longer. But some are working well past traditional retirement age: the fastest-growing segment of the labor force is workers over age 65, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – and the growth is especially pronounced among workers over age 70. Working longer certainly can boost the […]

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