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. Consider this: Recent Vanguard research found that 20 percent of account holders who take Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from retirement funds put the money in taxable accounts. In other words, […]

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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Retirement planning: The view from Vanguard

Steve Utkus, director of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research.

The dramatic shift by retirement savers to passive investing means financial advisors will spend less time in the future picking stocks, and that leads to questions about new ways to add value. Nowhere are those questions more pressing than at Vanguard, the king of passive mutual fund investing. The company has been testing its Personal […]

Retirement planning for singles: Three must-do items

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If retirement planning had a soundtrack, a great candidate would be “Love and Marriage,” the old Sammy Kahn lyric made famous by Frank Sinatra: Love and marriage, love and marriage . . go together like a horse and carriage . . . So much planning advice focuses on married couples–and no doubt, that’s where some of […]

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A chat with Mint.com about retirement planning

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Mint.com has just posted a Q&A with me about about my work, and how I approach covering retirement planning. We talked about how I first became interested in covering retirement, common misunderstandings Americans bring to retirement planning, the Great Recession’s impact on retirement security, strategies for saving and investing and how health care costs figure into […]

How much do you need to retire happy? Wes Moss has your number

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It may be true that money can’t buy you love, but can it buy happiness in retirement? Most people would say it can, but financial planner Wes Moss wanted the details: Just how much money does it take to retire happily – and is there a point of diminishing happiness return on the size of […]

Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

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The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]

How money comes between couples: Q&A with Kathleen Burns Kingsbury

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Money can be a very tough topic for couples. A recent Fidelity Investments survey found that 51% of working couples argue about money, and 38% never resolve their differences. More than one third don’t both know where their important household financial and legal papers are located; four in 10 working couples disagree about the lifestyle […]

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 […]

Out of work and under 65? Here’s how to retool your retirement plan

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We reached a milestone last week when the government reported that the U.S. economy has regained all the jobs lost during the Great Recession. Yet for many older workers the recession never ended; long-term joblessness has morphed into de facto premature retirement. Now, millions are performing financial triage on retirement plans that had been based […]