White House fiduciary embrace is a turning point for retirement security

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Let’s say you’ve finally decided it’s time to get serious about planning for retirement. You stop in at the local office of a bank or brokerage firm. Perhaps you call an investment or mutual fund company you saw advertising on tv. The person you’re talking to calls himself a “financial adviser” – but most likely, […]

Planning for Alzheimer’s: How financial advisers can help

Carolyn McClanahan

Long-term care is a major wild card in any financial plan, but managing the risks associated with Alzheimer’s is especially difficult. Research by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Boston University shows that 65-year-old-women have a 20 percent chance of developing dementia, and a 17 percent change of Alzheimer’s; for men, the corresponding […]

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) […]

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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Retirement spending: Why rules of thumb don’t work

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We’ve all heard the rule-of-thumb: To retire comfortably, you need to replace 70 percent to 80 percent of pre-retirement income. Add a couple of percentage points for inflation every year, and you’ll have what you need to meet your expenses in retirement. But the rule-of-thumb never was meant as a way to think about spending […]

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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 […]