How flat income growth late in your career can hurt your retirement plan


How much will your income grow during the course of your career – and how much of that growth can you safely bake into a financial plan for retirement? For successful people in the middle of their careers, should your assumptions keep pace with inflation or go higher? For typical American households, the correct answer is […]

Wanted: More African American financial planners

Lazetta Rainey Braxton

Lazetta Rainey Braxton is a rare bird in the financial planning profession. She is African-American, a group that accounts for no more than 2 percent of all planners. Braxton, 42, is working to change that. She runs her own registered investment advisory firm in Baltimore called Financial Fountains. She also is president of the Association of […]

Premature retirement: Who faces the greatest risk?


Planning to work longer to bolster your retirement finances? It can make a big difference, but it is tough to pull off. Half of all retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned due to a health problem or job loss. Blue collar workers with physically demanding jobs are most susceptible to early retirement, according to […]

When life events intervene in your retirement plan


Financial plans typically assume a normal retirement age in the mid-60s or beyond, but life events have a way of intervening. Half of all retirees say they left the workforce earlier than planned, according to the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The key culprits include health problems or disability […]

Survey finds an unfounded rise in retirement confidence


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 […]

What does the robo-advisor food fight mean for investors?


Here’s something you don’t see every day: two investment companies in a very public fight about values, greed and putting the interests of customers first. This is what has happened since Charles Schwab launched Schwab Intelligent Portfolios last month, making it the first major investment company to leap into the so-called “robo-advisory” market. These automated […]

White House fiduciary embrace is a turning point for retirement security


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?


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


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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