Retirement planning 101 for young people

young-and-old-50px

I am asked often what young people can do now to start building for a secure retirement. The question itself is a great start – frankly, I never gave this much of a thought until I was well past 40. I have five short answers. First: start saving as soon as you can – even […]

Pages: 1 2

Five questions for Emily Brandon

emily-brandon-150px

In the days when defined benefit pensions roamed the land, retirement income was automatic: you worked for a company, the company contributed to the pension fund. Checks started arriving when you retired, and didn’t stop until you did. End of story, for the most part. Plenty retirees still have traditional pensions, but they are on […]

Pages: 1 2

Goodbye to the backdoor Roth IRA?

Washington-slider

The White House has a long list of ideas for both streamlining and improving our retirement savings system, but so far we haven’t heard much about the changes outlined in President Obama’s 2017 budget. Perhaps that’s no surprise, considering that we’re in the midst of a raucous, chaotic presidential election campaign and Congress is deadlocked […]

The 2016 Retirement Landscape: 5 Predictions

Crystal-ball-280px

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Yogi Berra, the late baseball great.* But let’s give it a try: Here’s my forecast of the five most important stories that will unfold on the retirement beat in 2016. No market predictions here: In my view, the smart retirement investor owns a well-balanced portfolio […]

Pages: 1 2 3

Why backdoor Roths look more attractive this year

Roth-IRA-slider

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. […]

Open letter to Mark Zuckerberg: Use that $45 billion to rescue retirement for the next generation

Mark-Zuckerberg-crop

An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg: I hear that you plan to give away 99 percent of your Facebook shares for philanthropic purposes – what a great idea! You already had 1.2 million “likes” this morning for the announcement – and why not? Your timing makes sense – as a new parent, you naturally begin […]

State plans for low-income retirement saving gain momentum

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss.

My home state of Illinois is not the first place that comes to mind for innovative approaches to retirement savings. We are much more infamous for our pension plan for state workers, which is the worst-funded in the country. But Illinois just became the first U.S. state to adopt a promising new approach to a […]

When does it make sense to accelerate tax payments on retirement accounts?

tax-return---slider

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) […]

Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

reutersretire-150px

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 […]

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

Ray Boshara

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 […]