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Automation has improved the 401(k) – but where do we go from here?

Automation has improved the 401(k) – but where do we go from here?

401(k) accounts are far from perfect as a retirement benefit, but they are getting better, and more improvements are on the way. For better or worse, private-sector employers have largely substituted the 401(k) for the good old-fashioned defined-benefit pension in...

The Social Security fix no one is talking about

The Social Security fix no one is talking about

What if the traditional wisdom on how to fix Social Security no longer holds? The trustees who oversee the program issued their annual financial forecast yesterday, predicting that the combined retirement and disability trust fund reserves will be depleted in 2035 -...

If you’re in a lousy 401(k) plan, what should you do?

If you’re in a lousy 401(k) plan, what should you do?

Fees are one of the most important factors of successful retirement investing — they determine how much ends up in your pocket after mutual funds and 401(k) plan providers take their cut. But most people are oblivious. If they take note of costs at all, fees of one,...

A pension bailout three years ago continues to reverberate

A pension bailout three years ago continues to reverberate

Three years ago, Congress took the unprecedented step of spending taxpayer dollars to bail out private-sector pensions plans.  As part of a $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus bill, lawmakers approved an $86 billion package for multiemployer plans facing insolvency to apply...

Delaying Medicare sign-up can be a costly mistake

Delaying Medicare sign-up can be a costly mistake

Medicare requires that nearly all workers sign up for the program during a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months following their 65th birthday. If you are already receiving Social Security...

When you call Social Security, expect to wait even longer

When you call Social Security, expect to wait even longer

Few government agencies touch the lives of more Americans than the Social Security Administration — the agency pays $1.4 trillion in benefits to more than 71 million people every year. But Social Security has been grappling with a customer service mess that threatens...

Could traditional pensions make a comeback in the private sector?

Could traditional pensions make a comeback in the private sector?

Did IBM just kick off the next big trend in the world of employee retirement benefits? Big Blue made headlines recently when it announced plans to end its 401(k) matching contribution in favor of a new benefit that sure sounds alot like a good old-fashioned pension....

Medicare fall enrollment: How to cut through the advertising noise

Medicare fall enrollment: How to cut through the advertising noise

If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you might want to turn off your television this time of year. In the weeks ahead, the airwaves will be flooded with advertisements promoting insurance plans during Medicare’s open enrollment period, which will start on Sunday and end...

How to protect your retirement from inflation

How to protect your retirement from inflation

The Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2024 will be 3.2 percent, far below this year’s 8.7 percent bump. The smaller increase reflects the cooling of consumer prices, but inflation is an ever-present risk that should be a consideration in your retirement...

Inflation and the markets take a bite out of retirement confidence

Inflation and the markets take a bite out of retirement confidence

The U.S. economy is in much better shape today than it was during the Great Recession. But persistent inflation and last year’s sharp stock market decline have shaken the confidence of American workers and retirees about their retirement prospects in a way not seen...

HSAs May Work Best as Tax Shelters

HSAs May Work Best as Tax Shelters

Healthcare costs are undoubtedly one of the top challenges that retirees face—especially when overall inflation is running hotter than at any time in the past few decades. Enter the health savings account, which offers an unmatched tax shelter for dollars that can be...