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Social Security rules for divorced public employees

February 19, 2015

Divorced couples who were married for at least 10 years can claim Social Security benefits on each other's earnings records as if they are still married. But questions may arise when one of the ex-spouses is a public sector employee. Last week,...

Longer life expectancies are killing pension funds

February 17, 2015

Pension fund strategies never factored in that people would live as long as they're living. It is a real and growing problem. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be pension fund managers Stories of investors being ripped off by advisers...

Defined contribution plans doubled asset growth of pensions in 2014

February 11, 2015

Total assets of the largest 1,000 U.S. retirement plans grew 8.5% to $9.055 trillion on Sept. 30, Pensions & Investments' annual survey found. Defined contribution plans among the top 1,000 increased 12.8% to $3.022 trillion, double that of...

Obama's retirement cap might sound good but it has an annuity problem

February 2, 2015

The White House released its 2016 budget Monday, and among other initiatives aimed at raising tax revenue from the richest of the rich, the Obama administration is proposing a cap on how much money a person can have in all of her retirement...

Retirement crisis is real and getting worse: Study

January 27, 2015

More than half of all American households do not have enough put away for retirement, and the problem is getting worse, according to new research from the Center for American Progress. Along with tracking what people are putting away for retirement,...

Vanguard's funds reach new heights

January 26, 2015

Vanguard Group Inc. last week surpassed State Street Global Advisors as the second-largest exchange-traded fund provider, a new milestone following a year that was filled with them. According to ETF.com, a data and analytic website, Vanguard...

Global markets fixate on China's currency play

January 20, 2015

Is the Chinese Yuan the next shoe to drop? The Swiss currency move has turned up the head. A currency peg that is becoming difficult to maintain Money managers around the globe are fixated on a Chinese property management company, which could...

Why security in retirement is often luck of the draw

January 16, 2015

From a historical perspective, clients seeking to retire at the present time are facing a tough environment. This is a matter I've been working to quantify. We all face an intense vulnerability regarding our lifetime sequence of market returns....

Your next client? Meet the six-figure skilled laborer

January 12, 2015

Advisers: There's a client market where your help is sorely needed — it's called skilled labor, and it could see a bump in the ranks. A recent story in the Wall Street Journal detailed a success story that most financial advisers don't see...

Is your core strategy getting flabby?

December 21, 2014

With a historic amount of assets shifting between asset management firms, many retirement plan advisers and plan sponsors are re-examining their bond investing strategies. Just about every plan participant has an allocation to core bonds, which...

Financial planning issues wrapped into government spending bill?

December 8, 2014

Members of Congress are considering adding provisions to the government spending bill that would impact at least two crucial issues for financial advisers: the DOL's action on fiduciary duty and the right of pensions to cut benefits. On Monday,...

Integrate college, retirement plans

November 30, 2014

Since September, I have been in front of at least $5 million of potential new assets under management almost every week. How? I help parents determine their best strategy to pay for college and save for retirement. I focus on four key areas:...

Rollovers of 401(k)s into pension plans gets government agency backing

November 26, 2014

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. on Tuesday finalized a rule to allow participants to push 401(k) assets into pensions, nudging employees to consider annuitizing these funds while curbing their ability to draw from the money before they retire....

Government workers get first crack at phased retirement

November 23, 2014

Virtually every survey of American workers finds the majority would like to ease into retirement, perhaps working part time for a few years before calling it quits completely. The problem is, corporate America has been slow to embrace the phased-retirement...

Retirement plan sponsors want more from advisers

November 20, 2014

Retirement plan sponsors want better service from financial advisers, according to Fidelity Investments'annual survey on plan sponsor attitudes. “We're seeing that the conversation between plan sponsors and advisers is starting to change,”...

Public pensions put Pimco on watch after Gross exit

October 13, 2014

The departure of William H. Gross from Pacific Investment Management Co. might end up cutting deeper into his personal reputation than into the $1.87 trillion in assets under management at the firm he was synonymous with for 40 years. Mr. Gross'...

How public employees can get around Social Security restrictions

October 8, 2014

In a recent column, I wrote about rules that can reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for public sector employees. I explained that there are two sets of rules. The first, the Windfall Elimination Provision, applies to some federal,...

Learning how to handle stressed clients

October 5, 2014

In her first 10 weeks in the financial advice profession, Amanda Moore learned that advisers deal with clients at tense moments in their lives. Ms. Moore, 23, a resident in financial planning at Cornerstone Wealth Advisors in Edina, Minn., is...

Deadline looms for small-business 401(k) plans

September 25, 2014

The deadline for advisers to nudge their small business clients into opening a basic retirement plan is right around the corner. Small employers hoping to set up a new SIMPLE IRA, SIMPLE 401(k) or a safe harbor 401(k) have until Oct. 1 to do...

Strategies arise to take advantage of new IRS after-tax rollover

September 24, 2014

Advisers are weighing strategies in light of the IRS' recent announcement on its treatment of after-tax money in 401(k) plans, but those opportunities might be hard to come by at the employer level. Last week, the Internal Revenue Service released...

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