Results for "Retirement Watch"

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Ways to steady retirement goals during choppy markets

March 10, 2016

The year started with a bang, and it's been a wrenching, unstable ride ever since. We continue to experience exceptional levels of market uncertainty, with large, daily swings in the major market indexes. Advisers regularly caution investors...

Amid the economic downturn, clients are reluctant to buy long term care insurance

June 7, 2009

Making a case for long term care insurance can be a challenge under any circumstances. But in this environment, clients nearing retirement who have seen the value of their portfolios decline may be particularly reluctant to consider a major...

File-and-suspend strategy prompts more questions

January 3, 2014

Even for those who plan to delay collecting Social Security retirement benefits until 70, when they are worth the maximum amount, in some cases, it may make sense to file and suspend benefits at full retirement age as an insurance policy. Once...

Best laid Social Security-claiming plans gone awry

November 26, 2013

The other day, I received a frantic e-mail from a reader desperate to undo a Social Security claiming decision that was turning out all wrong. Gary, a reader from South Carolina, said he heard me talking about the “file and suspend” strategy...

Coaxing boomers to keep investing

May 26, 2013

The stock market has recovered from the plunge sustained during the financial crisis, but that doesn't mean the confidence of your clients has been fully restored. Some fear lingers when it comes to investing, and chances are, you've seen this...

Options abound for income-seekers

February 17, 2013

Retired people and those approaching retirement are particularly challenged in finding investments to help meet their income needs. With interest rates at historic lows, investors can't rely solely on bonds but must seek out opportunities in...

How to compare target date funds

February 20, 2011

As part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Labor Department granted plan sponsors a “safe harbor” to enroll participants automatically in a handful of investment products designated as qualified default investment alternatives. This...

Use target date funds the right way

July 26, 2009

Given last year's investment results, especially in 2010 target date funds, there are many who question whether the target date fund concept itself is fatally flawed. The answer depends on how one defines success. In the popular press, success...

Looking inside target date funds

May 24, 2009

Financial advisers who handle retirement plans have noted that plan sponsors are now very much aware of the performance of target date funds. But sponsors don't really understand the reason for the performance, according to 76% of advisers polled...

Gazing at the new-product horizon

February 4, 2008

The forces that drove the retirement marketplace in 2007 — the automatic enrollment and default option provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the aging baby boomers and a focus on the rollover market — will continue to shape product...

Litigation calls for more transparency in the retirement industry

March 22, 2016

Litigation is taking the retirement industry to task, exposing questionable administration of fiduciary duties and inequalities within fee structures. A core allegation of these lawsuits is that financial institutions are violating fiduciary...

I passed the CFP exam (but you can't call me a certified financial planner)

December 26, 2013

I received a wonderful early Christmas gift this year: I was notified Dec. 20 that I passed the CFP Board's certification exam. As the national pass rate for the November 2013 CFP exam was a mere 63%, I felt it was an enormous accomplishment...

Preparing retirees for QE tapering

September 15, 2013

There's no question that the current investing environment is challenging for those -managing retirement portfolios. Stocks are hitting record highs but still producing weak dividends. Annuities are tied down to dismal rates with no relief in...

Congress gives Roth 401(k)s new life

January 20, 2013

As the curtain came down on 2012, most investors assumed that with it went the best opportunity for Roth conversions. The general expectation was that higher tax rates this year would make Roth conversions less attractive for a broad swath of...

Four ways financial advisers should help retirement plan sponsor clients avoid a DOL audit

April 15, 2016

Most financial advisers who support the personal planning needs of independent business owners of small- to mid-sized companies are invariably called upon to also help with business advice needs. This frequently includes serving as the financial...

Convert existing IRAs into multiple Roths

February 28, 2010

Roth IRA conversions should be discussed with most investors this year as part of their overall retirement planning strategy. Odds are, many clients will be unsure about whether a Roth conversion is suitable for them. If so, they should be reminded...

The estate tax crisis must be confronted

February 14, 2010

The failure of Congress to plug the 2010 estate tax loophole has created considerable uncertainty. But even without being able to provide definitive answers, financial advisers can strengthen their relationships with clients by explaining risks...

Seeking income in a low-rate world

March 3, 2013

Sixty is the new 40. At least that's how some investors at or near retirement would like to think of their portfolio's asset allocation model and its potential returns. As baby boomers migrate out of the traditional 60/40 allocation model —...

Bringing real assets to 401(k)s

June 10, 2012

In recent years, many defined-contribution plans have used target date funds as the default option of choice. But few of these funds reach beyond the traditional stock and bond asset allocation model, adjusted periodically for the participant's...

It's time to 'fix' the 401(k) plan

April 26, 2009

There is a crisis in defined contribution retirement plans. In addition to devastating market losses, employers are ceasing their matches. Many target date funds, designed to protect participants' plan balances as they approach retirement, have...

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