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Some target-date funds are boosting equities

August 18, 2014

Several target-date fund providers raised the equity components of their glidepaths, saying their research shows participants have a slightly higher risk tolerance than in the years immediately after the economic crisis. Although executives...

Female clients' unique approach to investing

August 17, 2014

As they do with most things, men and women think about investing differently. Heather Locus, principal at Balasa Dinverno Foltz, points to a meeting she had with a brother and sister to highlight those differences. Both had inherited funds,...

Lump sum or monthly pension? How I made my decision

August 17, 2014

Recently, an investor wrote to me asking if he should accept his employer's offer of a lump-sum payout in lieu of a monthly pension. Of course, such a decision depends on a person's financial needs, life expectancy and access to other assets,...

Minimum Social Security benefit protects survivors

August 15, 2014

Social Security rules are complicated, and occasionally I get them wrong. For example, I had always relied on the Social Security Administration's publications that clearly stated: “If the person who died was receiving reduced benefits, we...

Which states are tackling retirement security, and how?

August 12, 2014

With federal legislation intended to increase retirement savings for workers not covered by a plan at their job stuck at the starting gate, the retirement policy vacuum is being filled in various ways across more than a dozen states. Last week,...

Soldiers lured out of federal retirement plan

August 12, 2014

John Turner suspected that brokers were encouraging federal workers to ditch their top-flight retirement plan. So he went under cover. The former U.S. Labor Department economist called representatives at companies such as Bank of America Corp.,...

Fidelity quietly settles employee lawsuits

August 12, 2014

While everyone was celebrating the Fourth of July weekend, 401(k) giant Fidelity Investments quietly settled a pair of retirement plan lawsuits filed against it by its own employees. In a July 3 filing with the U.S. District Court for the District...

What last week's junk bond selloff means for stocks

August 11, 2014

Why last week's junk bond selloff could be a sign of trouble for stocks. Antiquated trading system exposes risks Morningstar advises going back to the basics with bond funds, points out some weaknesses in popular nontraditional bond funds. Bank...

Lawsuit against Financial Engines a red flag for plan sponsors

August 11, 2014

A new lawsuit against Financial Engines for alleged patent infringement is in its early stages, but plan sponsors who work with the 401(k) service provider ought to keep the case on their radar. On Friday, GRQ Investment Management filed suit...

Wife's unexpected death draws Social Security questions

August 11, 2014

Regular readers of InvestmentNews know I often urge married couples to select a Social Security claiming strategy that will result in the largest possible survivor benefit. That is usually accomplished by having the higher-earning spouse delay...

The 401(k) retirement complex: Retooling Americans' nest egg

August 10, 2014

Is there a retirement crisis in America? Yes, but it's not the one most people talk about. Much of the discussion and debate to date has centered on whether Americans have saved, are saving and will save enough money to secure even a financially...

Heed custodian's asset allowances

August 10, 2014

The Tax Court has ruled that an individual had a taxable IRA distribution when he tried to get around his custodian's policy of not allowing real estate as an individual retirement account investment. The court said the custodian didn't have...

IRA moves that won't get you in trouble

August 8, 2014

Earlier this year, the retirement industry was surprised by a Tax Court ruling that changed the interpretation of the number and timing of rollovers an individual retirement account owner could direct. The tax court determined that IRA rollovers...

How higher Medicare premiums affect Social Security benefits

August 8, 2014

I received an interesting question from an individual investor during one of my recent Social Security presentations. The woman, a client who attended a financial planning firm's retirement symposium where I was speaking in McLean, Va., wanted...

Social Security: What professional women need to know

August 7, 2014

When Social Security was created in 1935, the typical American family had a working husband, a stay-at-home wife and a houseful of kids. Today, 40% of mothers are either the sole or primary source of income for their families — a figure that...

States take auto IRAs into own hands while Washington dawdles

August 7, 2014

Maryland and Connecticut launched efforts this week to develop policies to increase retirement savings among residents, taking on an issue that is languishing in Congress. On Thursday, the Governor's Task Force to Ensure Retirement Security...

Creative claiming strategies increase Social Security benefits

August 6, 2014

Knowing how to maximize Social Security benefits for individual clients is an increasingly important skill for financial advisers as baby boomers continue to enter into retirement age. In an InvestmentNews webcast Tuesday, Social Security expert...

Lockheed Martin retirement plan case gets trial date

August 6, 2014

A long-fought legal battle between Lockheed Martin Corp. and a group of its retirement plan participants will finally go to trial in December after the plaintiffs were granted class action status. The group of retirement plan participants In...

Zurich restricts contributions to popular variable annuity contract

August 5, 2014

Zurich American Life Insurance Co. is putting the clamps on additional contributions into its legacy Scudder Destinations variable annuity, a contract that was so generous, advisers have described it as “legendary.” The life insurer released...

7 things you don't know about Medicare

August 4, 2014

Many clients believe that Medicare will cover the majority of their health care costs in retirement, when in reality, Medicare covers only about half of a typical retiree’s medical expenses. Here are seven facts about medical costs you need...

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