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Employee and Executive Compensation and Benefits

Popular Plans to Incentivize and Retain Talent Employees and executives can get added compensation in addition to their salaries. In some cases, these benefits could exceed the salary. Most of these benefits are contractual and, where there is a discretionary element, it is usually awarded by the board of directors. This article provides a round up listing of the more popular benefits. Not included are stan ...

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Daily Life in Retirement is Loss Costly than Clients Think

Planning their daily routine in retirement could be less complicated than most clients think, writes a Wall Street Journal columnist. In fact, most of what they will do as retirees are found in their current daily chores. "[T]he average day in retirement involves a fair amount of puttering," which "typically doesn't cost a lot of money," the columnist writes. It is good news for clients who are worried abou ...

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Is it Ever a Good Idea to Hold Company Stock in a 401(k)?

Company retirement plans have changed significantly over the past few decades, with a few trends coming on strong. In light of the fact that 401(k) participants are famously hands-off, plans have increasingly added “nudge” features to get more people saving: Roughly two thirds of plans now offer automatic enrollment, for example, up from just about half in 2012. Roth accounts have also shot up in popularity ...

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Tax Traps for Divorcing Clients

The surprise split of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie puts advisors on alert: Are you prepared with appropriate retirement and tax advice if your clients divorce? It’s unlikely that Bezos will have to crack open his Amazon 401(k) or IRA to get through this event. But for your average client, that’s exactly where most of their wealth may be. To read the full article in Financial Planning, click: ...

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Yes, Clients Should Pay Off Their Mortgages Before Retiring

Clients will be better paying off their mortgage before the retirement date to get rid of the feeling of having a debt burden. Carrying no mortgage debt into retirement will also give clients guaranteed return and greater flexibility in their budget. And about that tax deduction, it is not enough of a reason to keep a mortgage. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Yes, Clients Should Pay Of ...

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The Worst Retirement Advice I Ever Gave

Five years ago, I made the biggest mistake of my career.  I gave some untimely advice to a new client and quickly realized the full impact our work can have on our clients’ lives—not just on their wallets. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: The Worst Retirement Advice I Ever Gave. ...

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Enough About Social Security: For Some, Pensions Are the More Immediate Issue

With the Social Security Administration’s recent update on its long-term financial health, advisors and their clients now have a new time frame for the anticipated depletion of the retirement program trust fund. Unless Congress acts, the trust fund is expected to run out of money in late 2034, at which point Social Security will be able to cover just 77% of retirement benefits. To read the full article in F ...

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Could this Simple Social Security Strategy Solve the Retirement Crisis?

The key to implementing this suggested strategy is establishing auto-IRA plans to workers who lack a 401(k) option with a preset percentage of wages to be contributed to the plan.  This would create a retirement nest egg that would not be linked to any one employer, but rather would stay with the worker throughout a career. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: Could this Simple Social Secur ...

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Get a Tax-Smart Plan for In-Retirement Withdrawals: Retirement Scan

Retirees with multiple retirement accounts are advised to have a tax-efficient way of tapping into these accounts to minimize the tax bite, writes Morningstar's Christine Benz.  Retirees who have reached the age of 70 1/2 should take required minimum distributions from tax-deferred accounts, while those who are younger should draw from their taxable accounts, selling assets with the highest cost basis first ...

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Seven Ways the New Tax Fight Could Hit Annuities

What Tax Reform Could Mean for Annuities Republican lawmakers have said a tax overhaul framework would retain incentives meant to encourage retirement security, but uncertainty remains about the direction that reform will take.  This article summarizes several ways changes in federal tax laws could affect annuities, charitable giving, and other aspects of retirement planning. To read the full article in Thi ...

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Retirement: 10 Questions to Ask

Questions for a Retirement-Preparedness Gut Check Pre-retirees should examine whether they direct too much money to goals other than retirement savings, take advantage of employer matching, and structure savings so enough pretax income is set aside.  Jonathan Clements states that other important considerations include how retirees will spend time once they stop working and whether there is a danger of outli ...

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An Alternative to the 4% Rule

Ditch the 4 Percent Rule.  Here's How to Handle Your Retirement Withdrawals It might be time to scrap the 4% retirement rule, as it could be unsafe if there are large portfolio losses in the early years of retirement.  Here are three factors to weigh when developing a financial plan. To read the full article in CNBC, click: An Alternative to the 4% Rule. ...

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Six Ways to Fraud-Proof your Retirement Savings

Fraudsters target people of all ages, but older adults with retirement savings are particularly lucrative targets.  And the consequences of fraud and exploitation can have a devastating impact on older adults who depend on their retirement savings after they leave the workforce.  Steve Vernon provides some very helpful tips towards preventing this despicable crime. To read the full article in CBS Money Watc ...

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You May Soon be Able to Exchange Your Extra Vacation Days for Other Perks

Startup Gives Employees a Way to Trade in Unused Time Off Many employees do not use all of their vacation time, which can create liabilities for the companies they work for. A startup called PTO Exchange is trying to address that problem by allowing employees to exchange unused time off for perks, such as 401(k) contributions or help with college tuition. Jena McGregor introduces us to this fresh concept. T ...

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7 Retirement Planning Steps Late Starters Must Make

How to Make up for Lost Time with Retirement Savings People who are behind schedule on retirement savings can take several steps to make up the difference.  These include making use of catch-up contributions, selecting funds with low investment fees, and postponing required minimum distributions, if possible.  Damian Davila offers some useful tips. To read the full article in Wise Bread, click: 7 Retirement ...

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The Two Biases that Keep People from Saving Money

The Psychological Reasons Why People Fail to Save "Present bias"—the concept that people would rather have a smaller sum of money now than a larger sum of money in the future—is one cognitive bias that keeps people from saving, according to a new paper.  Another problem is "exponential-growth bias," which refers to a failure to understand compound interest.  Derek Thompson, senior editor at The Atlantic, ex ...

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How to Save Public Pensions, no Federal Bailout Needed: Retirement Scan

“Most important, pensions should be required to uphold their original intent: to keep retirees who can no longer support themselves out of poverty."  Industry leaders weigh in on retirement news your clients may be thinking about. To read the full article in FinancialPlanning, click: How to Save Public Pensions, no Federal Bailout Needed: Retirement Scan. ...

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Big IRAs and 401(k)s are at Risk: Where Else to Save?

Looking Beyond the 401(k) to Save for Retirement If proposals to curb the size of individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s take effect, clients with large IRAs and 401(k)s will need to consider alternate methods of saving for retirement.  Darla Mercado, Personal Finance Writer, discusses a few options including, deferred compensation plans, health savings accounts, and after-tax contributions to 401(k)s. ...

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Hidden Headaches of Jointly Owned Annuities

Hidden Headaches of Jointly Owned Annuities Annuities are considered wonderful vehicles for savers, no more so than for married couples.  The opportunity to obtain tax-deferred growth in a non-qualified deferred annuity is a key feature, particularly for individuals in high tax brackets who have already maxed out other available tax shelters.  However, annuities present a significant complication.  Michael ...

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