401(k) myths your clients can't afford to believe

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Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

401(k) myths clients can’t afford to believe
Contrary to a common belief, clients should not necessarily consider 401(k) the first stop for retirement savings. If their employers do not offer a matching contribution, clients may be better off investing their retirement money in an IRA instead, according to this article on USA Today. Clients can also contribute to a 401(k) plan and an IRA at the same time, and the employer's sponsored plan charges investment and other fees. Taking a 401(k) plan could be a wrong move, as it means missing out on the opportunity for investment growth. In some cases, leaving old 401(k) assets with their former employer might also be a better option than transferring them to their new plan.

How misinformation from Social Security can cost tens of thousands of dollars
Seniors should consider getting a second opinion when developing a Social Security claiming strategy, as they might be ill-advised the first time and could miss out on an opportunity to maximize their retirement benefit, according to this article on Kiplinger. Most of the bad advice people receive from Social Security Administration involves restricted application. A certified financial planner shares the story of a retired couple whose restricted application was initially denied by an SSA representative but was later approved by a supervisor who was knowledgeable of the rules.

Did you know about this IRA housing loophole?
Clients can use their Roth IRA assets to fund their first home purchase and the withdrawals will not be subject to tax, according to this article on Motley Fool. That's because they already paid the taxes on the Roth contributions. To make tax-free withdrawals, clients should have owned the Roth account for at least five years, keep withdrawals under $10,000, and use the entire amount for buying a home. Moreover, for the withdrawals to be tax-free, clients should only pull out the principal.

Clients forced to take Social Security before full retirement age?
Although delaying Social Security could mean bigger benefits, seniors should not feel bad about claiming the benefit before their full retirement age if they have no other sources of income, according to this article on Washington Post. Data from the Census Bureau show that 13.7% of retirees aged 65 or older in 2015 lived in supplemental poverty, and the number could be three times the rate if Social Security was excluded.

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401(k) Social Security IRAs