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Together is better for couples' finances

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Welcome to Retirement Scan, our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be talking about.

When it comes to couples’ finances together is better
Couples are advised to work together when making decisions on big-picture finances, such as maximizing their retirement plans, coordinating health insurance and reducing their tax burden, writes an expert in Kiplinger. For example, couples need to determine their savings rate in their 401(k)s and take advantage of the employer's match to secure retirement for both spouses. They should also consider setting up a Roth IRA to create a source of after-tax income in retirement, or roll over some after-tax contributions in their traditional IRA to a Roth for continued tax-deferred growth.

3 retirement mistakes to avoid in 2020
There are a few retirement missteps that clients need to avoid next year, according to this Motley Fool article. Clients are advised to avoid the mistake of not reviewing their investment portfolio or not factoring for taxes when creating a retirement income plan. Those turning 70 1/2 should also ensure that they don't forget to take the mandatory distributions from their traditional 401(k)s and traditional IRAs before the end of 2020.

How do clients’ financial priorities stack up with this pyramid?
Morningstar's Christine Benz offers an "investment pyramid" guide to help new clients set priorities and keep experienced clients on the right track. At the base of the pyramid is setting a financial goal, followed by managing saving and spending rates, choosing the right asset allocation and managing their own behavior, Benz says. Clients should then look for ways to manage their portfolio for tax efficiency. Picking the right investment options is at the top of the pyramid, Benz adds. "Investment selection appears at the top because it needs to be informed by the factors beneath it in the pyramid."

The big shift in future planning: Tech that predicts behavior, says Charles Schwab’s Bernie Clark.
November 20

Not sure if your clients can retire? Small adjustments can make a big difference.
Minor adjustments such as reducing spending, moving to a cheaper location and working a bit longer can help seniors boost their retirement prospects, writes a Forbes contributor. Having a solid investment strategy is important to survive market volatility in retirement, he writes. “Still, the comparisons hold: whether market gyrations can overpower almost any portfolio, in all cases a retiree will benefit by taking less money from a larger pot. Even small adjustments can have a big impact later on.”

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