The under-discussed retirement risk: Death of a spouse

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The under-discussed risk in retirement: death of a spouse
Married couples are likely to see their retirement income drop when their spouse dies, so proper planning is needed to prepare them for such a possibility, according to this article on Kiplinger. For example, claiming Social Security benefits before full retirement age should be avoided, as it could reduce the benefit that the surviving spouse would receive by up to 35%. Couples may also choose a survivorship option when collecting their pension benefits, although this could result in a lower monthly payment. Another option is to get life insurance coverage, as the proceeds after the spouse's death can be used to create a new source of income.

What to do if you haven't saved for retirement by age 50
Clients in their 50s who haven't started saving for the golden years can still improve their retirement prospects by delaying retirement and working longer, according to this article on CNNMoney. Those who have access to workplace retirement plans should also start contributing the maximum amount and make the most of catch-up contributions. Another option is to develop a claiming strategy that will enable them to maximize their Social Security benefits.

Here’s the retirement help investors say they need most — and how to give it to them
A study has found that pre-retirees find retirement income planning to be more challenging than making decisions about when to retire and whether to continue working in the golden years, according to this article on MarketWatch. Clients can surmount the challenge by planning early and assess how their financial assets can be used to generate income in retirement. They should also find a sustainable withdrawal rate and factor in other investing goals, as they may have enough guaranteed income to cover their needs in retirement.

Millennial money lessons: retirement saving 101
Younger workers should take advantage of tax-deferred retirement accounts to build their nest eggs, according to this article on CNBC. They should also avoid cashing out their 401(k) assets when they change jobs, as this could lead to a 10% tax penalty. A good option is to roll over their 401(k) assets with their previous employer into their new plan or a traditional IRA. "Even if you only worked there for two years, there could be $1,000 in that 401(k)," says a financial planner. "It is a lot of effort and paperwork to roll over a 401(k), but keep it simple and clean — when you roll it over, it's more organized and easier to pay attention to and make sure stuff is invested correctly."

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401(k) Retirement planning