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Elder bankruptcy is on the rise

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

Elder bankruptcy is on the rise. Here’s why
The number of elders who filed for bankruptcy has increased to 12% from 2% in 1991, a study by a group of university professors has found, according to a Forbes article. Weakened trade unions, stagnated wages and the disappearance of pensions are among the factors that contributed to rising elderly bankruptcy. Many retirees also face rising medical costs as they live longer than expected and Medicare covers a smaller share of their health care needs.

The key to saving is easier than clients think
Clients are advised to create a financial plan to make it easier to save for retirement, according to an article from Motley Fool. To do this, they should set a realistic savings goal, determine how Social Security benefits will affect their savings and look for the best strategy that will enable them to achieve this target. Their financial plan should also include a strategy to pay down debt and an emergency fund to cover unforeseen expenses.

How retirement savings can lower clients’ student loan payment
Contrary to what many people think, saving for retirement can help clients boost their ability to pay their student loans, according to a CNBC article. That’s because pretax contributions to traditional retirement plans can help minimize their adjusted gross income. Since the monthly student loan payments are based on AGI, a lower AGI could result in lower payments. “Any time you can put money into your qualified retirement plan at work, it’s always a good thing,” according to an advisor.

Retirees should check their ‘worry/asset’ ratio
Clients are advised to review their “worry/asset ratio,” or the small positions that they hold in their portfolio that add to the stress they face as investors, writes Morningstar’s Christine Benz. “Even though these small positions won’t make or break the investor’s plan and may be there to provide a diversification benefit, they suck up a disproportionate amount of attention and oversight time and often cause real stress,” she writes. “In a very real sense, they’re more trouble than they’re worth."

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