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

If you understand the cons, annuities can have a lot of pros
Annuities are a good retirement investment option as these products provide an income stream for living expenses above those that can be paid using pensions or Social Security benefits, according to an expert. However, clients give up access to their money when they buy these products, so they are advised to use only a portion of their retirement savings to buy an annuity. Brush up on the other disadvantages of using the annuity strategy as part of retirement planning.  --USA Today

IRS hack: What to do when your Social Security number is exposed
Clients are advised to activate a fraud alert through a credit reporting bureau, such as Experian and Equifax, if they think that their Social Security number has been compromised, according to this article in Los Angeles Times. They also may consider placing a credit freeze to block all possible attempts to create new credit lines. There are no measures to prevent fraudsters from filing fake tax returns, but the IRS has launched a program called Identity Protection PIN as a preventive measure.  --Los Angeles Times

Americans feeling better about finances, but still not prepared — Fed survey
Sixty-five percent of Americans polled by the Federal Reserve claimed they had a comfortable life, with 29% of the respondents saying they were expecting a higher income next year, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. However, 47% of the poll participants said they would not have money to pay for a $400 emergency bill, with 31% of non-retirees saying they had not saved for retirement or would receive no pension, the survey found. “The survey results reveal a lack of economic preparedness among many adults,” the Fed said in a statement.   --The Wall Street Journal

Is your retirement planning future-ready?
Clients who engage in retirement planning are advised to account for the innovative technologies that will change the way things will be done in the future, according to this article on MarketWatch. For instance, robotics can perform the household chores that are difficult to do in old age, such as housecleaning and maintenance. Experts also are developing robotic wheelchairs that can transport disabled seniors without other people's help.  --MarketWatch

Social Security Q&A: Can I use breakeven analysis for when to file?
Clients should not depend on breakeven analysis to determine the age at which they can start collecting their Social Security benefits, according to this article on Forbes.  Social Security is essentially providing longevity insurance. With other insurance (say, homeowner’s or auto), clients wouldn't use breakeven analysis; instead, they'd look at the worst-case scenario (house burns down, car gets totaled) and determine how best to pay for it. Here, the worst case scenario is that you outlive your money. Clients are advised to use Social Security maximization software, and they'll often find the best strategy is to defer benefits until age 70, as that will boost the monthly value of the benefits. 

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