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Best banks for retirees: Retirement Scan

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

Best banks for retirees, 2017
This article on Kiplinger identifies the most retiree-friendly banks across the U.S. These banks provide senior-friendly accounts to older customers, offer them rewards such as no-fee checking accounts that earn interest, and give them access to a range of savings, retirement and investment accounts. These banks also don't have penalties for paper statements and even offer free checks.
Some older parents are missing out on this Social Security perk
Unknown to many, seniors who have a child in high school may want to start collecting Social Security benefits as soon as they reach the age of 62, according to this article on Money. That's because the child is entitled to a dependent benefit, which is 50% of their retirement benefit at full retirement age. Seniors are advised to plan on when to file for the benefits, as the amount involved could be substantial, says a retirement-planning consultant.

Why tax reform could take away some of the benefits of retirement saving
The tax plan being pushed by GOP lawmakers seek to lower tax rates on capital gains and dividends, and this would make tax-advantaged 401(k) plans less valuable, writes Alicia H. Munnell, director of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, in this article on MarketWatch. That's because the benefits of investing inside and outside the plan would be identical, argues Munnell. "Financial services firms that are worried about the favorable treatment of 401(k) accounts should keep their eyes on the taxation of capital income outside of retirement plans as much as on the tax preferences themselves."

The ‘below average’ fund fee could eat your retirement
A report from Morningstar shows that the average fees for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds dropped to a record low of 0.6% last year, according to this article on Bloomberg. While the decline is good for investors, retirement investors are advised to check the fund's actual expense ratio and should not rely on marketing pitch saying that the fund's ratio is "below average." That's because the average benchmark used is unclear, and "below average" expense ratio could be more than 1%.

Ask Larry: Do I need to do anything to earn delayed retirement credits?
A 67-year-old retiree who is collecting Social Security widow's benefit on her deceased husband's record started earning delayed retirement credits for her own retirement benefit as soon as she reached her full retirement age of 66, according to this article on Forbes. She is not required file and suspend to earn the credits, and can expect her own retirement benefit to increase because of these credits.

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