© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.

Claiming Social Security early could lead to poverty later in life

Register now

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

Claiming Social Security early could lead to poverty later in life
Seniors who consider claiming Social Security benefits before their full retirement age are advised to weigh other options before making a decision, as filing early could reduce their benefits by up to 30%, writes an expert on MarketWatch. A study has found that 4.3 million of the 18 million workers in the age 55-64 bracket are likely to live in poverty once they reach age 65. "There are a few considerations to make: how long you plan to keep working, how long you expect to live (and in what health) and the expected returns of your investments, how much you’ve already got saved for retirement and what your financial goals in retirement are," according to the article.

Rethinking retirement rules
For many seniors, tapping into retirement accounts can be emotionally difficult, especially when the markets no longer provide the level of returns that retirees enjoyed in past years, according to this article from Barron's. While some experts recommend the 4% withdrawal rule, retirees may need a more customized and complicated strategy to deal with market volatility. “The rules of thumb have nothing to do with your plan or the life you want to live. They just leave retirees stressing over a decision that may have zero impact on their long-term success,” says an expert. “The key is a plan that gives you a range of possible outcomes and lets you know that if I spend this today, will the 80-year-old me be OK.”

Follow QCD rules to make your IRA qualified charitable distributions count
An expert writes that while the new tax law makes itemizing deductions less valuable, retirees can still get a tax break on their donations to charity by donating directly from their traditional IRA through a qualified charitable distribution, according to this article on Kiplinger. "The QCD lets you transfer money from your traditional IRA directly to a charity without the money being added to your adjusted gross income...," writes the expert. "A bonus: The money can count toward your required minimum distribution if the QCD is made before satisfying your RMD for the year."

5 legal ways to get tax-free income for retirement
Contributing to a Roth IRA is one strategy for clients to create a tax-free income stream in retirement, according to this article from Forbes. Investors who want to build a source of after-tax retirement income also have the option of contributing to a Roth 401(k) or a Roth 403(b). Municipal bonds and funds, health savings account and cash value life insurance are other options that can provide investors tax-free income after leaving the workplace for good.

How low-income earners can get up to $2,000 by saving for retirement
Clients who want to make the most of the benefits of retirement accounts should take advantage of the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. The tax break is meant for workers with low to moderate income, giving these clients to save on taxes for the first $2,000 in contributions made to an IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k).

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.