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

Deadline for first IRA withdrawal is almost here
Clients who turned 70 1/2 last year should remember that they have until April 1 to take the first required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. Many investors fail to take their first RMD before the deadline, facing hefty penalties as a result, says Kim Reingold of Fidelity Investments. "If an account owner fails to withdraw a RMD, fails to withdraw the full amount of the RMD, or fails to withdraw the RMD by the applicable deadline, the amount not withdrawn is taxed at 50%," Reingold says.   --The Wall Street Journal

The best and easiest way to boost investment returns
Retirement investors can increase their investment returns if they strive to reduce investing fees, according to this article on Time Money. This means holding an investment portfolio of low-cost index funds or ETFs, but they need not fret if they do not get the lowest-cost portfolio. They are also advised to ensure they use their savings wisely and avoid being drawn to white papers and methodology statements on the websites of robo advisors. Methodology statements showing how their algorithms work might be interesting, but investors are urged to remember that the future may unfold differently from the past, and there’s no assurance that what worked before will work again—or generate comparable results even if it does. --Time Money

Want to be retirement ready? Lower your expectations
Studies show that many Americans are financially unprepared for the golden years, although some people can have better retirement prospects with a small nest egg because of lower living costs, according to this article on CNBC. Yet, even as the living costs decline in retirement, bigger discretionary expenses and rising health care costs could boost retirees' overall budget. Also, more retirees continue to provide financial support to their adult children, which is another additional expense.  --CNBC

For many parents, paying tuition tops retirement
Fifty-three percent of parents polled by T. Rowe Price said they are willing to use their retirement savings to cover college tuition of their children, according to this article on USA Today. Also, 49% of the respondents claimed they are inclined to a late retirement so they could send their children to college, the survey finds. While the findings are "not surprising", parents should realize that "in this day and age where we're probably going to be more responsible for our own retirement ... they really need to be taking care of themselves," says Judith Ward, vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment services.  --USA Today

What you need to know about the high cost of retirement
People's spending patterns change as soon as they enter retirement, but prices of consumer good stay relatively the same, according to this article on MarketWatch. However, the actual cost of living for retirees is increasing, with rising health-care costs partly to blame. To have a portfolio that can secure finances in retirement, clients need to invest in companies that would boost dividends over time and exceed the S&P performance during strong-return periods.--MarketWatch

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