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

Democrats propose Social Security change to help single women

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced legislation that would enable unmarried, divorced and widowed women to collect bigger Social Security benefits, according to this article on Time. Also, women would also collect a percentage of the benefits collected by their former spouses with whom they were married for less than 10 years under Murray's bill. “Over the past several decades, the workforce has changed, families have changed, and our economy has changed, but in some important ways, Social Security hasn’t kept up,” Murray said. –Time

Protecting your portfolio from the downside

Retirement investors who are compelled to make changes to their portfolio to protect their investments from market volatility may modify their asset allocation by reducing equities and increasing assets in less-risky investments, according to this article on MarketWatch. Investors may also consider holding more high-dividend paying stocks or REITs and other securities that offer better income returns. Purchasing protective put options is the simplest route to have an option-based portfolio insurance, which can provide investors real protection from market downturns. –MarketWatch

How the Fed has warped the 401(k)

Low interest rates have made Treasurys and investment-grade corporate bonds unattractive for retirement investors, prompting them to boost their investments in equities and high-yield corporate bonds for better returns, writes Michael Thompson, chairman of S&P Investment Advisory Services. However, the investors' appetite would change in the event interest rates begin to rise, as "investors will begin reallocating their portfolios into more age-appropriate risk profiles," Thompson writes. "The large-scale unwinding of those “risk on” allocations will result in the inability of the Fed to dictate the shape of the yield curve." –The Wall Street Journal

Social Security disability fund gets dealt another blow

Despite the relief brought by the new budget law to Social Security Disability Insurance fund, the fund will continue to experience financial problems, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office. The fund's financial woes were a result of Social Security Administration's past decisions, such as incurring about $15.4 billion in additional debt from 2005 to 2014, says GAO, adding that the fund also has procedural issues that resulted in overpayments. "Avoiding overpayments is imperative as they pose a burden for beneficiaries who must repay excess benefits and result in lost taxpayer dollars if they are not repaid or are waived by" the SSA, the researchers note. –CNBC

Why do some people retire? It’s just the right time — and they want to golf.

A survey shows that more men than women intend to retire to spend more time with their spouse, busting a myth that the desire for retirement is driven by people wanting to have more time with their spouses, according to this article on Washington Post. Nearly 50% of the respondents also claimed they decided on their retirement date without accounting for their retirement savings and gave more weight on having more years to enjoy in retirement than on having an adequate nest egg, the survey finds. –Washington Post

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