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Most Americans plan to own homes in retirement, but that might be a mistake

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Most Americans plan to own homes in retirement, but that might be a mistake
Owning a home in retirement provides a number of benefits, including the option for a reverse mortgage and tax breaks for mortgage interest payments and property taxes, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. However, homeownership comes with financial obligations that can be burdensome for retirees who rely on a fixed income. Aside from mortgage and property taxes, retirees will also have to spend on maintenance and repair costs.

Reality check: Social Security will survive, but will it be enough?
The uncertainty over Social Security benefits should give clients more reason to engage in retirement planning, according to this article from USA Today. This means boosting contributions to their employer-sponsored retirement plans, setting up an IRA if they have no access to a workplace plan, and building non-retirement cash reserves. They should also have a realistic estimate of their expenses in the golden years and get a projection of their Social Security retirement benefits using the calculator on the program's website.

Tailoring health care for older patients
An expert calls the country's medical care system "not well designed" to attend to older people who are suffering from multiple chronic illnesses and need care, according to this article on Kiplinger. "Our system is designed to provide technologically intensive, hospital-based care, and that’s often not what’s in the best interest of this group of people," says the expert. "For someone who is frail and has multiple chronic conditions, a good place to start is to have a geriatrically oriented primary-care physician."

Opinion: Here’s what smart rich people really do with their nest egg
Saving and investing for retirement can be challenging even for the most educated professional, writes an expert on MarketWatch. Smart, wealthy clients succeed at building their nest egg because they make it a point to lower their investment costs, stick to their investment process, and save as much as they can, writes the expert. "The sweet spot is what we call 'portfolio indexing,' a form of low-cost portfolio management that harnesses the stock market’s propensity to rise over time and lets compounding do its magic."

How to deal with a financial emergency in retirement
Clients who need to raise money to cover emergency expenses are advised to tap easy-to-access funds first before drawing from their retirement savings, according to this article from U.S. News & World Report. Those who have to take withdrawals from retirement accounts such as traditional IRA and 401(k) should consult a professional to create a strategy that will minimize the impact on taxes, such as liquidating depreciated holdings in a brokerage account. “Also look into liquidating several holdings so that when you net the tax impact together, the gains offset the losses and there is little to no tax impact,” says an expert.

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