Whatever happened to that old retirement plan?
Based on estimates by Aon Hewitt, as many as 30% of pension accounts are either abandoned or lost, according to this article in The Wall Street Journal. This is because many providers can no longer locate the account holders after these workers left the company, account holders have forgotten about the benefits, or they cannot track their former employer after it changed its name. Workers who want to keep track of their old 401(k) or pension plan are advised to contact the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration. They may also seek help from Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and the Pension Counseling Projects.

(Bloomberg News)
(Bloomberg News)

An outside-the-box idea for taking your RMD
Taking a required minimum distribution from tax-deferred IRA when retirees reach 70 1/2 could boost their taxable income and increase the taxable portion of their Social Security benefits, according to this article on USA Today. Using IRA funds to buy a qualified longevity annuity contract and making qualified charitable contributions are traditional strategies to reduce the RMD amount. Another option is to withdraw an amount that is bigger than the RMD, and put the money in a charitable remainder trust or a donor-advised fund, says a certified financial planner. “This approach reduces the future RMDs, which means less future IRA taxes, potentially less inclusion of future Social Security income in your taxes, and lower future premiums for Medicare to be withheld from Social Security benefits.”

7 states that are better than Florida for retirement
While Florida is a popular retirement destination for many Americans, there are other states offering lower taxes and better living conditions for retirees, according to this article on Kiplinger. These states include South Dakota, Utah, Georgia and Tennessee. Retirees should also consider Alabama, South Carolina and Washington, which are better than Florida in terms of taxes, cost of living, health care and other factors.

5 ways to make the last 10 years before retirement count
Clients who are approaching retirement but falling short of their savings goals can help improve their prospects by contributing to a Roth IRA, according to this article on USA Today. Other options are opening a health savings account, paying off their debt before retiring, and adopting a more aggressive approach to investing. Stopgap measures, such as applying for a reverse mortgage and buying an annuity product, can also help.

Ask Larry: The secrets to collecting Medicare without 40 quarters of coverage!
Americans are allowed to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage when they turn 65 even if they fail to get 40 quarters of coverage, according to this article on Forbes. They are also allowed to sign up for Medicare Part A, although they have to pay the monthly premium at $411, which is 45% lower than premiums for workers with 30 to 40 quarters of coverage. They may also enroll in Part D drug coverage once they sign up for Part A, Part B or both.

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