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

3 reasons to claim Social Security early
Filing for Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age is an option that seniors should consider if they are jobless and running out of funds, according to this article on Motley Fool. Seniors should also consider claiming the benefit early if they are in poor health. Launching a business is another good reason for seniors to start collecting their retirement benefits early.

Bloomberg News

To buy or not to buy: Do annuities have a purpose in your portfolio?
Clients consider including annuities in their portfolio because they want to boost their guaranteed income after they retire, writes an expert on Kiplinger. Another advantage of annuities that clients want is that these financial products protect their retirement savings from market volatility, writes the expert. "Annuities can offer the protection and income many people need. You can’t lose your principal, and you’ll have guaranteed income coming from it."

Retirement crisis: 37% of Gen X say they won't be able to afford to retire
Thirty-seventy percent of Gen Xers polled by TD Ameritrade claimed that they would want to stop working and "fully retire" in the future, but the idea is something they cannot afford, according to this article on USA Today. Moreover, 43% of the respondents said "they are behind" in their retirement savings, with 49% voicing concern over the possibility that they would outlive their nest egg. The survey also found that only a third are "very secure" in their retirement prospects.

Are you ready for a "self-directed" IRA?
Clients who want to use their retirement savings to invest in real estate and commodities may opt to set up a "self-directed" IRA, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. This option enables retirement investors to conduct tax-free business inside the retirement vehicle. Clients who opt for a self-directed IRA are advised to follow the IRS rules strictly or else the account will be subject to taxes.

Ask Larry: Can I get a lump sum payment?
Clients on Social Security are not entitled to a lump sum payment regardless whether they are collecting retirement or disability benefits, according to this article on Forbes. A surviving spouse is eligible for a one-time lump sum death benefit amounting to $255, and can collect whichever is higher between her own retirement benefit and her survivor's benefit on her deceased husband's record.

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