4 changes to consider during Medicare open enrollment: Retirement Scan

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4 changes to consider during Medicare open enrollment
Medicare open enrollment is an opportunity for seniors to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, according to this article on MarketWatch. They can also enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, while those who have existing Advantage and Part D plans are allowed to switch to a better plan. Only clients in selected geographical areas have access to Advantage plans, with monthly premiums amounting to as much as $250. Monthly premiums for Part D premiums could go as high as $120, but are within the $35-$50 range for most people.

Outdated 401(k) rules are shortchanging Americans
Many of 401(k) practices have become outdated and hurt many workers' ability to save for retirement, as the workforce is increasingly becoming mobile, according to this article from Bloomberg. These obsolete rules include the age and one-year service requirement for eligibility to join a 401(k) plan and an additional one-year service requirement for workers to qualify for employer's matching contributions, the report says. “Being ineligible to save in a new employer’s plan for 1 year on 11 occasions, especially occurring more frequently early in a worker’s career, may result in $411,439 less retirement savings ($111,454 in 2016 dollars).”

Should client save for retirement or kids' college costs?
Conventional wisdom dictates that parents put their retirement saving ahead of their children's education expenses, according to this article on CNBC. Parents should start saving as early as possible and redirect their savings to their children's education needs when they start attending college. "I drive parents to think of themselves first — it's the greatest gift they can give their kids," she added. "Because there's no guarantee the kids will take care of them financially or otherwise in their old age," says a certified financial planner.

Which is better: Lump sum or pension annuity?
Seniors are advised to assess their financial circumstances carefully before deciding whether to take a lump sum pension payment or receive a monthly payout throughout retirement, according to this article on Forbes. To arrive at the right decision, there are several considerations to make, such as their overall financial situation, current and projected cash flow needs, and longevity.

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