5 big changes for retirees in 2018

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

5 ways life could change for retirees in 2018
Retirees will have to change the way they file taxes under the new tax law, according to this article on MarketWatch. For example, they will have to make two years' worth of charitable donations every other year to exceed the standard deduction and itemize. The reduction in corporate tax rates may also mean more employers will offer 401(k) plans, as they will have more funds to spend for their employees.
Have you heard of the 4% rule? Most Americans haven't
A survey has found that majority of Americans were not aware of the 4% rule that experts recommend for retirees when tapping into their investment portfolio for income, according to this article on Motley Fool. The rule is a good starting point for retirees to determine whether they have enough retirement resources or they will need to beef up their savings to secure their golden years. Retirees may use the 4% rule and make adjustments along the way to account for inflation, Social Security and other income sources.

Retirees: What you should watch in 2018
Retiree investors are advised to monitor stock market conditions this year, as a market downturn is very likely after nine years of strong growth, according to this article on Morningstar. Lawmakers could also pass major reforms to Social Security and Medicare this year. Interest rates could see an increase, which is a positive for low-risk fixed-income investments and pricing of annuities, says an expert.

What you don't know (but should) about your Thrift Savings Plan
Federal employees and members of the military have the option of using their Thrift Savings Plan to build their retirement nest egg, according to this article on Forbes. Like a 401(k), a TSP comes with an employer's match and offers a Roth feature that accepts aftertax contributions in exchange for tax-free distributions in retirement, giving them some tax diversification. TSP accounts may differ, depending on whether account holders are in the military or civilian government agency.

The great Social Security benefits debate: Take it early or wait?
Delaying Social Security retirement benefits can be a smart financial move for seniors who want to increase their monthly benefit payouts, according to this article on Washington Post. However, such a move makes no sense if clients are in poor health and do not expect to live long. “Unless you or your husband don’t expect to make it to your late 70s, I sure wouldn’t take [your retirement benefits] at 62, which would also require that you not have meaningful employment income, because it would reduce the benefits,” says an expert.

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Retirement planning Tax planning Decumulation Social Security benefits Social Security