Health savings accounts may flourish under Trump

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

Health savings accounts may flourish under Trump
Clients who use health savings accounts to cover their health care costs and save for retirement stand to benefit from plans of Republican leaders to make these tax-advantaged plans more accessible, according to this article on CNBC. Trump has proposed making it easier to pass on HSAs to heirs while some House Republicans want a nearly-twofold increase in contribution limits, the article says. "We feel the election outcome certainly seems to lean more favorably toward HSAs, however, it may take time for that to play out," says an executive.

Don't expect the Fed to protect your portfolio
Although the Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, the incoming administration is likely to bring down these rates if the economy tumbles, according to this article on Kiplinger. Shortening bond durations, lowering the holdings' average price-earnings ratio and having cash reserves are among the strategies that retirement investors can use to protect their portfolio from a possible "Fed bubble."

As Medicare Part-B premiums rise, survival strategies for 2017
Seniors are advised to review their Medicare plan options months before reaching 65 to mitigate the rising costs of Medicare Parts A and B premiums and deductibles, according to this article on USA Today. They should also enroll in Part B as soon as they qualify and assess their plan to determine if it meets their requirements. It also helps to use tax strategies to keep their Medicare premiums low, and to seek professional guidance if they are subject to income-related monthly adjusted amount.

8 questions for RMD season
Investors have to start taking required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts when they turn 70 1/2, and these withdrawals are subject to income tax, according to this article on Morningstar. To minimize their RMD-related taxes in retirement, clients should reduce their assets in these tax-deferred accounts and save more in taxable and Roth accounts. Retirees may also want to use funds from their 401(k) and IRAs to cover their living expenses or consider converting some of the assets in these accounts into a Roth before turning 70 1/2. Retirees who are already in their RMD years have the option to donate their RMD amount to a qualified charity to avoid the tax liability.

Retirement: Lock in lifetime income
Taking a lump-sum pension payment can be a better option than receiving lifetime pension payments if clients can reinvest the money to create a guaranteed income stream with 4% earnings over 25 years, according to this article on the Chicago Tribune. Couples who decide to get lifetime payouts have the option to take the single-life option or the joint-life option. Investors who have no pension can create a guaranteed income stream by buying an annuity, but they should not invest all their retirement savings in this product, as they permanently lose access to the funds once they do so.

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