How employees can track down old accounts
Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
How clients can track down old retirement accounts
Retirees who have lost track of old 401(k) accounts can call their former employer for help if it still exists or check unclaimed.org, according to this article on the Los Angeles Times. They may also seek assistance from the Department of Labor or from a nonprofit pension counseling center called the Pension Rights Center. They could also check with the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits, a subsidiary of a firm that processes retirement checks. In case their employers or plan administrators claim that they have already cashed in their accounts, they will need to present old tax returns to prove otherwise.
This savings account could power your retirement
Health savings accounts are probably the most tax-beneficial accounts in the planet, according to this article on MarketWatch. However, clients must be able to pay for health care expenses while they work, they should be of good health and have good luck to maximize the benefits of HSAs. One drawback is a client who is below 65 years old and uses HSA money for non-qualified expenses will have to pay any taxes due plus a 20% penalty. Although HSAs offer triple tax benefits, "most people should probably look at [an HSA] as a complement to their 401(k) strategy if they’re looking at this as a long-term investment vehicle, and not so much as a replacement for it," said an expert.
Savings, not returns, key to secure retirement
Investors are advised to focus more on saving for retirement rather than relying on their investment returns, according to this article in Morningstar. Longer lifespans, leading to longer retirement period, greatly affects clients' cost of retirement. The article notes that a 25-year-old worker with an annual income of $100,000 would need to increase his savings by 40% each year to fund his retirement. Investors increase their savings while planning for a possibility of 0% to 2% real portfolio return.
Phased retirement: The next big trend
There is a new retirement trend on the horizon, one that sees individuals working past their usual retirement age to make sure that the can actually afford to be financially independent after leaving the workforce, according to this article in U.S. News & World Report. Among the options many would-be retirees take on are shifting to part-time work, taking on consultancy jobs and putting up small businesses. Experts say this trend is proving to be a win-win situation for many potential retirees because they tend to become bored after several years, while the work also provides a sense of fulfillment aside from financial security.