Fixing small-company 401(k)s

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Fixing small-company 401(k)s
Small companies provide defined-contribution 401(k) plans to their workers with pricey funds and limited features, but there are ways for them to improve their plans, writes Morningstar's John Rekenthaler. Small employers are allowed to set up multiple-employer plans, but the government needs to "simplify and rationalize the rules" for these types of plans, writes the expert. They should also automate enrollment of their new employees to an IRA. "These two proposals would be easy to implement, and force no mandates onto employees. They would retain their economic freedom."

5 things clients should consider before filing for Social Security
Before filing for Social Security benefits, seniors should ensure that they have posted at least 35 working years, since having less than that would mean a lower benefit payout, according to this article from Kiplinger. They should also consider the advantages of delaying their retirement benefits while couples should include spousal benefits in their claiming strategy to maximize their total benefits. Knowing their break-even age or the time they will get their overall lifetime payment can help in making the decision. A certain portion of the benefits would be taxed if the retirement income exceeds a certain threshold, so retirees should find ways to reduce their taxable income to avoid the tax on the benefits.

5 Medicare changes for 2018
Retirees should expect some of the Medicare premiums and deductibles to increase next year, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. They will also see an increase in coinsurance payments for hospital and skilled nursing stays as well as changes to income brackets for means-based surcharges. Lawmakers are pushing for health care reform, which would include proposed changes for the program.

Quieting the noise around retirement
Despite a well-developed plan to spend the golden years, seniors may still encounter debacles that could pose a threat to a rewarding and fulfilling retirement, writes a Forbes contributor. "Whether it's an aging parent, adult child, health issue, depression, or just feeling less relevant or out-of-sorts without a job and colleague to talk with, there can be a lot of noise interfering with your goals and plans for retirement," writes the expert. "There is a psychology to life in retirement, and research suggests that those who embrace the power of a positive attitude and develop resilience in the face of challenges do better during the transition."

What’s the largest Social Security retirement check someone can get?
Clients should review their Social Security statement on a regular basis and should not wait to be a few years away to retirement to check their benefit, according to this article from Washington Post. To check their statement online, clients may want to create an account at the SSA website or drop by an SSA office to set up their account. "The average Social Security benefit currently being paid out to a retired worker is about $1,372 per month, or $16,464 per year," says an expert.

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Retirement income 401(k) Social Security Social Security benefits Medicare