How to plan (or not) for Social Security in retirement

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

How to plan (or not) for Social Security in retirement
Most people, particularly younger clients, worry that they will not be able to get their Social Security benefits by the time they retire, according to this article from Forbes, citing a Transamerica Retirement Survey. To be sure, experts advise clients not to count on the program. A group of four experts advised millennial clients to not plan on Social Security being a part of their retirement planning. Responses revolved around the idea of “consider it, but don’t count on it,” to “consider it a potential bonus.” One expert said: “If a millennial plans well, they won’t have to worry about Social Security. This generation really needs to understand that Social Security is, in fact, an anti-poverty insurance policy and not a personal pension...," says a financial planner.

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A sign marks the entrance to the headquarters of the Social Security Administration located on Security Boulevard in Baltimore, Maryland on January 11, 2005. Photograph: Dennis Brack/Bloomberg News

How to ensure that assets end up with an heir — not that person's spouse
Seniors could expect their legacy to end up with their child's spouse if the inherited assets are deposited in a joint account or used to improve a marital property and their adult child predeceases his or her spouse, according to this article on Los Angeles Times. Retirees who want to ensure that their grandchildren benefit from their legacy should consider using a generation-skipping trust. A will and a revocable living trust are also other options they can use.

The No. 1 reason people tap their retirement funds early
A study by TIAA-CREF Financial Services has found that 29% of workers have borrowed from their 401(k) plan, with nearly 50% of these workers tapping into their retirement funds at least twice, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. Based on a separate survey by GOBankingRates, about 44% of workers who have taken a loan from their retirement plan before the age of 59 1/2 borrowed the money to pay down debt. Clients should consider a 401(k) loan a last resort option, as it could adversely affect their long-term savings.

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