When a retirement fund isn't safe: Retirement Scan

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

When a retirement fund isn't 'safe'
Investors should understand that market volatility will remain a risk to their portfolio, and investing in low-volatility funds does not guarantee protection, according to this article on Forbes. These funds could be more volatile than the markets and should not be mistaken for a bond or money-market fund, which is usually not affected by a stock sell-off. Investors are advised to look inside the fund before buying it and include bonds, money-market funds and real estate in their portfolio to balance their stock investments.
How to tell if you're on track to a secure retirement
Clients can determine whether they are on track to securing a comfortable retirement by getting their savings to income ratio, according to this article on CNNMoney. The ratio refers to how many times their annual income they have in their retirement accounts at a certain age. Clients may also want to use a more customized approach that includes other factors that could also affect their retirement, such as Social Security benefits. Seeking help from a financial advisor is recommended if they are not confident about making the assessment all by themselves.

How to prevent forced retirement from ruining your golden years
Clients may be forced to retire earlier than planned, and this could hurt their retirement prospects, according to this article on Money. To minimize the impact of a forced retirement, clients are advised to have a savings cushion and create a backup plan to ensure their needs will be fully covered. Tapping into their home equity is an option they can use to shore up their retirement income. Clients can also prepare for an involuntary retirement by developing a realistic withdrawal strategy that will prevent them from outliving their nest egg.

Making catch-up contributions to a health savings account
Retirement savers are allowed to make catch-up contributions to their health savings account when they reach the age of 55, according to this article on Kiplinger. They should also hold a high-deductible health insurance plan to make catch-up contributions. This means that they have a deductible of at least $1,300 (self-only coverage) or $2,600 (family coverage) to contribute an additional $1,000 to the account this year. As a result, they can make a total of $4,350 in HSA contributions for 2016.

3 bills to pay off before you retire
Clients who want to improve their retirement prospects need to pay off certain bills before leaving the labor force for good, according to this article on USA Today. These bills are unsecured debt, student loan debt, and mortgage debt. “A lot of Americans take the head-in-the-sand approach to managing debt. If you sit down with a financial adviser who can help you chart a path, you can eliminate the debt responsibly," says an expert.

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