Saving Our Retirement

At AARP, we know that the people we represent have worked hard to save for retirement, and we believe that they deserve to have financial advisers who work just as hard to protect and grow their savings. Right now, some people have that, and some don’t. Loopholes in the law allow many financial advisers to offer advice based on what’s best for them, not the person saving for retirement. We need to change that. In today’s world it’s hard enough …

Obama Budget Would Drastically Alter IRA Rules

President Barack Obama calls them loopholes, although investors consider them playing by the rules. Yet under the president’s newly released budget, some of the tax strategies used by high-income earners to contribute to Roth IRAs or maximize the tax benefits on inherited IRAs would go away. Right now, to make a full or partial contribution to a tax-friendly Roth IRA, income must be under $131,000 for an individual and $193,000 for a married couple. High earners have gotten around this by …

President’s Budget Would Trim Estate Exemptions

President Barack Obama’s proposals to increase middle-income tax cuts would come partly at a price to the estates of higher-income households. Under the new budget released Monday, the president calls for turning back the clock on estate taxes to 2009, when an individual could shelter $3.5 million — double that for married couples — from the federal estate tax. Currently, the exemption amount is $5.43 million per person. The top tax rate on estates would also go up under the president’s …

Non-Traded REITs – Warning, Danger Ahead

Are you looking for income? One solution often pitched is private and non-traded REITs (real estate investment trusts). REITs raise money to buy income-producing real estate. In this low-yield environment, they are touted as having high yields and no market risk, and as alternatives to bonds. These days, REITs are selling like hotcakes. According to Investment News, sales doubled to $20 billion in 2013 from a year earlier. Sales were likely to be robust for 2014 as well, though the Wall …

Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape. Here’s what you need to know: What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between …

Making Social Security Work for Women

Social Security is gender neutral, meaning men and women earning the same amount in their careers should receive the same size benefit. In reality, a woman’s benefit on average is lower than a man’s — $1,103 vs. $1,417 in 2012 — because her work and personal experiences are rarely the same. Women tend to earn less — an average of 78 cents for every $1 a man makes. They are more likely to be in low-paying jobs without pensions and to …