Picking a Financial Adviser? This Tool Can Help

Investors are generally advised to check the background of brokers or other financial professionals before doing business with them. Yet, how many of us really do that, even though it could protect our life savings? It’s safe to say, not a lot. One reason: Even though this information is available online, it’s not been that easy to navigate the multiple websites to find it. >> Should You Invest in Collectibles? Now the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has created the CFTC SmartCheck, …

Small-Business Owners Agree: Secure Choice Is Right for Illinois

BREAKING UPDATE 12/2/14: The Illinois House of Representatives passed the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program.   I want to bring your attention to something happening right now in Illinois that could give small businesses a competitive edge and help millions of Illinois workers have a secure financial future — but time is running out. Only three days remain for the state House of Representatives to pass the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program and give over 2 million Illinoisans a pathway to …

Creating Effective State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

By Gary Koenig, Vice President, Financial Security, and David John, Senior Policy Adviser, Financial Security State-sponsored retirement savings plans can help private-sector workers not covered by employer plans build financial security. How many workers? More than you might think. In 2013, about 55 million private-sector employees did not have access to a retirement plan at work, including more than 7 million in California, 2 million in Illinois, and about 1 million each in Indiana and Maryland. Research shows that middle …

7 Social Security Quirks You Should Know

Note: Join AARP expert Jean Setzfand today, Friday, October 24, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET for a live Facebook Chat with Yahoo! Finance about Social Security claiming and ask Jean or another expert your own question here: https://www.facebook.com/yahoofinance. See Setzfand’s advice in a story from Yahoo! Finance just posted today as well: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/3-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-benefit-163853751.html. As I travel and talk with folks about planning for their future, “when to claim Social Security benefits” is, hands down, the most frequently asked question …

IRS Boosts Limits for 401(k) Contributions

If you’ve been wanting to sock away more money in your workplace retirement savings plan, next year’s your chance. This morning the Internal Revenue Service announced that next year’s contribution limits will go up by $500, to $18,000 for 401(k)s, 403 (b) plans at nonprofits and most 457 plans offered by state and local governments, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. >> Boost Your 401(k) Retirement Savings Workers ages 50 and older are entitled to make extra contributions …

Are You Saving Enough for Health Care in Retirement?

You’ve heard this before, I know, and yet it remains as disturbing as ever. Health care costs, along with housing, are likely to be your biggest expenses in retirement. Boston-based Fidelity Investments found that premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses could cost a 65-year-old couple retiring today a jaw-dropping $220,000 – and that’s in addition to Medicare premiums. Some boomers are heeding that forewarning: In a survey of 1,002 workers age 50 and older, 62 percent say they’re socking away money for …