By Penelope Wang
November 4, 2016
Chad Griffith

When it comes to retirement, married couples have some unique advantages. There’s the ability to share many expenses, for example, and having a partner to nag you to save more (okay, that may be a mixed blessing). But those advantages accrue only if couples share the same financial goals and, especially, their financial data. As the first installment in MONEY’s guide to retirement planning for couples of different ages points out, it’s likely you don’t know some essential information, such as your spouse’s 401(k) balance or his or her retirement dreams. If that describes your situation, have a sit-down with your spouse soon, maybe over a bottle of wine, and start the conversation. The reward will likely to be a richer retirement. And what if you’re single? No worries, we’ve got retirement tips for you too.

Best wishes,

Penny

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THIS WEEK’S RETIREMENT NEWS, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE

Essential Retirement Moves for Couples in Their 20s, 30s and 40s

For younger couples, it’s natural to focus on your most urgent financial goals, such as buying a home and raising your kids. Still, it’s crucial to save for retirement from the get-go. That way, you’ll be better able to handle other money challenges you may face when you reach your 40s, such as balancing saving for retirement and for college costs. Here are essential moves for couples in their 20s and 30s and for those in their 40s. MONEY

How Your Health Plan Can Help You Save for Retirement

If you have a high-deductible health care plan, you’ll likely get a health savings account (HSA), which lets you save money triple tax free. You get a deduction on your contribution, the savings grow tax free, and distributions are tax free if used for medical bills. As reporter Tom Anderson explains, you get the biggest benefit by leaving your HSA alone. CNBC

You Risk a Ragged Retirement If You’re Counting on These Numbers

Designing a retirement strategy typically means guessing about unknowns, such as the investment returns you’ll get and how many years you’ll work. Rules of thumb can be helpful guides, but be careful, warns writer Suzanne Woolley. Women, especially, may need to make more conservative assumptions. BLOOMBERG

Are You Missing Out on Guaranteed Income Because of These 5 Misconceptions?

Most retirees like the idea of guaranteed income to cover their essential living costs. But few buy an annuity. That’s often because people don’t understand how annuities work, says contributor Walter Updegrave. Here are five misconceptions that may be holding you back. MONEY

6 Retirement Strategies a Pro Is Using Himself

As a consulting actuary, author and longevity expert, Steve Vernon has spent 40 years researching retirement planning. Now, in his early 60s, he’s putting his knowledge to personal use—figuring out his own retirement strategy. Here are six ways he’s planning ahead. As you might have guessed, working longer is top of the list. CBS MONEYWATCH

New IRS Rule Could Save $20,000 on Botched IRA Rollovers

It’s easy to mess up when you’re rolling over an IRA—there’s a rigid 60-day deadline, penalties are harsh, and appealing to the IRS could cost thousands of dollars. But recently the IRS changed its process and laid out 11 types of excuses it will accept, which may let you fix the problem for free. Still, you’re better off doing a direct transfer, which avoids the risk of a blown deadline. USA TODAY

3 Moves to Boost Income Even When Rates Are Low

It’s been a long drought for income investors, with the yield on 10-year Treasuries hovering at a measly 1.6%. What to do? Contributor Carla Fried lays out three strategies—plus one cautionary tip—that can help boost your income without too much risk. For starters, move away from Treasuries. MONEY

7 Things You Can Do with a My Social Security Account

Some 26 million people have set up a My Social Security account, which lets you get an estimate of your future benefit at different ages. If you haven’t set up yours yet, here are seven good reasons to get going. Hint: if there’s an error, it’s easier to fix if you catch it now. US NEWS

Where to Live for an Extremely Active Retirement

When people are looking for an ideal retirement locale, the ease of living an active lifestyle is often overlooked, says contributor Dan Kadlec. But staying active—running or cycling or even doing triathlons—is key to remaining healthy. A new survey highlights some sporty cities. MONEY

YOUR RETIREMENT QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The Secret Upside to Donating Directly to a Charity from Your IRA

Q: Is there an additional tax benefit to contributing required minimum distribution dollars directly to a charity versus reporting the funds as a charitable contribution at the end of the tax year? — Susan Lutterman

A: There are a lot of tax perks to be gained from giving your required minimum distributions from an IRA directly to a charity—particularly if you don’t itemize. But there are some caveats as well. READ MORE

WORDS OF WISDOM

“No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.”

–Author Samuel Johnson

 

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