Are you almost ready for retirement? You may feel you’ve got it all under control, as you’ve got comfortable balances in your 401(k) and IRAs, and you’ve figured out the best strategy for tapping those accounts when you stop working. Congrats, but you may have more planning to do. Have you given thought to how you would protect your finances if you suffer a cognitive decline late in life? It’s not pleasant to think about, but more than half of Americans ages 80 and older experience at least a mild impairment. You’ll want a trusted family member or financial adviser to back you up, so get that paperwork in order. And by the way, make sure any adviser you work with is really trustworthy, since Wall Street may derail a key rule designed to protect retirement investors. All the more reason to take these steps now.
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THIS WEEK’S RETIREMENT NEWS, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE
How a Roth Conversion Can Help You Pass on More Wealth
For most people, a Roth IRA is all about saving money after tax. But Roths offer another big advantage: the ability to pass on a bigger legacy to your heirs. That can be a good reason to convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth. But figuring out whether it’s the right move for you is tricky, as contributor Walter Updegrave explains. MONEY
A Hierarchy for Retirement Savings
Many investors choose their retirement savings accounts in a haphazard way. You start with a 401(k) and maybe add a taxable account or IRA. But figuring out which accounts are best to use, and in which order, can give you a bigger bang for your bucks. Morningstar’s Christine Benz lays out the strategy. MORNINGSTAR
Diversification Isn’t (Necessarily) Necessary for Fixed Income
How many types of fixed income investments do you really need? If you’ve got a Treasury bond fund or CDs, you’re probably good to go, says CPA and blogger Mike Piper. But if you hold other types of bonds, you’ll need a more diverse mix. Hear him out. OBLIVIOUS INVESTOR
Inside Wall Street’s Secret War on American Investors
A crucial protection for retirement investors is in jeopardy. The U.S. Labor Department has developed a “fiduciary” rule, which would require an adviser working with your retirement account to look out for your best interests. But President Trump is likely to delay or repeal it, reports Megan Leonhardt. MONEY
4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Bad Retirement Advice
Following up on the possible repeal of the fiduciary rule, it’s more important than ever for you to protect your savings. Writer John Wasik offers four tips for safeguarding your finances against untrustworthy advisers. Preview: Understand what a Form ADV is and how to get one. FORBES
The Retirement Risk That No One Wants to Talk About
When you’re saving for retirement, your main focus is accumulating enough money to last a lifetime. But don’t overlook another risk: that you will experience cognitive decline later in life. That could put your savings in jeopardy. Here’s how to protect yourself. MONEY
Visualizing Retirement Goals Will Help in Reaching Them
Sure, it may sound a bit like self-help nonsense. But visualizing your goals really can help you achieve them, says writer Peter Dunn. No, it’s not a matter of simply wishing for good things to happen. The strategy is to stay focused and specific about your goals. USA TODAY
The Best and Worst Places to Retire
Where do you want to live in retirement? It’s a difficult question for many people, since the decision often has to wait until you know what your finances will look like when you stop working. That said, it can be fun to think about the pros and cons of different locales—this list may provide some inspiration. CNBC
YOUR RETIREMENT QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Just Retired and Inheriting $1 Million: Is There a Downside?
Q: I am inheriting farmland in Illinois and getting around $1 million after taxes. I retired at 61 1/2 at the end of 2016 and am researching where to invest. My current bank is paying 0.1% interest on checking and savings accounts. Where do I start?
A: Congratulations on your retirement and the inheritance. Before you dive into specific investments, consider your overall goals and financial resources as you move into this new stage of life. Do you have other savings or does this inheritance represent the bulk of your assets? Either way, you’ll likely want this money to last. READ MORE
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Wealth is not without its advantages and the case to contrary, although it has often been made, has never proved persuasive.”
–Economist John Kenneth Galbraith