By Penelope Wang
February 3, 2017
Chad Griffith

The White House said this week that President Donald Trump will indefinitely suspend the rollout of an important rule designed to protect retirement savers. The so-called fiduciary rule, which was scheduled to go into effect in April, would have required financial advisers working with retirement accounts to put the interests of their clients ahead of their own—a change that MONEY editors have strongly endorsed. Many advisers who charge fees, not commissions, are already subject to such a rule. But brokers are currently allowed to follow a less-stringent “suitability” standard, which lets them recommend options that cost you more—and pay them more—even if a cheaper or more appropriate choice is available. If you are working with an adviser, or are planning to do so, make sure he or she follows a fiduciary standard—and be sure to do a background check. Whatever happens to the fiduciary rule, you still need to be your own watchdog.

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Nearly two out of three Americans feel pretty confident about their ability to retire comfortably, according to a recent survey. That reflects a certain amount of cognitive dissonance, given the relatively low savings balance they report. Time for a reality check. Contributor Walter Updegrave highlights five key indicators that you’re probably heading for trouble—better take a look now, not later. MONEY

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Trump Wants to Kill the Fiduciary Rule. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

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When Is It Okay to Borrow From Your Retirement Savings?

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Why Retirement Savers Are in Better Shape Than Ever

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How to Give Yourself a Mid-Life Insurance Audit

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An End to Obamacare Could Raise Costs for Boomers and Seniors

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One Millennial Habit That All Retirees Should Adopt

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A Housing Crisis for Seniors

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Are We Too Young to Take Money from Our 401(k)?

Q: We have a 401(k) retirement account and would like to begin withdrawing money so that our RMDs are smaller at age 70½. My wife is 61 and I am only 58 years old. What are the rules for withdrawals when one spouse is not yet 59½ years old?

A: As you note, tax law generally requires that retirement savers begin withdrawing money from their traditional 401(k) accounts and IRAs at age 70 1/2. These required minimum distributions (RMDs), which are taxable, are Uncle Sam’s way of finally getting his hands on money that has grown tax-deferred throughout your working life. Meanwhile, funds withdrawn before age 59 1/2 are generally subject to a 10% penalty, unless you qualify for one of a limited number of exceptions. READ MORE


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

–Writer James Baldwin


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