Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

2 worrisome trends in retirement planning

The use of online investment platforms is a growing trend in the industry, but investors, particularly the retirees, need to carefully consider using these robo investment advisers, which could put their investments at risk in the coming years, according to this article on MarketWatch. Another troubling trend is paperless transactions, as investors are likely to lose oversight of their investments if they have no physical printout of their bills, statements, and other important documents. –MarketWatch

What Medicare costs in 2015 -- and what's covered

Most American adults have heard of Medicare, but those who aren't actually using it probably don't know many of the program's details, according to an article on The Motley fool. The federal health insurance program approved by President Johnson in 1965 is designed to cover health care costs for people aged 65 and older, as well as some younger people who suffer from disabilities and end-stage renal disease. In a nutshell, it consists of four parts, each of which serves different functions. Read more about these Medicare features and how much these parts cost this year. –The Motley Fool

 

Some states act to spur retirement saving

To improve the retirement prospects of many Americans, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., are expected to file a bipartisan bill that would push small companies to sponsor retirement plans and create incentives for workers who boost their retirement savings. "Making it easier for smaller businesses to provide access to retirement plans for their workers would make a significant difference in the financial security of many Americans," Collins said. Several states also consider making similar moves to address the problem with the retirement programs and encourage more people to save for retirement. –USA Today

Is your retirement portfolio's asset allocation on track?

Instead of knowing the "right" asset allocations, retirement investors should base their investment distribution on market history and a logical view of valuations for asset classes available to them, writes Christine Benz, director of personal finance of Morningstar. When modifying their asset allocation, investors also need to ask critical questions before making a decision, such as queries about longevity history in the family, availability of pension and other sources of retirement income, and savings rate. Updating the portfolio's asset allocation on a regular basis is important to ensure they are still on track towards achieving their goals. –Morningstar

Social Security Q&A: Will my mom keep her widow's benefit or switch to retirement at 66?

A part-time worker who has been receiving a widow's benefit for 10 years can expect the benefit value to increase when she reaches full retirement age, as the amount she lost in the earnings test will be returned to her, according to this article on Forbes. She may continue receiving her widow's benefit when she turns 70 if the value will be higher than her own retirement benefit. However, shifting to her own retirement benefit would be a better option if it will be bigger than the widow's benefit. –Forbes

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