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

Budget deal underscores danger of relying on Social Security
The White House and congressional leaders have approved a budget deal that would make changes to the Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act rules, affecting Americans' retirement and disability benefits, according to this article on Forbes. Once approved, the budget bill means that there is a risk in depending on Social Security to create an income stream in retirement. The new agreement eliminates the spousal benefit aspect to the file-and-suspend claiming strategy. This article concludes that due to federal budget constraints and the financial pressure on Social Security stemming from baby boomers, funding a private retirement account could be the difference for your clients between retiring in comfort and having to work the rest of their lives.  --Forbes

Don't let health-care expenses derail clients' retirement
When planning for retirement, clients need to account for health care costs, which are expected to increase because of longer life span and anticipated annual increases for medical and prescription bills, according to this article on CNBC. To prepare for these expenses, clients are advised to assess their medical needs and contribute to a tax-advantaged health savings account before reaching the age of 65. They should then determine the possible costs and check insurance options to cover these expenses.  --CNBC

How good is your clients' 401(k) plans?
Workers need to check the fees charged by their 401(k) to determine the quality of their plan, although the fees are usually based on plan size, industry, services and other factors, according to this article on Kiplinger. Clients also need to check if the investment options within the plan meet their needs. For instance, they should check to see if the plan provides a stable value fund and other investment options that have low volatility risk and offers a fixed income.  --Kiplinger

How the budget deal changes Social Security for couples
The budget deal includes provisions that would end retired couples' ability to file for and suspend their Social Security retirement benefits as a strategy to maximize their benefits, according to this article on Time Money. The file-and-suspend strategy adds $9.5 billion in benefits for couples every year, according to the Center for Retirement Research.  --Time Money

When to start Social Security? This tool can help
Financial advisory group Financial Engines has developed an online tool that will help pre-retirees determine the best age to start collecting Social Security retirement benefits, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. The tool offers a recommendation based on the estimate of the clients' lifetime Social Security income. It also offers an estimate of the clients' lifetime payout based on the age they want to begin receiving the benefits as well as other strategies to bolster the total amount of benefits.  --CBS Moneywatch

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