Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
Can taxing the wealthy save Social Security?
Eliminating the Social Security maximum limits on taxable income to tax the wealthy would not completely fix the program's looming insolvency. While it would bring in more money to the system, according to this article on Motley Fool, some industry observers say it would also bring unintended consequences. Proponents of such a move note that it would address a major swath of Social Security's shortfall. Indeed, according to the American Academy of Actuaries, eliminating the tax max altogether could address 88% of the program's long-term deficit. However, a 2014 report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, laid out the opposing a view as such: Higher-income workers generally have more flexibility to work less when marginal tax rates rise. But when workers cut back on work and receive less take-home pay, they also tend to cut back on savings and investment. Less work, lower incomes, smaller savings, and less investment are harmful to economic growth, which in turn, is detrimental to tax revenues. The article concludes by saying that there's no way to predict what will happen with the program, but if clients assume that their benefits will be reduced, and that motivates them to save and invest more now, it'll only be beneficial in the long run. --Motley Fool
Does your client's employer offer a Roth 401(k)? If not, their retirement could suffer
Employer-sponsored 401(k) plans should offer a Roth option to help workers enhance their retirement prospects, according to this article on Bloomberg. Although a traditional 401(k) plan defers tax on contributions, participants pay taxes on withdrawals when their tax bracket is higher. With a Roth 401(k), workers pay outright taxes when they are in a low tax bracket, while withdrawals will be tax-free in retirement. “It’s tough to say what the world will look like in 30 years. With a Roth account, you can lock in current tax rates,” says an expert. --Bloomberg
5 ways retirees can control long-term health care costs
Clients should prepare for the staggering costs of health care in retirement, and one option is to have long-term care insurance, according to this article on CNBC. They can also get a hybrid policy that combines LTCI with life insurance or an annuity with an LTC rider. Those who don't want to pay too much on LTCI premiums may want to set up a Medicaid-proof trust. Other options to prepare for costs of long-term health care are self-insurance and the reverse mortgage line of credit. --CNBC
The smartest financial decision clients will ever make
With retirement on a very distant horizon, young people should start saving to give their money more time to grow through compounding, and to end up with a bigger nest egg when they retire, according to this article on Money. Young people should prioritize retirement saving because they get a lower return if they pay off student loans and other tax-advantaged debts. Retirement savings should also be a priority because they will save on taxes for their contributions to retirement accounts. Employers offer match contributions or free money for 401(k) participants, while a retirement fund offers financial flexibility that young people will lose if they decide to pay off their debts first. --Money