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

How to prioritize retirement versus college savings
Clients who want to set aside money for retirement while saving for their children's college education are advised to revisit their priorities, according to this article in U.S. News & World Report. They may want to take advantage of employer match contributions to their 401(k) plans, open a 529 college savings plan, and contribute to their retirement accounts. Those who consider taking student loans should compare the interest rates with their investment returns before making a decision and may apply for financial aid for their children's education.  --Yahoo Finance

How Americans miss out on $24 billion a year
A report from Financial Engines indicates that 25% of workers opt not to take advantage of their employer's match contributions to their 401(k) plans, according to this article on CNNMoney. This means that workers leave $24 billion of free money on the table every year, which is equivalent to a $1,336 bonus per person, the firm says. "We're talking about real money here," said Greg Stein, director of financial technology at Financial Engines, adding that "we hope that this study helps them realize what they are leaving behind."  --CNNMoney

How international small-caps spice up a retirement portfolio
Investors may consider including international small-cap blend stocks in their portfolios, which can appreciate in value more quickly than their U.S. counterparts and the S&P 500, according to this article on MarketWatch. International small-cap blend stocks are not recommended as an alternative to S&P 500, but as a method to diversify investments and boost returns. For instance, a client who invested $100 in 1970 with equal allocation to S&P 500 and these stocks had a compound return of 12.9% by the end of 2014, higher than 10.5% if the money was invested entirely to S&P 500. --MarketWatch

Baby boomers waiting until later to claim Social Security: Study
More workers have opted to defer their Social Security retirement benefits past their retirement age, according to a study by Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. Among baby boomers who turned 62 in 2013, only 35.6% of the males and 39.5% of the females filed for retirement benefits, the study finds. The percentages were lower compared with those recorded in 1996, when retirement benefits were claimed by 56% of men and 62.8% of women who reached the age of 62, the study notes.  --Forbes

Simple moves by employers can dramatically improve clients' retirement
Participation rates in 401(k) plans and retirement savings get a boost if easy enrollment procedures and automatic escalation of contributions are in place, according to this article on Time Money. Seventy-nine percent of workers in Merrill-administered plans who were given the Express Enrollment option decided to take it and started contributing to the plan, while only 55% of those who were given the traditional option followed through, a study finds. Also there were 32% more participants in plans with auto enrollment feature compared with those that had no such option, while plans offering an auto escalation had 46% more participants boosting their contributions, Merrill says.  --Time Money

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