Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
The decline in Social Security’s family benefits
The Social Security family benefits, which were conceptualized in 1930s, have become outdated and no longer address the needs of today's families, writes Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. "Most married women work, and many households are headed by single mothers, who are not eligible for family benefits. The same is true for divorced women who were married less than 10 years," Munnell writes. "Single women often find it hard to earn an adequate Social Security benefit on their own, as their work opportunities are constrained by child-rearing duties." –MarketWatch
Now you can check your 401(k) on your Apple Watch! OK, who’s into it?
Workplace 401(k) plan providers such as Empower Retirement and TIAA have released Apple Watch apps that will enable 401(k) participants to determine if they are on track for achieving their retirement investing goals, according to this article on Bloomberg. "We show real-time where savers are, relative to their income replacement goal, so they can see where they are against that target and it becomes the impetus for them to save more," says Empower President Edmund Murphy. –Bloomberg
Delayed retirement is both a symptom and a cause of a troubled economy
Research data show that many Americans work longer hours and retire at a later age, and these findings could have a direct effect on the economy in the future, according to this article on USA Today. A survey by Gallup has found that the average retirement age rose to 62 in 2014 from 59 in 2010, making the economy less productive, and this could be a trend in the next 35 years. A study found that Americans need to work longer and retire later compared with their European counterparts because of the country's dwindling retirement saving system. –USA Today
Don't wait to check out assisted living
Assisted living is a good option for seniors who are in good health but will need assistance to live independently, according to this article on Kiplinger. Retirees who consider this option should determine the right time to transfer to an assisted-living facility and shop around before making a choice. Clients should decide what type of assisted-living arrangement will suit them, and limit their choices to state-licensed facilities. They should also account for the services that these facilities offer as well as the costs. –Kiplinger
Sneaky 401(K) fees you didn't know you were paying
401(k) plans charge fees that go to brokers, record-keepers, custodians and third party administrators, and these fees eat a substantial amount of the participants' retirement savings in the long term, according to this article on Forbes. Two major fees that raise a 401(k) plan's expense ratio are 12(b)1 fees and sub-transfer agent fees. Many 401(k) participants are unaware of these costs, and the Department of Labor can protect them by step-up efforts for more compensation transparency. –Forbes