Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
The federal government is calling on comments for its proposal to allow Medicare to cover physicians' fees for discussing end-of-life issues with beneficiaries, according to this article on Time Money. An expert supporting the proposal said that beneficiaries' families stand to gain from the proposal if the consultation is done properly, while a representative of a conservative Christian group opposes the proposed rule, saying it would open to "the door to directive counseling and coercion." Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has been pushing this proposal since 2009 to not only to help patients save on costs but also to let "people know what their choices are. Time Money
A client cannot give a retirement account he inherited from his father to his mother, unless she is also named a beneficiary, according to this article on Kiplinger. He would pay hefty income taxes if he opts to withdraw all the money from the account and give it to his mother. Using the account to support his mother is a good goal, so he needs to consider ways to minimize the taxes for these withdrawals and identify the best options to invest the assets within the inherited plan. Kiplinger
A solo 401(k) plan is a good place for self-employed workers to help save for retirement, as they are allowed to save more than the employer-sponsored employment plans, according to this article on The Motley Fool. Clients can set up their solo 401(k) to cover themselves and have the option to include their spouses, with the plan subject to the rules that apply to regular 401(k) plans. Solo 401(k) plan holders may opt to make employee contributions of up to $18,000 (and extra $6,000 if they are 50 or older) or contribute to the plan as an employer, which is allowed to contribute as much as 20% of their net earnings. The Motley Fool
Taxpayers need to time their taxable and non-taxable withdrawals from tax-deferred and non-tax-deferred retirement accounts to curb their tax payments in the future, according to this article on Forbes. Future tax payments also will be affected by the timing of Roth conversions and contributions to Roth and non-Roth accounts. Taxpayers are advised to time their taxable withdrawals during years when they are subject to low tax rates. Withdrawing more from Roth account and less from regular retirement accounts is a good strategy to minimize Social Security benefit taxation. Forbes
Employers can help workers boost their retirement savings by providing automatic enrollment and automatic escalation features in their 401(1) plans, according to this article on CNBC. However, these features are not perfect and may not work well for some employers, says Stephen Wendel of Morningstar. "There are no magic wands. Employers have different populations of workers and must design retirement plans attuned to their particular needs." CNBC
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