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August 26, 2016

Investing for retirement keeps you on your toes, between navigating the choices in your 401(k) or IRA and understanding the tax implications of the various account structures. So it came as welcome news this week when the IRS eased a rule that had tripped up many retirement savers and jeopardized their nest eggs. The agency retained the 60-day limit on how long money can remain in your hands when you are moving it from one retirement account to another, but it offered new flexibility for people who accidentally miss their deadline. Still, a better bet is to do a transfer directly from one financial institution to another, so you don’t take possession of the funds. And always give careful thought to whether a rollover, such as from a 401(k) to an IRA, makes financial sense in the first place.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth O’Brien
(filling in while Penny is on vacation)

P.S. If you like this newsletter, please pass it on to a friend! And if you got it from a friend, sign up here to make sure you don’t miss the next issue.

THIS WEEK’S RETIREMENT NEWS, INSIGHTS AND ADVICE

3 Ways to Lower Your Taxes in Retirement

The early years of retirement are a wonderful time to pursue travel, hobbies and volunteer activities. It’s also a good time to explore a financial opportunity: Many people temporarily drop down a tax bracket. Smart moves now can trim your lifetime tax bill. MONEY

Employers Offer Flexible Arrangements for Older Workers

By 2024, 1 in 4 U.S. workers will likely be 55 or older, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So employers are increasingly offering phased retirement and other accommodations. One such employer is the U.S. Department of Defense, which announced in June that it will allow civilian employees to partially retire while remaining on the job part-time. CNBC

‘Please Stop Telling Me Not to Retire!'

In recent years, ‘retirement’ has become a dirty word, a contributor writes on CNBC. Public-relations professional Terence Hurley says he is having none of it: He’s retiring at 62 and proud of it, he writes. “Retirement is a beginning for new accomplishments, not an end,” he says in an op-ed that drew dozens of mostly supportive comments. CNBC

Tips to Talk Money With Your Spouse. Plus: What’s Your Advice?

It’s important for couples to align their retirement goals, both for saving and for how they’ll spend their time—and money—when they stop working full time. But couples often have different habits and perspectives, and getting on the same page can be a challenge. We share some tips for better communication­—and want to hear from you about how you and your spouse struggle or work well as a team. MONEY

Senior Housing Can Be a Remedy for Loneliness

Many people want to stay in their own homes in retirement, and that can be a great option for the early years. But aging in place has its limitations. Those who have lost spouses have found companionship in senior housing communities, according to this blog from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. SQUARED AWAY BLOG

States Move to Close the Retirement Savings Gap

Only about half of private-sector workers are covered by a retirement plan at work, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. California is leading the push among several states to close this gap, with lawmakers preparing to create a mandatory state-run retirement plan for workers at companies that don’t offer benefits. The law would require all companies with five or more employees to automatically enroll their workers in the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program and begin deducting 3% from each paycheck. NEW YORK TIMES

Target-Date Funds Get Cheaper

There’s been a lot of downward pressure on fund fees in recent months. Charles Schwab made the latest move, undercutting Vanguard and Fidelity with a new series of target-date retirement funds that charge just 0.08% of assets a year.  If you haven’t recently checked what you’re paying for the funds in your 401(k) or IRA, now would be a good time to take a peek. INVESTMENT NEWS

3 Ways to Become Mortgage-Free in Retirement

Many people dream of beginning retirement debt-free. Here, financial adviser Joe O’Boyle outlines tips for eliminating your mortgage. MONEY

Best Bargains at America’s National Parks

America’s national parks celebrated their 100th birthday this week. If you’re 62 or over, you don’t need a special occasion to get a great deal on admission: The lifetime Senior Pass costs only $10 and grants free admission for life for the pass holder and, for parks that charge admission by the carload, for anyone joining him or her. MONEY

YOUR RETIREMENT QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Q: I have a financial adviser and a relationship with a CPA. However, my adviser is not fluent in taxation and my CPA seems too busy to be thoughtfully prepared when we talk. I don’t know where to find a knowledgeable individual to provide big-picture guidance on lowering taxes in retirement. At this age (68), there is no time to recover if I make poor decisions. C. Schersching

A: Financial professionals have varied backgrounds and expertise, and it’s not easy for consumers to decipher the alphabet soup of credentials they often have after their names. If your current relationships aren’t providing the guidance you need, it’s time to start seeking new ones. READ MORE

WORDS OF WISDOM

“Patience in market, is worth pounds in a year.”

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin

ABOUT ELIZABETH: Elizabeth O’Brien is a senior write at MONEY, covering retirement and health care. She is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at @elizobrien.

 
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