Social Security benefits vs. rising healthcare costs? Not even close

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

Dire forecast: Why Social Security is going to fall short
A report from HealthView Services shows that the lifetime health care expenses of a 45-year-old couple will be much higher than the overall Social Security benefits that the couple will receive, thanks to rising medical costs, according to this article from Money. The report indicates that the projected medical expenses of the couple after they retire will be 122% of their total Social Security benefits. “We assume Social Security will pay all our bills, as it did for our parents and grandparents. If you’re 45, it won’t even pay for your health care,” says an expert.

An overlooked vehicle for retirement savings
Many people realize that a health savings account is a great savings vehicle that they can use not only to save for medical expenses but also to help build their nest egg, writes Morningstar's Christine Benz. "The tax benefits of HSAs are so generous that even people with more significant health-care costs might consider paying those expenses out of pocket, provided they can afford to do so, allowing the money can continue to compound in the HSA," writes Benz. However, "the tax benefits of HSAs, which are only available to those who are covered by a high-deductible health-care plan, are such that individuals should revisit that decision--especially if they're already taking advantage of other retirement-savings options like IRAs and 401(k)s."

6 things boomers should know about Social Security
As many baby boomers have not saved enough for retirement, younger workers feel the need to start planning financially to secure their future, according to this article from Forbes. Many people are expected to rely on Social Security for retirement income, so it helps to know the basics about the program. For example, people's retirement eligibility will be based on their work history and their retirement benefit could change depending on their work experience, income and age.

A target-date fund for retirees who aren’t sure how to invest — and need to take RMDs
Fidelity Investments is offering a suite of target-date mutual funds designed to help retirees invest their required minimum distributions from tax-deferred retirement accounts, according to this article on MarketWatch. Before buying the funds, clients are advised to determine whether buying these funds would prevent them from using tax-saving strategies, such as making qualified charitable distributions. “The other issue that would frustrate me is that some years — depending on deductions especially in medical expense — you might want to take more than the RMD to maximize tax efficiency,” says an expert.

Deferring compensation now could help clients in retirement
Executives should take advantage of the option of socking away some of their income in a company-sponsored, non-qualified deferred compensation plan to save for retirement, writes an expert on CNBC. NQDC plans provide tax-free compounded growth on investments and offer a broad menu of attractive options, says the expert. "Basic modeling shows that assets invested inside a deferred compensation plan for 10 years would grow 1.75% more annually than the same amount invested for the same period receiving identical returns."

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Social Security Target date strategies Target date funds RMDs