Steps to help millennials lay a financial foundation

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Welcome to Retirement Scan, our daily roundup of retirement news.

Half of millennials invest, and the other half can join them
Investing is easier than millennial workers may think, according to this NerdWallet article. To join the half of millennials who do invest, these employees can lay a financial foundation in a few steps, an expert says. Before investing, they can begin paying down high-interest debts and building up an emergency fund, the CFP says. Their first investments should be for their retirement in 401(k) and IRA plans. After that, it's acceptable for them to invest in individual stocks or use a robo adviser that builds their portfolio, according to the CFP.

A quick summer checkup for 401(k) plans
Summer is a great time for workers to review their 401(k) plans, according to this article in Money. Employees are advised to check whether their portfolio is overweight in stocks, and to rebalance, if necessary. It is also worth revisiting their tax brackets in light of the 2017 tax law. If employees lower their taxable income through higher 401(k) contributions, they may be able to drop a bracket, the article says.

5 ways employees can lower household spending in retirement
Moving to a fixed income can be frustrating for retirees used to fewer constraints on their budget. But with some lifestyle adjustments, they can stretch their money while still doing what they love, according to this Motley Fool article. Moving to a smaller home saves on energy costs, property taxes and mortgage payments. Driving just one vehicle can cut thousands of dollars from their budget, the article says. Cooking more meals at home and exercising outdoors, instead of paying a gym membership, are two ways retireees can live healthier and save. Entertainment and culture can also be affordable. Many parks, museums and events are free, the article says.

Survivor benefits can bridge employees until retirement — at a cost
By taking a survivor's benefit at age 62, an employee will be paid at that benefit level even if they retire at age 65, according to Forbes columnist Laurence Kotlikoff. Workers who wait until age 65 to claim their benefit will receive a higher amount, and those who do not retire until they are 70 years old will get an even higher payout, according to the article.

This article originally appeared in Financial Planning.
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