Retirement planning for special needs families

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Retirement planning for special-needs families
Retirement planning poses a big challenge for seniors who have children with special needs, as those clients need to account for their children's needs even after their death, according to this article on Morningstar. When planning for retirement, parents of a special needs child have to make a number of considerations, including the care plan and government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits, the retirement columnist writes. These clients also have the option to save in an ABLE tax-advantaged savings account, a savings vehicle designed purposely for parents who have to financially prepare for their special-needs children.

The Social Security death benefits your clients need to know
When workers covered by Social Security die, their spouse or surviving children are entitled to a $255 lump-sum death benefit, as long as they meet certain requirements, according to this article on Motley Fool. Your clients' loved ones may also receive survivor benefits if their working spouse earned enough credits. To qualify, a surviving spouse must have been married to their deceased working partner for nine months or longer, while surviving children should be 18 or younger, or they are in high school and 19 years old and younger. Disabled children are also eligible regardless of age, provided that they became disabled before the age of 22.

A health savings account could power your retirement
A health savings account creates an opportunity for clients with high deductible health plans to save for retirement, according to this article on MarketWatch. “One of the major benefits of the HSA is the tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions if proceeds are used for qualified medical expenses,” an adviser says. “Even after you leave employment, funds left in your HSA can be used to pay for medical expenses throughout retirement.”

5 new ways your 401(k) will make you richer by retirement
Innovative changes made to 401(k) plans can help boost a workers' ability to save for retirement, according to this article on Money. These 401(k) innovations include autopilot features on enrollment, contributions and contribution increases, target-date funds as default investments and online tools providing financial advice services. More 401(k) plans are now offering financial wellness programs and providing participants the option to buy an annuity within the plan.

When to take Social Security sooner rather than later
While delaying Social Security could boost retirement benefits, claiming the benefits early could be a better option in some cases, according to this article on Kiplinger. Seniors are better off deferring their benefits until they reach the age of 70 if they have no other sources of retirement income and they expect to live longer than 80. When developing a claiming strategy, clients should understand the rules and options provided by Social Security, and consider their overall income needs, sources of income, their tax situation and legacy goals.

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Retirement planning Social Security 401(k) Tax strategies HSAs