Trump asks Americans, ‘how’s your 401(k)?’ Here’s the answer

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

Tips for avoiding costly RMD missteps
Retirees who are at least 70 1/2 need to take required minimum distributions from their tax-deferred retirement accounts such as traditional IRAs and 401(k)s before the deadline, according to this article on Morningstar. "If you miss an RMD, you will be subject to a penalty equal to half of the amount that you should have taken, but didn't, and you will still owe ordinary income taxes on those distributions as well," says an expert. "When you first start taking RMDs, they amount to about 3.5% of your RMD-subject accounts, but by the time you are age 85, they are closer to 7%."

Tax bill kills this key strategy for saving for retirement
Investors who converted a portion of their traditional IRA assets into a Roth IRA would no longer be allowed to undo their decision under the final version of the tax reform bill, according to this article on CNBC. Under existing rules, clients can recharacterize converted assets if the outcome is not favorable to them. "Effectively, if this comes to law, the recharacterization is dead, eliminated, repealed after 2017," says an expert.

Trump asks Americans, ‘how’s your 401(k)?’ Here’s the answer
Although the current year has been good for 401(k) participants, many workers are not investing in a retirement plan, according to this article on MarketWatch. That's because their employers are not sponsoring a 401(k) plan or their industry prevents them from saving in the plan. Data from the Investment Company Institute show that only about 54 million workers contributed to a 401(k) plan in 2015.

The 4 least tax-friendly states for Social Security recipients
Retirees on Social Security can expect a portion of their benefits to be taxable if their combined taxable income, which is their adjusted gross income and 50% of the benefits, exceeds a certain limit, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. For example, joint filers will owe taxes on half of their retirement benefit if their combined income exceeds $32,000. Aside from federal taxes, seniors who reside in Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas and 10 other states may also pay taxes for their benefits.

Retirement income defined: Knowing what it is helps achieve your goals
Clients should have a good understanding about retirement and investments to be able to collect enough income in the golden years, writes an investment advisor for Kiplinger. "The goal for investors should be this: Generate enough consistent and sustainable retirement income to cover basic living expenses after paying any federal, state or local taxes and allowing for any gifting for estate or charitable purposes."

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Retirement income Retirement withdrawals RMDs 401(k) IRAs Social Security Tax planning Donald Trump