Retirement Accounts IRAs to Fall Under Fiduciary Standards to Protect Investors

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The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new regulation for financial professionals who advise people on retirement investments. The proposal, which has met with a cold reception from brokers, would impose a fiduciary standard on those who advise people saving for retirement. Brokers are saying that the cost of compliance could force them to drop middle-class clients.

The standard currently in effect for brokers providing advice to investors is simply that the advice be “suitable.” The Labor Department’s proposed regulation would require that investment advice be in the “best interests of clients.” The regulation could drive up the cost of giving advice to those with small retirement accounts and could have a negative effect on small brokerages. The regulation would apply to IRA accounts as well.

The proposed regulation is already having effects on investment companies. The Wall Street Journal reports that the costs of compliance were one of the factors that caused American International Group, Inc. to sell its brokerage unit in January. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has called concerns of investment brokers overblown. Some critics, including financial radio host Dave Ramsey, have said that the new regulation would have a very bad effect on financial advice to middle class investors.


Social Security Expert Brian Doherty Lists Four Things to Consider Before Making Your Social Security Claim

All of us who are nearing retirement are thinking about Social Security and how to get the most out of it. Social security expert Brian Doherty explains that there are four things everyone should consider before making a claim for benefits.

First, people need to be aware of longevity. Most of us will live longer than we think. Doherty says that 50% of Americans underestimate their life expectancy by about five years. With that in mind, people should look for ways to maximize the amount of their benefits throughout their retirement years.

Second, people need to remember that Social Security has a cost of living adjustment (COLA) built in. Doherty says that this is an incredible benefit that most people don’t take full advantage of. By delaying the start of your Social Security benefits as long as possible, you’ll take maximum advantage of the cost of living adjustments when they occur.

Third, married couples need to be aware of the survivor benefits available through Social Security. One spouse may be heavily dependent on Social Security benefits after the other spouse dies. Statistics tell us that wives outlive their husbands. When both members of a couple are receiving monthly SS checks, one check will go away when a spouse dies. The surviving spouse can continue to receive whichever check is larger. So, again, there’s a benefit in maximizing the amount of the larger check by delaying the start of benefits.

Fourth, maximizing monthly Social Security benefit checks means that savings and other income sources will not be depleted before you die. Getting the most from your Social Security means you can live better, longer, and not run out of money.

Brian Doherty is the author of a new book “Getting Paid To Wait,” which reveals his groundbreaking strategy on how to maximize Social Security benefits. He is a nationally-recognized expert on Social Security claiming strategies and a top-rated speaker and media commentator on this topic. He began his career as a financial advisor with Dean Witter. He is President of Filtech, a consulting company specializing in Social Security claiming strategies. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.