Federal exchange enrollment hits nearly 4.7M in 6 weeks | State auto-IRAs coming, but at a price | Yellen downplays bitcoin's role in markets
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December 15, 2017
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Retirement Security SmartBrief
Financial and wealth management news for the retirement community
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Federal exchange enrollment hits nearly 4.7M in 6 weeks
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that 4.68 million people chose Affordable Care Act plans through the federal exchange in the first six weeks of open enrollment this year, with over 1 million Americans signing up in the week ending Dec. 9, up from 823,000 in the previous week. Open enrollment ends Dec. 15 for most states, and overall signups are expected to fall short of last year's total HealthCare.gov enrollment of 9.2 million due to the shorter enrollment period.
Reuters (12/13),  Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (12/13),  The Hill (12/13) 
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Market Trends
State auto-IRAs coming, but at a price
Nine states are planning to introduce their own auto-IRA plans in the absence of any national initiative, but the costs at launch for participants will be rather high. One big factor is the cost of creating a network for employers to implement automatic payroll deductions.
U.S. News & World Report/Reuters (12/14) 
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Yellen downplays bitcoin's role in markets
Yellen downplays bitcoin's role in markets
Yellen (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
Bitcoin is a "highly speculative asset" that "doesn't constitute legal tender," Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says. She has cautioned investors that bitcoin is "not a stable store of value," while downplaying the cryptocurrency's ability to influence financial markets.
Bloomberg (free registration) (12/13) 
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For some retirees, consulting becomes a part-time career
About one-fifth of Americans older than 65 work, some to earn extra money and others because they want to. Here are three tips for transitioning into a career as an independent consultant after leaving a job.
Fortune (12/13) 
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Financial Literacy
Regulators: Promissory notes biggest source of investor complaints
Promissory notes lead to the greatest number of complaints from investors and investigations by regulators, according to a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association. President Joseph Borg said that because of the low-interest-rate environment, "the lure of high-interest-bearing promissory notes continues to tempt investors, especially seniors and others living on a fixed income."
InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (12/13) 
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How to get the most out of HSAs
CPAs can help their clients by explaining the advantages of using a health savings account as an investment vehicle, rather than only a checking account for health care.
CPA Insider (12/11) 
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When it comes to retirement investing, ignore the TV actors and blowhards
TV ads featuring familiar actors hawking alternative investments for retirement savers, including gold, have a couple of things in common: Each spot features beloved figures "gifted at speaking in a convincing manner, and they know nothing about what they are talking about," says certified financial planner Jerry Lynch. He also advises taking media warnings of a financial downturn with a large grain of salt.
NJ Advance Media (Morristown, N.J.) (12/14) 
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7 ways to squeeze more travel from a tight budget
The funds for travel may not quite match the time you have available in retirement. But there are ways to stretch your travel dollars, and Nick Wharton reviews seven, including taking advantage of nonpeak seasons.
Kiplinger (12/2017) 
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The Adviser-Client Relationship
Commentary: Advisers should hear millennials out on bitcoin
A recent survey by Harris Poll shows that 43% of millennial men would rather own $1,000 in bitcoins than the same amount in government bonds, which indicates a generational divide on attitudes toward cryptocurrrencies, writes columnist James Thorne. He notes that advisers should at least listen to younger clients' arguments for why they favor it.
Financial Planning online (12/12) 
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A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.
Nelson Mandela,
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