Durbin calls for a task force on Social Security reform | Report: Seniors' home equity reaches highest level since 2009 | Study: Pre-retirees are conducting own Social Security research
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March 21, 2013
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Durbin calls for a task force on Social Security reform
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wants to create a bipartisan panel, similar to the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission, that would seek ways to keep Social Security on solid financial footing for the next 75 years. Durbin says he will introduce legislation to create such a panel and to allow six months for the group to propose changes. "People have been receptive to it. I think we can move forward," he said. Reuters (3/20)
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Industry Update
Report: Seniors' home equity reaches highest level since 2009
Recovering home values are helping U.S. seniors, whose home-equity levels are at the highest level since mid-2009, according to a report from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. The group, along with the RiskSpan Reverse Mortgage Market Index, looked at home-equity data for people 62 and older. "Tapping into that equity is one option to help fund living expenses, home maintenance costs, or health care needs in retirement," said Peter Bell, the reverse-mortgage group's president. Housing Wire (3/20)
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Study: Pre-retirees are conducting own Social Security research
Individuals ages 50 to 65 are taking more interest in planning how they use Social Security benefits but are doing their own research, rather than turning to a financial adviser, according to a study by Securian Financial Group. As a source of Social Security information, financial advisers rank below the Social Security Administration's website, Social Security offices, retired family members and friends, and online tools such as benefit calculators, according to the study. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/19)
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Opinion: How the stock market can help save Social Security
The U.S. could improve Social Security's finances by investing some of its trust fund assets in equities, Alicia Munnell writes. The strategy could ease reliance on the payroll tax for funding, prevent trust fund surpluses from masking the true federal budget deficit and allow for higher returns without the exposure individuals face when investing directly, Munnell writes. MarketWatch/Encore blog (3/20)
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On the Economy
Congress passes stopgap bill to head off government shutdown
Both houses of Congress have approved legislation to avert a government shutdown next week. The bill now heads to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. The measure would fund government programs and agencies through Sept. 30. The Washington Post (3/21), Reuters (3/20)
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Building Your Practice
How to market your firm without drawing SEC scrutiny
An advisory firm that tells its own story a little too carelessly can draw the unwanted attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Compliance consultant Nancy Lininger offers tips on marketing your firm while avoiding regulatory pitfalls. Among them: Don't make any claim you cannot back up with documentation, don't issue guarantees and don't solicit endorsements from clients. AdvisorOne (3/20)
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Site plays matchmaker between clients, advisers
A referral system from MyNewFinancialAdvisor.com links advisers with clients that fit their firms' services. Most of the prospective clients are 65 or older and total assets average $850,000. OnWallStreet.com (3/20)
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SmartQuote
There are some people who leave impressions not so lasting as the imprint of an oar upon the water."
-- Kate Chopin,
American writer
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