Senators reintroduce SEAL Act to help 401(k) borrowers | Experts: Overcome hurdles to reach workers on retirement planning | Poll: Advisers need more oversight, investors say
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March 20, 2013
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Senators reintroduce SEAL Act to help 401(k) borrowers
Two senators have reintroduced the bipartisan Shrinking Emergency Account Losses Act, intended to give workers who take loans from their 401(k) plans more time to repay after leaving a job. "We need to give folks more incentives to continue saving for their retirement," said co-sponsor Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. "Giving them extra time to restore money owed to their 401(k)s is one way we can help cut down on lost retirement savings." AdvisorOne (3/19)
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Industry Update
Experts: Overcome hurdles to reach workers on retirement planning
Financial institutions and employers should focus on a workplace-oriented marketing effort to connect with the majority of Americans who say they haven't been actively engaged regarding retirement planning, write Sam Friedman and Val Srinivas of Deloitte. Seminars that address retirement in the context of other financial priorities might attract more participants, Friedman and Srinivas write. Financial institutions may need to seek regulatory or legislative changes that would grant plan providers greater freedom to address workers' retirement needs with less fear of liability, they write. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/19)
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Poll: Advisers need more oversight, investors say
The federal government should step up oversight of financial advisers to ensure that consumers are protected, and all financial advisers should consider clients' best interests, a majority of Americans said in a Financial Planning Coalition survey. The coalition called the results a "wake-up call" for Congress, the White House and regulators. (3/19)
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GOP economist reportedly is examined for SEC seat
Michael Piwowar, the Senate banking committee's head Republican economist, reportedly is being vetted for a spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission. If Piwowar is nominated and confirmed, he will be the only economist on a panel that traditionally comprises lawyers. He could occupy the seat of GOP Commissioner Troy Paredes, whose term ends in June. Bloomberg (3/18)
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Fund fees under SEC spotlight
The Securities and Exchange Commission is more closely scrutinizing the fees charged by hedge funds and other private investment advisers. Fees have "always been an area of interest for SEC examiners. As fiduciaries, hedge fund advisers need to develop policies and procedures that allocate their fees and expenses fairly," an SEC spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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Other News
Financial Literacy
Organizing your retirement paperwork
Planning for retirement starts with organizing documents related to your investments and savings, writes consulting actuary Steve Vernon. Among the items Vernon suggests filing, either digitally or in hard copy: Booklets that describe your current retirement plans, 401(k) and IRA statements, printouts of your online Social Security Administration statements, mortgage-related documents and contact information and benefits information for life insurance policies. CBS MoneyWatch (3/18)
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Building Your Practice
Commentary: Advisers must motivate clients to shift behavior
Financial advisers who are frustrated by a client's failure to act on advice often don't realize that change is a process that requires an adviser's patient guidance along the way, writes Michael Kitces. He references Dr. James Prochaska's research into the psychology of behavioral change, which involves a six-stage process. The lesson for advisers is that "financial planning isn't just about telling clients what to do; it's also about motivating them to do it," Kitces writes. Nerd's Eye View blog (3/18)
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How much of a nest egg do you really need?
When it comes to figuring out the income a client will need in retirement, look at pre-retirement spending habits, writes Craig Brimhall of Amerprise Financial. "Using today's spending habits as a starting point, and asking clients about their existing and anticipated medical needs as well as family medical history, advisers should be able to help clients draw up a realistic list of anticipated living costs during retirement," Brimhall writes, breaking down the spending into "essential" and "lifestyle" categories. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/17)
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Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have."
-- Émile Chartier,
French philosopher and journalist
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