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Why clients should max out HSA before a 401(k): Retirement Scan

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

Why clients should max out HSA before 401(k)
Apart from an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, a health savings account is a good savings vehicle that high-income workers can use to save for retirement, according to this article on Forbes. An HSA offers triple tax benefits—tax-deductible contributions, tax-exempt growth on savings, and tax-free withdrawals if the money is spent on qualified healthcare expenses. When saving for retirement, clients may want to max out their HSA contributions after contributing enough to a 401(k) and getting their employer's match, after which they may proceed to an IRA and other retirement accounts available to them.

Tips for enjoying retirement on a reduced income
Retirees with limited financial resources can enjoy their golden years, as there are opportunities for them to reduce or avoid expenses without affecting their quality of life, according to this article on U.S. News & World Report. For example, they may consider using an Internet streaming service, which will cost them less than a subscription to a cable TV. Retirees can also minimize their spending by using coupons and senior discounts, buying consumer items on sale and taking advantage of loyalty programs offered by grocery stores.

Who are the lucky 'hold harmless' Medicare beneficiaries?
Medicare premiums are likely to rise next year as Social Security announces a 0.3% increase in cost-of-living adjustment for beneficiaries in 2017, according to this article on USA Today. However, the increase will not affect retirees who are protected by the "hold harmless rule." The rule prevents Medicare from passing on the increases in health care costs to beneficiaries who could see a drop in Social Security benefits following a premium increase.

Divided America: Easy retirement only for privileged few
The widening income gap is to blame for poor retirement prospects of many Americans, according to this article from the Associated Press. Many workers also have no access to workplace retirement plans, making it more difficult for them to build their nest egg. "Only the privileged have access to a secure retirement," says a labor economist.

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