There’s a lot going on in the retirement world these days, and the closer you get to retirement age, the more news there is to keep up with.
Staying abreast of changes in 401(k) and IRA rules, new tax laws, Medicare updates – it’s all vitally important….and exhausting.
Sure, there are the major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. However, there are hundreds of online news sources, many of which specialize in retirement and personal finance news.
Financial News Sources Vary
Beau Henderson, founder and Lead Retirement Planning Specialist at RichLife Advisors in Gainesville, Georgia, says people depend on their financial advisors for retirement news and information.
But they need to stay personally informed as well.
“If you want to make a better decision on how to claim your Social Security, read up on the areas of Social Security that apply to your household,” he says.
Whose responsibility is it to navigate retirement? Is it your financial advisors? Not really.
“If it’s about taxes and other things, seek out those things that are relevant to you. Whose responsibility is it to navigate retirement? Is it your financial advisors? Not really. You should find one that supports you and helps you. And you, as a retiree, should also stay current on relevant topics and legislation.”
Best Online Financial Sites
Here are some best sites for retirement and personal finance news, according to some of the experts:
It’s not actually a news site, but Henderson says he sets Google alerts for topics he cares about. “There are a lot of smart people out there that create content, so you don’t need to know everything,” he points out. “I’ll put up Google alerts for key terms that I care about, like retirement planning, Social Security, saving taxes and retirement.”
Ed Slott is one of the nation’s preeminent experts on IRAs. His book, “The Retirement Savings Time Bomb,” is a must read for everyone.
“His team has pretty much revolutionized the IRA distribution planning phase of life, which is important for retires,” notes Derek Pszenny, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Carolina Wealth Management in Greenville, North Carolina.
Pszenny says the Secure Act made inherited IRAs, stretch IRAs and post-death minimum required distributions all very complicated. “The irahelp.com website has really simplified post-Secure Act inherited IRA rules. Anybody that’s in that phase of life can find it a huge help to help people get through that process.”
“For seniors, you inherit a stock from either your spouse or your parents, and one of the hardest things to do is to track down the cost basis,” says Pszenny.
“So, we’re having a hard time figuring out what the cost basis was for a stock that you inherited. Yahoo Finance has a neat little place where you can go to that allows you to look up historical stock prices, and you can literally put in the date of that person’s death, and it shows you the value of that stock on the date of their death.”
“That’s an instrumental tool in helping people that have inherited stocks. They can determine “how much is it going to cost me and taxes if I sell this stock?’”
For serious do-it-yourself investors, Morningstar Direct might be an option, says Pszenny. “This is an expensive product. It’s really designed for professionals. I think it’s $15,000 per user, but we use it here in the office. It has every conceivable data point and analytical tool that you could ever think of for stocks, mutual funds. ETFs. I think if you’re picking your own investments and you have a substantial portfolio, then really something that you do need to consider using.”
Henderson says MarketWatch is one of the sites he goes to curate content and to see if there’s new information or a better way to present it. “People make better decisions when they understand the rules of the things that apply to them in retirement.”
“They have a real retirement series for retirees to share their best advice on retirement – what worked for them and sometimes what didn’t work for them,” observes Henderson. “That’s interesting, because you’re hearing from other people. Sometimes real people have more credibility because instead of the adviser saying it, a real person is saying it. There won’t be a possible conflict of interest.”
If you need to know what is happening with Social Security or Medicare, read Philip Moeller’s columns. Moeller is the author of “Get What’s Yours for Medicare” and “Get What’s yours for Social Security.” He is an encyclopedia of knowledge on both subjects. Formerly a columnist for PBS, his columns now appear on Substack.com, which has both free and paid content. Links to hundreds of his older columns appear on his website www.getwhatsyours.org.
Be Careful on Finance Sites
Of course, there are dozens, even hundreds of sites for financial information. As with anything else on the internet:
DO your own due diligence about the legitimacy of the site and its information – many scammers will fake a website that looks like a legitimate financial site – but isn’t.
DO NOT send or share personal or financial information online unless you are absolutely sure its a legitimate outlet. Be triply careful before sending any money or bank information.
The FTC offers a cautionary tale about an online investment advisor here. Here’s a brief summary of their advice:
- Know that no one can guarantee any return on investment in stocks, commodities, cryptocurrency, real estate or the foreign exchange market. Only scammers do that. So anyone who promotes riches and doesn’t mention the risks involved is a scammer.
- Research the offer. Search online for the name of the company and words like “review,” “scam,” or “complaint.” Other people’s experience with the company can tip you off to possible problems.
- Question the statistics and testimonials…which can be faked.
For more info and tips on money making or investment scams, visit the FTC’s website on Money Making Opportunities and Investment Scams, available here.
Rodney A. Brooks is the former deputy managing editor/Money at USA TODAY. His retirement columns appear in U.S. News & World Report and Senior Planet.com. He has written for National Geographic, The Washington Post and USA TODAY. The author of “Fixing the Racial Wealth Gap,” Brooks has testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. His website is www.rodneyabrooks.com.
Your use of any financial advice is at your sole discretion and risk. Seniorplanet.org and Older Adults Technology Services makes no claim or promise of any result or success.