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Susan Tompor: Some retirees feeling less secure about tax rule changes in SECURE Act

Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Savers who spend a lifetime clipping coupons, chasing credit card points, cooking all their meals and cutting corners at every single turn typically don't stop being frugal once they quit working and they're staring at a healthy seven-figure nest egg in retirement.

"They don't change their spots," said Ed Slott, an IRA expert who has hosted a variety of retirement specials on public television.

"In fact, they tend to spend less (in retirement)."

Slott likes to joke with his audience attending retirement seminars around the country.

"I say, 'Look at what you're wearing -- buy new clothes,' " Slott told me by phone this week.

The retirees in the '90s sweaters, though, laugh at themselves, say they're happy and they want to avoid wasting money so that they can pass along something to the kids.


Now, some may actually need to eat out once in a while and buy some new clothes.

"Enjoy your money," Slott said. "Otherwise, the government is going to enjoy it more than you."

Two key rules regarding retirement savings are changing under the SECURE Act -- or the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement. One involves an inheritance; the other how long you can delay taking money out of tax-deferred retirement savings accounts.

Neither change should cause widespread panic -- after all, it's tough to completely avoid death and taxes -- but baby boomers and others must carefully review the new retirement savings landscape. Some people, including super big savers, hate at least one change more than others and will need to review their estate planning strategies.


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