Here's the latest in the world of retirement-related news: Ramping up retirement savings in the new year, retiring in stages, and retirement issues to watch in 2019.

2019 is a good time to ramp up retirement savings: The new year will be a propitious time to step up savings in retirement accounts, as the contribution limits for 401(k)s and IRAs are each going up by $500, or about $42 a month. Emily Brandon looks at these and other savings options for 2019.

SmartBrief/U.S. News & World Report

Retiring in stages a sound option for people short on savings: Kailey Fralick explores the advantages of phased retirement, transitioning from full-time to part-time work before stepping back entirely. "Phased retirement is a great way to help your savings go further, while still allowing you to enjoy some of the freedom of retirement," she writes.

SmartBrief/The Motley Fool

10 states offering some form of state-run retirement plan: Ten states and the city of Seattle have enacted their own retirement plans. Among the plan designs are automatic enrollment or voluntary payroll deduction IRAs, multiemployer plans and marketplace plans.

SmartBrief/Advisor News

Prepare clients for issues that could disrupt retirement: Advisers should educate clients on negative issues that may disrupt their retirement, writes Robert Laura. These include health problems, mental health issues, challenges caused by adult children and fraud.

SmartBrief/Financial Advisor Online

Retirement a work of improvisation for many: In an increasingly precarious economic environment, many people are winging it in retirement. That means extended years of work in many cases amid wild market fluctuations that erode investments, disappearing pensions and jobs that come and go.

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Solid retirement planning is about more than investing. Investing is important but shouldn't be the only element in the equation for formulating a comfortable retirement, according to advisor Marvin Mitchell. A comprehensive plan for those nearing retirement includes income, investment, tax, health care and legacy planning, he writes.

SmartBrief/Kiplinger online

4 retirement-related issues to watch in 2019: The new year is shaping up as a potentially momentous one for workers planning for retirement. Four developing issues worthy of note are new opportunities in retirement savings plans, efforts to prevent an impending pension crisis, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation Best Interest final rule likely being released and legislation to expand Social Security.

SmartBrief/The New York Times

Get your retirement financial plans in order. As 2019 begins, it's important to look ahead and ensure your financial plans are in order for the upcoming year, Robert Powell writes. He recommends creating an investment policy statement, ensuring your beneficiary forms are updated for any recent life events, taking a new look at your risk tolerance and reviewing any required minimum distributions.

SmartBrief/USA Today

Report: Annuities outside retirement plans total $2.3 trillion. Total U.S. retirement assets at the end of the third quarter totaled $29.2 trillion, almost 3% more than at the end of the previous quarter, according to the Investment Company Institute. Annuity reserves held outside of retirement plans accounted for $2.3 trillion of the figure.


IRI report: Outlook for insured retirement income industry is bright. The retirement income industry is benefiting from demographic trends, the advancement of favorable legislation and growing sales, according to Insured Retirement Institute's State of the Insured Retirement Industry report. "Americans are still increasingly faced with the responsibility of creating their own retirement security, by saving more, creating solid plans and utilizing the guaranteed lifetime income and investment protection solutions that only the insured retirement industry can provide," Cathy Weatherford, IRI president and CEO, said.

SmartBrief/Financial Regulation News

Bill aims to help employees with student loans save for retirement: The Retirement Parity for Student Loans Act was introduced by Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Tuesday. If passed, the bill will allow recent college graduates to receive matching retirement plan contributions from employers for paying down student debt.