No, 2020 is not over yet. While a lot of us may wish that was the case for one reason or another, we still have to stick it out for another couple of months. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If this year has upended your retirement plan, you still have some time left to course-correct. Here are three moves you should make before 2020 is over if they make sense for you.

1. Contribute to your retirement accounts

Millions of Americans lost their jobs, at least temporarily, this year, and that can throw off your retirement contributions. If things are a little more stable for you now, consider bumping up your retirement contributions to make up for your missed contributions earlier in the year.

Smiling man using laptop at home

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There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind, though. First, you’re only allowed to contribute up to $19,500 to a 401(k) in 2020, or $26,000 if you’re 50 or older. You may also contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA, or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older. Most people won’t max out their accounts, but if you typically contribute a lot to your retirement accounts, you don’t want to exceed this. Otherwise, the IRS could tax these funds twice.

You also can’t contribute more money than you earned during the year. Unemployment benefits don’t count as earned income according to the IRS. So if you only earned $15,000 at your job this year and you’ve spent the rest of the year on unemployment, the most you could contribute to all of your retirement accounts for the year would be $15,000, unless you return to work later on in the year.

2. Do a Roth IRA conversion if it makes sense for you

Roth IRA conversions change your

Making your retirement money last is imperative to enjoying financial security in your later years. Unfortunately, far too many retirees make major mistakes that could leave them at risk of running short of cash. Here are four big errors that could leave you broke.

1. Withdrawing too much too fast from your retirement accounts

To make sure your retirement money doesn’t run short, you can’t afford to drain your account too quickly. Taking too much money out impairs the ability of your money to work for you. When you have too little invested to earn reasonable returns, your accounts will empty out fast.

Sad older man sitting alone at table.

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To make sure this doesn’t happen, decide on a safe withdrawal strategy that makes sense for you. Experts recommended the 4% rule for years, but with interest rates so low now and life spans getting longer, this approach leaves you at serious risk of running short.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College instead recommends calculating your withdrawal rate based on tables the IRS prepares to help you figure out required minimum distributions. If you want to simplify things, though, you could always just decide on a lower withdrawal rate, such as taking 3% of your account balance out in the first year of retirement and then adjusting withdrawals to keep pace with inflation each year thereafter.

2. Investing too conservatively (or not conservatively enough)

As a retiree, you need to maintain the appropriate asset allocation. If you invest too conservatively because you’re scared of incurring losses, you could earn very low returns, causing your nest egg to dwindle too fast. On the other hand, if you’re overexposed to potentially volatile stocks, you could experience outsize losses.

To make sure you have the right mix of investments, subtract your age from 110.

Great American Insurance Group announces the retirement of Ronald (Ron) J. Brichler, Executive Vice President within its Property & Casualty Group, effective January 2021.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Ronald (Ron) J. Brichler (Photo: Business Wire)

Mr. Brichler began his 44-year career at American Financial Group in 1976. He held various positions within Great American’s Finance and Corporate Development departments, and in 1984, became the CFO for Great American’s insurance brokerage subsidiary, American Business Insurance. In 1988, he assumed leadership of the Property & Casualty Group’s Specialty Human Services Division before moving to the Crop Division as Divisional President. As President of the Crop Division, Mr. Brichler was instrumental in growing that division into the largest business within the Property & Casualty Group, as well as one of the largest in the crop insurance industry. In 1998, he was promoted to a Group Reporting Officer, a position he has held for more than 20 years. During his tenure, he worked with almost every property and casualty business and provided leadership to multiple strategic initiatives for the Company.

Mr. Brichler is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of both the American Association of Crop Insurers (AACI) and National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS).

About Great American Insurance Group

Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the operations of Great American Insurance Group are engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialty commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of traditional fixed and indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions, broker-dealer and registered investment advisor markets. Great American Insurance Company has received an “A” (Excellent) or higher rating from the A.M. Best Company for more

About four months ago, I wrote about the Simple Retirement Portfolio, meant to provide retirees with, well, a simple retirement portfolio, but one meant to outperform comparable indexes and funds, while providing retirees with a strong yield and all the diversification they need. I thought an update on the portfolio’s performance might be of interest to readers and investors, especially considering recent heightened market volatility.

The portfolio as a whole has performed as expected, moderately outperforming its index with gains of 9.30%.

The portfolio’s equity picks have also slightly outperformed the S&P 500, due to a greater focus on international equities and the mid-cap sector.

The portfolio’s fixed income picks have significantly outperformed the broader bond market, due to a savvy selection of funds and management alpha.

Strong results these past few months, expect more of the same in the coming years. That is the goal at least.

What follows is an overview of the portfolio, its performance since inception, and some alternatives to possibly boost the portfolio’s yield further.

Simple Retirement Portfolio – Overview and Analysis

The Simple Retirement Portfolio is based on, and benchmarked to, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2020 Fund (VTWNX). VTWNX invests in a diversified portfolio of low-cost fixed income and equity index funds, and is aimed towards recent retirees.

Balanced funds, including VTWNX, generally provide retirees with superior returns than equity index funds, including those indexed to the S&P 500, as the latter are simply too volatile to fund the monthly income needs of the average retiree. I’ve done the math on this here.

VTWNX seemed like a perfect low-risk fund for retirees, so I used it as the basis for my model portfolio. I simply took VTWNX’s holdings, and swapped the fixed income funds for some with higher yields and stronger track records of

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s government is unlikely to force retirement funds to plow money into specific companies or projects, an industry body of fund managers and insurers said.

a view of a city: A construction worker looks out towards the Central Business District (CBD) on the city skyline from inside The Leonardo, the Legacy Group’s mixed-use property development, currently Africa’s tallest building, in the Sandton district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Emerging markets will again be looking to central banks to provide the next leg-up in a rally that’s making it the best September so far for stocks and currencies since 2013.

© Bloomberg
A construction worker looks out towards the Central Business District (CBD) on the city skyline from inside The Leonardo, the Legacy Group’s mixed-use property development, currently Africa’s tallest building, in the Sandton district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Emerging markets will again be looking to central banks to provide the next leg-up in a rally that’s making it the best September so far for stocks and currencies since 2013.

Of the economic plans under discussion to revive South Africa’s economy, none are calling for prescribed assets to be used as a solution, the Association for Savings and Investments South Africa Chief Executive Officer Leon Campher said in an emailed statement.


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The African National Congress has said previously it would investigate forcing retirement funds to help fund social development, but the idea has been strongly opposed by investors. Since then, the National Treasury has shunned proposals to instruct pension funds on where to invest. Asisa’s members have urged the government to instead provide the industry with bankable projects.

“Retirement funds would consider investing in well-structured viable infrastructure projects,” Campher said. “This should not be confused with pumping money into state-owned enterprises.”

South African Ruling Alliance Pushes For Prescribed Assets

While the government may still be considering ways to expand a regulation in the Pension Fund Act to ease barriers to infrastructure investment, this does not amount to prescription and is also not necessary, Campher said.

“Asisa is of the view that the current Regulation 28 provisions do not prevent increased investment in infrastructure,” he said.

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