Americans' retirement leisure plans could be snagged by poor planning

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Many Americans “could be doing a better job” planning for their retirement dreams (

A new study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found that spending on leisure travel by Americans 65 and up is expected to rise by 47% over the next 20 years, reports Diana Britton. Notably, folks aged 55 and older already account for 67% of spending on cruises and ship fares, 60% of spending on vacation homes, and 55% of consumer spending on recreational vehicles, according to the report.

However, the report also noted that near-retirees could do more to financially prepare for these sorts of plans: 58% of respondents over 50 said they don’t know how much they will need to fund leisure activities in retirement.

“Many Americans could be doing a better job at planning ahead to fill two decades or more of time in this life stage as well as planning and funding their retirement dreams,” Lorna Sabbia, head of retirement and personal wealth solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. “Having more conversations to help people better prepare for the challenges, surprises, and priorities could help retirees achieve their leisure dreams.”

Actually, the DOL rule could create a bit of a problem for some robo advisors (Nerd’s Eye View)

Robo-advisors were touted as a potential solution to bring low-cost fiduciary advice to regular Americans in light of the Department of Labour’s new fiduciary rule. However, Michael Kitces notes that, ultimately, the final rule might have created some problems for some robo-advisors like Schwab and BlackRock’s Future Advisor that rely on proprietary products.

“Which means ultimately, some robo-advisors may need to substantially change their business practices and how they operate in the coming months, to ensure they fit within the DoL’s fiduciary rules,” wrote Kitces, in a large post covering many topics related to robos and the DOL rule.

“The most likely outcome may be for the companies to simply raise their fees, and eliminate their proprietary-product-based profitability, to ensure they’re operating as Level Fee Fiduciaries. But doing so will throw a significant wrench in the growth of robo-advisors that were being cultivated specifically as a distribution channel for ETFs. On the plus side, though, it means the DoL’s fiduciary rule may be more effective at limiting proprietary products than was initially believed!”

Advisors are going in all different directions amid mixed economic signals (Financial Planning)

Andrew Welsch reports that advisors have varying opinions on where to allocate client assets in light of the current global environment.

One wealth manager argued that, given the stronger dollar, it may be wise to invest more funds in global equities. Meanwhile, others are a bit concerned by some of the less-than-stellar data coming out of countries like China, and are jumping back into the US.

One of the leading critics of the DOL rule said the Senate will try to shut it down (InvestmentNews)

Senator Johnny Isakson, one of the leading critics of the new DOL fiduciary rule, said that the Senate will likely vote on a resolution of disapproval, reports Mark Schoeff Jr.

Isakson added that he wants to advance a separate bill he’s sponsored, which would halt the rule.

Elizabeth Warren goes after Finra (FA Magazine)

In other political news, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tom Cotton went after Finra, arguing that it exposed investors to “real risk” due to negligent oversight of broker-dealers, reports Ted Knutson.

“Each day that Finra fails to take stronger action is another day that working families will be exposed to an unacceptably high risk of misconduct,” they wrote in a letter to Finra Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum.

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