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American dream sinking into abyss of uncertainty

July 18, 2017

With informed discussion, creative thinking, and timely legislative action, Social Security can continue to protect future generations. That boilerplate language has been featured more or less verbatim in the yearly status report from the trustees...

Social Security reserves still expected to be depleted by 2034: annual report

July 13, 2017

The Social Security Board of Trustees on Thursday released its annual report on the long-term financial status of the Soecial Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI)...

How Social Security treats the survivors of young workers

July 10, 2017

I just received a sad question from a financial adviser in Indiana who asked if there would be any Social Security benefits available for a young widow and child following the death of their 25-year old husband and father in a traffic accident....

Dual income couples complicate Social Security earnings test

July 6, 2017

With so many people planning to work beyond normal retirement age, dual-income couples create a challenge for financial advisers when it comes to recommending a Social Security claiming strategy. Anyone who claims Social Security benefits before...

An adviser's guide to Social Security survivor benefits

June 29, 2017

One of the primary tenets of financial planning is to anticipate a worst-case scenario and to implement a strategy to buffer the risk. For many families, the untimely death of a parent or spouse can spell financial disaster. While Social Security...

Don't mess with Social Security disability rules ​

June 20, 2017

Most of the questions I receive about Social Security claiming strategies pertain to retirement and survivor benefits. But increasingly, readers have been soliciting my advice about Social Security rules regarding disability benefits. It is...

Retiree health care costs rising faster than Social Security benefits

June 14, 2017

Health care costs in retirement are rising twice as fast as the average annual increase in Social Security benefits, putting a crucial source of retirement income on a collision course with one of the biggest expenses retirees face. Over time,...

What every woman should know about Social Security

June 9, 2017

Women tend to live longer than men, meaning they spend more time in retirement and often do so with less savings, given their lower average lifetime earnings. They are also more likely to live alone in old age due to widowhood or divorce. Consequently,...

Social Security cost-of-living adjustment predicted for 2018

June 5, 2017

Social Security beneficiaries have lost nearly a third of their buying power since 2000 as the costs of items typically purchased by the elderly have significantly outstripped the annual inflation increases in their retirement benefits, according...

How to maximize Social Security benefits under new rules

May 26, 2017

Deciding when and how to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions that most retirees will ever make. Despite changes to two key claiming rules that took effect last year, there are still enormous opportunities...

Rectifying Social Security's flawed advice

May 24, 2017

Forgive me if you are tired of reading about the bad advice being dispensed by Social Security representatives. But this story has a happy ending and offers some helpful, step-by-step guidance of how to help clients caught in a bureaucratic...

Social Security Administration steps up online security

May 15, 2017

Here we go again. The Social Security Administration announced that, beginning June 10, users of the agency's online services will need a one-time code to log into My Social Security accounts, which provide access to personal benefit estimates...

Retirement taxes are not for sissies

May 11, 2017

You may have heard the saying "old age is not for sissies." Well, neither are taxes when it comes to figuring out how an extra dollar of retirement income can boost taxable income by three times that amount. "Taxes are a critical piece in retirement...

Social Security blocks clients' claiming strategies

May 9, 2017

I am detecting a pattern. Time after time, a financial adviser recommends how a client should claim their Social Security benefits in a way that will maximize their lifetime income, only to be thwarted by a well-meaning Social Security representative...

Milestone birthday triggers crucial financial decisions

May 5, 2017

It all began with my husband's surprise party. I planned an intimate dinner with close friends and family at a local restaurant to celebrate his 65th birthday. Mission accomplished. He was surprised, and we all had a good time. Little did we...

How Social Security treats remarriage

May 1, 2017

Young love is often blind and impulsive. Mature love, on the other hand, is pragmatic and wears bifocals. At least that is my interpretation based on recent questions from InvestmentNews readers asking what happens to Social Security benefits...

Social Security: Later is better

April 26, 2017

Americans are finally getting the message: Waiting to claim Social Security until full retirement age or later results in bigger monthly benefits for life and can also boost survivor benefits for a remaining spouse. Today's pre-retirees (ages...

Ric Edelman proposes Social Security fix: Allot $7,000 for each baby

April 19, 2017

A prominent financial adviser is proposing to fix the Social Security system by using the same approach that he recommends to clients: Start saving early and take advantage of compound growth. Ric Edelman, executive chairman of Edelman Financial...

Social Security update for same-sex couples

April 10, 2017

When is a marriage a marriage? In the case of same-sex couples, it can be complicated, particularly if their union pre-dates the nationwide recognition of gay marriage. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell...

How to spot fake answers from Social Security Administration reps

April 3, 2017

We've all grown a bit weary over politically charged arguments about what constitutes real versus fake news. Based on my overflowing email box, I sense a similar frustration from financial advisers and their clients about how to interpret answers...

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