Results for "Mary Beth Franklin"

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Determining if a message from Social Security is a scam

September 19, 2018

A financial adviser contacted me recently to ask if the email he received from the Social Security Administration reminding him to review his estimated benefits statement online was valid. "Does Social Security send out these types of emails,...

2019 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment now expected to be 2.8 percent

September 14, 2018

It looks like Social Security benefits will increase by about 2.8% in 2019. Although that's down slightly from an earlier estimate, it still would be the largest benefit boost in seven years, according to The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan...

Inaccurate info from Social Security Administration a challenge for widows

September 12, 2018

Losing one's spouse is one of life's most difficult and overwhelming experiences. Claiming Social Security survivor benefits apparently ranks as a close second based on a frantic phone call I received from a close friend this week. My friend...

Nudging Congress toward Social Security reform

August 30, 2018

When leaders refuse to lead, it's time for the people to step in. That, essentially, is the mission of Funding Our Future, an alliance of organizations dedicated to making a secure retirement possible for all Americans. I was honored to serve...

Estimating the impact of early retirement on Social Security benefits

August 29, 2018

One of the most common questions I receive from financial advisers concerns the impact of early retirement on future Social Security benefits. They wonder if the estimated benefits statement that their clients receive accurately portrays future...

Some public employees face Social Security hurdles

August 27, 2018

There are about 2,700 different rules that govern Social Security benefits, but two of them stand out as the most confusing and unfair — at least according to the subset of workers and family members who are subject to them. About a quarter...

Retroactive Social Security benefits: Everything you need to know

August 20, 2018

A financial adviser contacted me recently to ask whether a widowed client, who had been eligible to collect Social Security survivor benefits at the earliest at age 60, could file for retroactive benefits now that she was 63. Any type of Social...

8 ways to boost Social Security benefits

August 16, 2018

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law 83 years ago, on Aug. 14, 1935, creating the first nationwide safety net for American retirees. During a recent summer road trip, I visited Roosevelt's bucolic Hyde Park...

Claiming Social Security early has lasting impact on survivors

August 14, 2018

I received an urgent email from a financial adviser this week asking whether his terminally ill client should file immediately for Social Security so he wouldn't miss out on claiming his benefits before he died. While that may seem like a logical...

Social Security finances worsen as reliance on the program increases

August 9, 2018

You've heard of good news/bad news stories. This one is a bad news/worse news version. Two new reports from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business document an increase in American retirees' reliance on Social Security income...

Wages can boost Social Security taxes, Medicare premiums

August 7, 2018

My recent column on how income from a job can temporarily reduce or even eliminate Social Security benefits claimed before full retirement age prompted some interesting questions from readers. Those questions allow me to clarify how earnings...

7 surprising facts about the Social Security earnings test

July 31, 2018

Questions from InvestmentNews readers tend to run in cycles. This month, the Social Security earnings test seems to be a popular topic with financial advisers and their clients who want to claim benefits early but plan to keep working. That...

Working longer is best way to boost retirement income

July 25, 2018

Working a few years longer has a much bigger impact on improving retirement income security for older workers than boosting 401(k) contributions during the last decade of work, according to new research published by the National Bureau of Economic...

Intriguing snapshot of HSA users

July 24, 2018

If financial advisers were asked to create a profile of the ideal prospective client, many might list young, college-educated workers with above-average incomes so they could help them grow their wealth over several decades. If that sounds like...

Advisers hold key to financial security

July 18, 2018

Here's a statistic that should make financial advisers stand a little taller: Clients who work with a financial professional are more than twice as likely to feel financially secure and ready for retirement compared to consumers who don't. More...

Social Security scam alert

July 17, 2018

Here's the latest identity theft scam to warn your clients about: suspicious phone calls that claim to be from the Social Security Administration. Don't fall for it, warned Gale Stallworth Stone, acting inspector general of the SSA. In one case,...

Small businesses face a big retirement challenge

July 17, 2018

Here is an amazing statistic: Small businesses account for 99.7% of all U.S. firms and employ more than half of all American workers, according to the Small Business Administration. Collectively, small businesses drive the economy, but many...

Improved health outcomes can boost retirement savings

July 10, 2018

What would you say about a planning tool that quantifies how improved management of a chronic health condition can reduce a client's medical expenses, increase their life expectancy and boost disposable income? What if you took it a step further...

New ways to estimate and fund long-term care costs

July 5, 2018

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of retirees more than the three letters: LTC. The potentially crushing costs of long-term care in a nursing home, memory care unit or even at home — most of which are not covered by Medicare — can easily...

Divorced women declare financial independence

July 3, 2018

It's fitting that as the country celebrates Independence Day this week, a new study documents the experience of more than 1,700 women going through the process of divorce. While many face financial obstacles in living on their own, nearly half...

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