Results for "On Retirement"

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Social Security's 50 shades of gray

November 14, 2013

I have received a slew of questions lately asking how rules for Social Security retirement benefits and survivor benefits interact. “If a spouse who never worked begins her spousal benefits at 62, will her survivor benefit amount be forever...

Changes to Part D prescription drug plans in 2014 that every adviser should know

November 7, 2013

Want to give your retired clients a reason to count you among their blessings this Thanksgiving? Offer them a few tips on how they could save money on their prescription drugs next year by shopping for a new Medicare Part D plan now. Although...

Beyond the automatic 401(K)

November 3, 2013

There is no denying that recent 401(k) plan innovations of automatic enrollment, auto-escalation features and qualified default investment alternatives have gone a long way to improve retirement plan participation and savings rates. Using “nudge...

What I learned about Social Security in my CFP review course

October 23, 2013

Last week, I attended an intensive four-day, in-classroom review for next month's Certified Financial Planner Board of Standard Inc.'s certification exam. Going into the Dalton Review program, I was afraid I would be tripped up by complicated...

Health care exchanges aren't meant for retirees

October 20, 2013

The new health insurance exchanges have dominated headlines in recent weeks, with tales ranging from computer glitches that have prevented millions of uninsured Americans from signing up for coverage to a federal government shutdown triggered...

Unraveling mystery of lump-sum payments

October 20, 2013

Quite a number of retirees are receiving a lump-sum payment when they apply for Social Security benefits, and that led one financial adviser in San Leandro, Calif., to ask me to explain these mystery payments. “I have been hearing from clients...

Preparing for the next Bronze Age

October 6, 2013

Do you hear the drumbeats warning of an impending retirement crisis growing louder? I do. You can tell that a situation has reached a tipping point when traditional opponents agree that something must be done. A few months ago, two powerhouses...

CFP exam is a test of mettle, too

September 29, 2013

Last month, my colleague Mark Schoeff Jr. filed a story about a recent survey showing that more than half of college students who had completed financial planning coursework at three universities had decided not to sit for the national exam...

Two options to 'super-size' Social Security benefits

September 22, 2013

I often write about how financial advisers can help their clients who claim reduced Social Security benefits early and regret it later take steps to reset their benefits. Sometimes it means repaying benefits that they have received over the...

Rethinking retirement planning

August 25, 2013

One of the key elements of traditional financial planning is to prepare for a secure retirement. But the idea of accumulating sufficient savings to finance a comfortable lifestyle for 30 years may be an impossible dream for many Americans. For...

Pensions can offset benefits

August 18, 2013

Donald Klaas, a financial adviser with The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in St. Louis, sent me an important question the other day. He wrote that he has a 64-year-old client who has been a teacher at various schools during her career,...

Parsing Social Security rules for spouses

July 28, 2013

Recently, I participated in a three-hour All Star Tax training video sponsored by Edward Jones to bring accountants, tax attorneys and enrolled agents up to speed on Social Security rules and claiming strategies. I have been flooded with questions...

Replacement rates fall as women's earnings rise

July 21, 2013

Here is a stunning statement: Although an increase in women's workforce participation and average earnings has boosted the income of many American families, it also has reduced household retirement income replacement rates from Social Security....

Fewer options for altering spousal Social Security claims

June 16, 2013

R eaders come up with the best questions. Sarah, a financial adviser in Los Angeles, is one of them. Sarah asked whether a person who claimed reduced Social Security spousal benefits early, at 62, can do anything to restore a higher benefit....

Next benefit fortress to fall: Employee health insurance

June 9, 2013

Workplace-based health insurance is following in the footsteps of retirement benefits. In response to rising premiums over the past few years and fear of the unknown when Affordable Care Act changes kick in next year, increasing numbers of employers...

Gaining Social Security expertise can make advisers clients' allies

June 2, 2013

More and more, financial advisers are becoming experts in Social Security-claiming strategies, and their clients are better off as a result. And for those who haven't yet mastered the intricacies of this vital benefits program, there is no shortage...

Avoid getting undone by the do-over strategy

May 26, 2013

One of the biggest challenges of figuring out when to claim Social Security benefits is determining which strategy would maximize benefits for a client. The second challenge is to keep up with any rule changes that could undo the initial decision....

Time to replace the three-legged-stool myth

May 26, 2013

It is time to retire the three-legged stool — the well-worn analogy for retirement security. Face it: With disappearing pensions and inadequate personal savings, the remaining — wobbly — leg of Social Security makes retirement income look...

Sometimes, cash now is better than more cash later

May 12, 2013

I received a really interesting question from an adviser in Minnesota recently who was looking for advice on Social Security-claiming strategies for a newly widowed client. The adviser suggested that in order to maximize her benefits, his 59-year-old...

Social Security software firm offering new service levels

May 5, 2013

Increasingly, financial advisers are interested in incorporating Social Security-claiming strategies into their clients' retirement income plans. But Social Security rules can be downright confounding. To get an accurate estimate of clients'...

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