Results for "On Retirement"

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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...

Over the border

September 8, 2013

It seems that interest in retiring overseas is growing as some aging baby boomers review their often-inadequate nest eggs and contemplate creative alternatives to live the good life. Ironic, isn't it? For some people, the only way to live out...

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,...

The trick of Social Security in the first year of retirement

August 11, 2013

Often, people who retire midyear have already earned more than Social Security's annual earnings limit that applies to those who collect benefits before their full retirement age. Normally, people who collect Social Security benefits before...

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....

Why we need to fix Social Security now

June 9, 2013

When the Social Security trustees issued their annual report recently, you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief across the country. The long-range financial outlook for the nation's crucial retirement system is still on track to pay...

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'...

Claiming Social Security, you're either married or not

April 28, 2013

I received an interesting question from a reader last week. She asked, “What are the Social Security-claiming rules for a married couple who have been legally separated for years but have not divorced?” In this case, both spouses are older...

A call to arms for all Mad Men

April 21, 2013

Bashing the retirement services industry has become a national pastime. The story goes like this: The majority of American workers are ill-prepared for retirement because they were deprived of the comfy pensions that were their God-given right....

Disability automatically converts to retirement benefits at 66

April 21, 2013

A financial adviser in Minneapolis recently received a panicked call from one of his clients asking what would happen to her disability benefits once she reached full retirement age. She had heard that Social Security disability benefits end...

Study backs delaying benefits

April 7, 2013

After years of preaching the gospel of delaying Social Security benefits, I was gratified to read a new study from Morningstar Inc. saying that most retirees would be better served by waiting until their full retirement age or later to claim...

Pension rule can mean big Social Security cut

March 31, 2013

I received a question from a reader the other day wondering why his ex-spouse was denied Social Security benefits. She collects a pension based on her years as a public school teacher in Rhode Island, where employees in some local jurisdictions...

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