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Hiring freeze and budget cuts impact Social Security claims

March 27, 2017

Last week, 50 members of Congress sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to exempt the Social Security Administration from the federal hiring freeze "to ensure that the American people receive the first-class service they have...

Gray divorce presents Social Security challenges

March 10, 2017

While overall divorce rates in the U.S. remained stable between 1990 and 2010, gray divorce among spouses age 50 or older doubled during the same 20-year period, jeopardizing the retirement security of millions of baby boomers. Now, one in four...

Social Security Administration continues to give bad advice on claiming rules

February 13, 2017

I don't know who is more frustrated about the rash of bad advice being doled out by Social Security Administration staffers recently — financial advisers, their clients or me. More than a year after Congress approved changes to Social Security...

Medicare enrollment ends HSA eligibility

February 9, 2017

As many clients continue to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, financial advisers are often confronted with questions about the interaction of employer-provided health insurance, Medicare and health savings accounts. Health savings...

Two ways to boost Social Security benefits

February 6, 2017

Now that Congress has eliminated some of the more lucrative Social Security claiming strategies, financial advisers are always looking for ways to help their clients maximize their retirement benefits. Scott Willingham, a financial adviser with...

When claiming Social Security early makes sense

January 27, 2017

A question from an InvestmentNews reader warmed my heart because it perfectly demonstrates how financial advisers can continue to help their clients maximize their Social Security benefits even after the recent changes to the claiming strategy...

2016 tax returns determine 2018 Medicare premiums

January 25, 2017

As your older clients gather their financial documents to file their 2016 federal income taxes, they should pay close attention to the bottom line on their tax return. Their adjusted gross income in 2016, plus any tax-exempt interest income,...

Some compensation is exempt from Social Security earnings test

January 19, 2017

Talk about double whammy! One adviser asked me for guidance on a Social Security claiming strategy for a newly widowed client. Not only did she lose her husband recently, but at the end of last year, she also lost her job. The adviser, Dewey...

Social Security to stop mailing paper statements — again

January 10, 2017

The Social Security Administration announced it will stop mailing estimated benefit statements to most American workers in a cost-saving move that is expected to save about $11 million this year. Well, “announced” may be too strong a word....

Social Security changes coming to beneficiaries and taxpayers in 2017

January 5, 2017

Social Security benefits for about 60 million retired and disabled workers and their dependents will increase slightly in 2017, but for many beneficiaries, the minuscule 0.3% cost-of-living adjustment will be wiped out by higher Medicare premiums....

7 Social Security fixes to boost benefits

January 3, 2017

Sometimes a financial adviser engages a new client who has already begun collecting Social Security benefits. Or, perhaps an existing client files for Social Security without consulting the adviser about how it will impact the overall retirement...

Social Security rules for the twice-widowed client

December 28, 2016

The majority of American adults marry at least once during their lifetimes, but only about 40% of them stay married, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Some Americans go on to marry a second time and a small percentage — 4% — marry three...

Social Security program to run out of money in calendar year 2029: CBO report

December 22, 2016

The Social Security program will run out of money in calendar year 2029 and will not be able to pay full benefits after that, according to updated projections published Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office. The program consists of two...

Calculating the impact of new Social Security rules

December 21, 2016

Looking back on the Social Security rules changes that took effect in 2016, some financial advisers may think that it is no longer worth their time to focus on claiming strategies to boost their clients' retirement income. But rather than playing...

10 top Social Security stories of 2016

December 16, 2016

2016 was a big year for Social Security news, following Congress’ vote to eliminate some key Social Security claiming strategies. Here are the Social Security stories in InvestmentNews that gained the most attention from readers this year,...

Social Security Administration evaluates online claiming tools

December 13, 2016

When to claim Social Security retirement benefits is one of the most important financial decisions an individual can make. Although the majority of retirees would like guidance from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on the best time to...

Seniors see Social Security changes as benefit cuts

November 23, 2016

Lawmakers who voted last year to do away with two key Social Security claiming strategies labeled their legislative action a “closure of unintended loopholes.” But a majority of senior voters disagree with that description. In a new poll...

Why Social Security is crucial to women

November 21, 2016

Financial advisers looking to expand their roster of female clients would be wise to brush up on Social Security claiming rules. With women's longer life expectancies and the fact that they are more likely to live alone in old age due to widowhood...

New Social Security rules and divorce

November 15, 2016

Social Security benefits for divorced spouses remains one of the few fertile areas where strategic claiming strategies can make a big difference in retirement income planning — depending on the ex-spouses' ages. I encountered many questions...

Gradually converting a traditional IRA to a Roth can boost nest egg

November 10, 2016

The first wave of baby boomers who turned 70 ½ this year must start tapping their traditional retirement accounts soon and pay taxes on those required minimum distributions. For those first boomers who turn 70 ½ this year, who were born from...

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