When it comes to Social Security benefits, the author of today’s article points out an unfortunate reality: “Many retirees are depending on their benefits for a substantial source of income, yet they don’t fully understand how to maximize those monthly checks.” She proceeds to outline a little-known Social Security strategy for couples that, while perhaps not a pleasant one to think about or discuss, can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you or your spouse. For more, CLICK HERE.
$3.4 trillion. According to a new study, that’s how much retirees have lost, and are losing, by not making the optimal decision when it comes to when to claim Social Security benefits. That’s $111,000 per household! According to the study, “the average Social Security recipient would get 9% more income in retirement by making the ‘financially optimal’ decision about when to claim benefits.” So what is the “financially optimal” decision – and why aren’t retirees making it and leaving trillions on the table? CLICK HERE.
When it comes to determining when to start claiming Social Security, the author of today’s article notes that “few decisions are as financially consequential…or as hard.” As such, he attempts to provide some Social Security claiming guidance based on the findings of some new studies. Why does one new study conclude that postponing claiming Social Security may be even more lucrative than thought – especially for women? What demographic groups does another new study suggest might be better off claiming Social Security earlier, and which have more incentive to delay claiming? In which situation does a third study find it’s a “clear no-brainer” to delay Social Security? CLICK HERE to find out.
While inflation may currently be low, the author of today’s article warns that “this makes the possibility of an inflation threat going forward even more likely.” Moreover, she notes that health care costs are rising faster than inflation. All of this poses a particular threat to retirees relying on sources of income that lack inflation protection. As such, the author outlines four investment options for retirement in inflationary times – Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), annuities, stocks and commercial real estate. To read about the potential benefits and drawbacks of each option, CLICK HERE.
When it comes to traditional long-term care insurance, the author of today’s article acknowledges that “for the typical retired couple in the United States, $3,200 a year is a meaningful expense. Especially when they are paying for something that they might never use.” As such, he provides an overview of how the insurance industry has changed over the last several years, offering alternative products in order to respond to the fact that many people are not buying the insurance that they will need due to its “use it or lose it” nature. To read more about these options – “linked-benefit” life insurance products, long-term care annuity products and accelerated death-benefits, CLICK HERE.
Everyone loves surprises – but not when you are a retiree and the surprise is the size of your Social Security check. Today’s article cites a recent survey which found that, for 29 percent of retirees, their benefit ended up being less or much less than expected. Moreover, the survey found that many pre-retirees are simply guessing as to how much they will receive and that their expectations are above the average amount current retirees report actually receiving. The author goes on to outline seven reasons why your benefit might end up being smaller than expected (including the aforementioned reliance on guessing). To find out what these reasons are, CLICK HERE to read more.
“Companies are willing to concede quite a bit – but people need to know what retirement benefits to ask for and how to ask,” states today’s article, which examines the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to negotiating a retirement package. From approaching negotiations as a battle rather than as “a collaborative conversation”, to focusing on money at the expense of nonmonetary benefits, to believing a company when it says there are no exceptions when it comes to its retirement offers, CLICK HERE to read about all the mistakes that can keep you from getting the right retirement package.
“Americans running their own businesses wear many hats… [including] that of retirement benefits coordinator,” states today’s article. “If you’re an independent contractor or an entrepreneur, you have to fend for yourself when it comes to benefits, including retirement planning….” As such, the author outlines two retirement-planning vehicles for the self-employed – solo 401(k)s and SEP IRAs – and the benefits and restrictions of each. Which savings vehicle offers more flexibility? Which can be set up in a matter of minutes? Which might be “the best course of action for many contractors and freelancers”? CLICK HERE to find out.