social security

“Gut Check”: How One Man’s Extremely Bad Luck Is A Wake-Up Call For Retirees

“This is very disconcerting and very bad timing,” says Tracy Donaldson, a newly retired Floridian who had the extremely bad luck of retiring the same week the Dow dropped significantly on coronavirus fears. But while Donaldson’s guaranteed pension and Social Security mean he’ll be fine even in the event of a lengthy downturn, many retirees may find themselves in a… 

A Smart – And Little-Known – Spousal Social Security Strategy

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… 

Is It Time To Rethink The Calculus On When To Collect Social Security?

When Social Security’s trustees issued their annual report on the program earlier this year, it forecast that costs will exceed income next year for the first time since 1982 and that, if no action is taken, the program will run out of money by 2035. Given this, is it time to rethink the common financial wisdom that says it’s best… 

Are You Eligible For This “Eliminated” Social Security Strategy?

This Social Security claiming strategy was eliminated by Congress as part of a 2015 law, but a few million Americans are still eligible to use it thanks to a grandfather clause – and those individuals (married couples and some divorced people of a particular age group) may well want to consider taking advantage of this strategy while they still have… 

Making A Pension-Less Retirement Work

The author of today’s article – who is fortunate enough to have a pension – is concerned about the majority of Americans (including his own children) who are not so fortunate, and who will have to rely on Social Security and their investments to fund their retirements. His fear? “Even if these folks are saving regularly, they don’t really understand… 

Why Retirees Aren’t Making The “Financially Optimal” Social Security Decision – And Leaving Trillions On The Table

$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… 

What Social Security Is, What It Isn’t – And Why The Distinction Matters To Your Retirement Plan

“Social Security is what it is — and it isn’t what it isn’t,” states the author of today’s article who argues that, while Social Security is an asset, it is not a bond – and thus investors are ill-served by considering Social Security part of their retirement portfolio’s bond allocation. What is Social Security, what isn’t Social Security – and… 

Nudging Towards A More Secure Retirement

“Money and rationality don’t always mix…That’s especially true with retirement,” notes the author of today’s article. Just one example of many: The fact that nearly half of Americans claim Social Security benefits as soon as possible (age 62), foregoing a significantly larger benefit had they waited. Fortunately, insights from behavioral finance can help “nudge” individuals towards making more rational decisions… 

Stepping Your Way To A Successful Financial Life

When it comes to credit scores, buying cars (and buying homes), 401(k)s (and Roth 401(k)s), savings accounts, life insurance (and auto and homeowners and long-term care insurance), wills and beneficiaries (and powers of attorney), Social Security and more, the author of today’s article poses the following question: “What does a good financial life look like?” For his 45-step roadmap to… 

Spend Safely In Retirement (And Delay Taking Social Security) With This Strategy

With most financial experts advising that primary wage earners delay taking Social Security until age 70 (as delaying can result in payments that are 70% higher), the author of today’s article acknowledges that “for those who do want to maximize their benefits, that means utilizing other assets in the meantime which requires some strategizing.” He proceeds to outline one potential…