Why Even High Earners Should Consider Social Security As Part of Their Retirement Plan

Nov 13, 2018 /

Many advisors hear high earning clients and prospects tell them, “Social Security isn’t for me. I can’t count on it.” Okay, says this well-paid doctor, but you’ll be missing out. Here’s his argument for why even those who make a lot of money—and theoretically have a lot of savings—should consider Social Security as part of their retirement plan.

Read more ...

Midterm Elections, Social Security and Medicare

Nov 9, 2018 /

This week saw one of the most significant midterm elections in recent history, with significant implications for the outlook on public policies and legislation affecting aging and older Americans. Health and aging issues drove the midterms more than other issues, including preserving the Affordable Care Act (with special emphasis on threats to pre-existing condition protections), considering Medicare for All proposals, and lowering prescription drug costs. Here’s an analysis by Bob Blancato, executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, courtesy of nextavenue.org. Find the full article here.

Read more ...

The People Changing Retirement With Side Hustles

Nov 6, 2018 /

In a 2018 trend report, researchers at Deloitte estimate 77 million people within Europe, India, and the United States formally identify themselves as freelancers. In the US alone, 3.7 million Americans were working on-demand in 2016; an updated forecast from Intuit and Emergent Research suggests that this number will surge to 9.2 million in 2021. Gig work is often portrayed as a young person’s game—the purview of indecisive millennials who can’t commit to a “real” career path or who graduated into the recession and never landed a full-time job. At the least, on-demand work seems to require a degree of energy and technological savvy typically associated with youth. But almost one-third (31%) of Americans who work exclusively in the gig economy are baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1965.

Read more ...

Happy 100th Birthday! Here’s A Tax Bill

Nov 2, 2018 /

Uncle Sam has a birthday gift for certain people who make it to 100: A tax bill. This applies to those who purchased so-called permanent life insurance to address complex financial planning needs, including estate planning. These contracts come with a savings component, known as cash value, which accumulates free of taxes.

Read more ...

Trump Proposes to Lower Drug Prices by Basing Them on Other Countries’ Costs

Oct 30, 2018 /

President Trump proposed last week that Medicare pay for certain prescription drugs based on the prices paid in other advanced industrial countries—a huge change that could save money for the government and for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Read more ...

When Retirement is a Bad Fit

Oct 26, 2018 /

The idyllic retirement: free time to enjoy doing things you like and spending time with friends and family. The reality of retirement for some people, according to Michelle Pannor Silver, author of the new book, Retirement and Its Discontents: unfulfilling, rudderless and filled with a loss of identity.

Read more ...

Straightforward Instructions for Applying Online

Oct 23, 2018 /

Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 people become eligible each day to file for Social Security benefits, and more and more of them are applying online. As straightforward as the process may seem, sometimes it helps to have written instructions. Here they are, with additional notes for filing a restricted application (available to those born before 1954).

Read more ...

SSA Warns of Phone Impersonation Scheme

Oct 19, 2018 /

The Social Security Administration issued a warning October 10 about an ongoing Office of the Inspector General (OIG) impersonation scheme. The scheme echoes a pattern where thieves pretend to be from government agencies, like those involving scammers posing as callers from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Read more ...

SSA and CMS Make Big Announcements

Oct 16, 2018 /

The big announcements are here! The Social Security Administration recently released the official cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2019, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced 2019 premiums.

Read more ...

Good News and Bad News For Health Care Costs in Retirement

Oct 12, 2018 /

Americans planning for retirement will find both positive and negative news in HealthView Services’ 2018 Retirement HealthCare Costs Data Report. The projections for health care costs in retirement are a little lower than last year’s report, but legislative changes to Social Security and Medicare have eliminated strategies that increased lifetime benefits and elevated the number of retirees who face Medicare surcharges. The long-term trend of cost-shifting health-related expenses to retirees continues.

Read more ...

Social Security Around the World

Oct 9, 2018 /

You’ve probably heard a lot about Russia lately, but not this: a pension reform bill increasing the retirement age from 55 for women and 60 for men to 60 and 65, respectively. From an American point of view, one might be surprised that the retirement age was ever this low in the first place, or that retirement ages were and still remain different for men and women. Additionally, there is no early retirement option. Globally, this is not unusual.

Read more ...

Americans Retiring Later to Boost Social Security Benefits

Oct 5, 2018 /

Something significant is happening in Social Security: People are retiring and taking their benefits later. These trends are at least in part the consequence of policy changes made in the early 1980s that were purposefully delayed in their implementation.

Read more ...

Early Retirement More Costly for Women

Oct 2, 2018 /

Women who retire when their husbands do may be giving up more wealth than they realize. Married women overall are still in their peak earning years in their 50s and early 60s, while married men’s earnings are on the decline, said economist Nicole Maestas, an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and the author of a recent study about couples’ income and retirement patterns. She analyzed the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Survey of more than 20,000 people 50 and older.

Read more ...

SSA Stepping Up Enforcement of Benefits Reductions

Sep 28, 2018 /

The SSA “has made progress” in increasing its enforcement of two benefit offsets that commonly apply to federal employees—the government pension offset (GPO) and the windfall elimination provision(GPO)—but still is making overpayments and should consider acting to recover the excess, an audit has said.

Read more ...

Accounting for Social Security Claiming

Sep 25, 2018 /

A new paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College examines why most individuals claim Social Security benefits before the full retirement age. Early claiming results in a substantial reduction in pension income, yet many people claim as early as possible, age 62, or soon thereafter. Since delaying claiming is equivalent to purchasing additional annuity income, this behavior is consistent with the so-called annuity puzzle.

Read more ...

Democratic Lawmakers Launch Expand Social Security Caucus

Sep 21, 2018 / 1 Comments

More than 150 Democratic lawmakers on Thursday launched a group aimed at protecting and expanding Social Security benefits. The group of progressive Democrats, known as the “Expand Social Security Caucus,” is being led by Senate co-chairs Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and House co-chairs John Larson (D-Conn.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Conor Lamb (D-Pa.).

Read more ...

Social Security is the Government Program That Lifts the Most People Out of Poverty

Sep 18, 2018 /

It should come as little surprise as the baby boomer generation ages into retirement, but Social Security overwhelmingly lifts the most people out of poverty than any other government program. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure released last week, which tries to take into account the government programs designed to assist low-income families and individuals that are not included in the official poverty measure.

Read more ...

Social Security’s Growing Inequality

Sep 14, 2018 /

According to new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, big gains in life expectancy among the richest Americans, compared to much more modest ones for the less well off, have given the wealthy more time to collect Social Security benefits.

Read more ...

3 Steps to Worry-Free Splurges for Retirees

Sep 11, 2018 /

Several of your clients likely have told you about their dreams for retirement: a luxury vacation with their adult children and grandchildren; photography classes and special equipment they’d like to upgrade; or a new swimming pool with professional landscaping to create a true backyard retreat. Of course, each of these dreams carries a hefty price tag. While some people can easily afford to cut a check, some feel guilty or selfish about spending the money. It can feel wasteful, and they fear such a large expense means they’ll need to sacrifice down the road. So how do you know if it’s OK to create your grand experiences? One advisor shares her thoughts.

Read more ...

SSA Seeking A Virtual Assistant

Sep 7, 2018 /

In a recent solicitation, the Social Security Administration said it is looking for virtual assistant customer service support software that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow for conversational interactions with clients and deliver a better self-service experience.

Read more ...