5 Social Security Truths

Aug 14, 2018 /

Statistics show that most retirees will rely at least somewhat on Social Security to make ends meet. Yet if you have been interacting with clients around topic at all, you know there are plenty of myths and misconceptions. Perhaps you've even fallen for some of them yourself. Here are five concrete truths about Social Security that you can take to the bank. Hopefully none of them are a surprise to you, but you might be surprised how many clients believe the myths.

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Ameriprise Study: Retirees Ready But Reluctant to Spend Savings

Aug 10, 2018

While retirees have worked hard to save and invest for their next chapter, new research from Ameriprise Financial finds many of them aren’t tapping their nest eggs. The new study, Making Money Last, reveals only 21% of retirees feel confident about drawing down their assets. In fact, 68% of respondents have not begun to withdraw their money aside from taking required minimum distributions.

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Maximizing The “Still-Working” Exception To Delay RMDs From a 401(k) Plan

Aug 7, 2018 /

While qualified plan participants are generally required to begin taking distributions April 1 of the year following the year the plan participant turns 70 ½, the “still-working” exception delays the RBD to April 1 of the year following the year the employee retires.

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Signs Are Hopeful for a High COLA in 2019

Aug 3, 2018 /

One of the most anticipated Social Security-related events of the year is the announcement of the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. While there are still a good two and a half months to go before definitively knowing what magnitude of raise to expect, signs are pointing to beneficiaries receiving their highest COLA since 2012.

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Charitable Giving in Retirement

Jul 31, 2018 /

Once retirement begins and people tend to have more time but less money than when they were working, they typically cut back on spending. An intriguing new survey has found, however, that during the first five years of retirement, their rate of charitable giving remains pretty stable and they often also give as much as when they first retired—except for single men, who become less generous.

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One in Three Millennials Uses Retirement Savings to Purchase a Home

Jul 27, 2018 /

Roughly 98 percent of people want to own a home, according to a recent Bank of the West survey of over 600 U.S. adults ages 21-34. But coming up with the required funds can be tough. To finance their purchases, one in three millennial homeowners withdrew money from or took loans against their retirement accounts, according to the same survey. Meanwhile, one in five millennials who are planning to buy a home expect to do the same.

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New Executive Order May Affect Social Security Cases

Jul 24, 2018 / 1 Comments

On July 10, the White House released an executive order ending a merit-based system for selecting federal administrative law judges, including those who hear Social Security cases—or about 1,600 of roughly 2,000 federal administrative law judges (ALJs).

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Privatization of Social Security: Pros and Cons

Jul 20, 2018 /

It’s common knowledge that Social Security is in trouble. Although the program is in no danger of going bankrupt, and will be making payouts to many generations of retired workers to come, its current payout schedule isn’t sustainable.

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Survey Shows Couples Don’t Connect When it Comes to Salaries, Retirement

Jul 17, 2018 /

As someone said a few decades ago, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Among couples, that is. A Fidelity couples retirement study finds that despite the fact that 72 percent of couples say they communicate “exceptionally” or “very” well on financial matters, that’s actually pretty far from the truth.

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That Living Will You Signed? At the ER, It Could Be Open to Interpretation

Jul 13, 2018 /

One of the most important documents a retiree can have is a health care directive. But what does that mean, exactly? Is it a living will? A Do Not Resuscitate order? Is there a difference? There are actually many types of end-of-life documents, and sometimes not even medical professionals know the difference. One expert says that misunderstandings involving documents meant to guide end-of-life decision-making are “surprisingly common.”

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Do Your Homework Before Moving Into This Retirement Haven

Jul 10, 2018 /

Retirees hoping to spend their golden years in an idyllic retirement community should slow down before signing over their savings. The arrangements are convenient and often luxurious, but some older Americans may overlook the financial due diligence they need to undertake before committing to a facility.

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Plant Your Flag So Identity Thieves Don’t

Jul 6, 2018 /

Many people, particularly older folks, proudly declare they avoid using the Web to manage various accounts tied to their personal and financial data—including everything from utilities and mobile phones to retirement benefits and online banking services. The reasoning behind this strategy is as simple as it is alluring: What’s not put online can’t be hacked. But increasingly, adherents to this mantra are finding out the hard way that if you don’t plant your flag online, fraudsters and identity thieves may do it for you.

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Social Security Benefits Buy 34% Less Than in 2000

Jul 3, 2018 /
Since 2000, the buying power of monthly benefits has fallen by more than a third, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group based in Alexandria, Virginia. Read more ...

Nationwide Survey Shows Pre-Retirees Want Social Security Advice

Jun 29, 2018 /

62% of advisors say their clients frequently ask them about when to collect Social Security, the Nationwide Retirement Institute learned in a survey of advisors. Yet, in a separate consumer survey, Nationwide learned that only 13% of American workers have discussed Social Security with an adviser, and, among this group, 40% say they started the conversation.

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Why the AARP is Worried About Student Loans

Jun 27, 2018 /

In the latest sign of just how far-reaching student loan debt has become, the issue is now on the radar of another, perhaps more surprising group: AARP. Over the past several years, the nation’s leading senior lobby has become increasingly involved in student-loan issues, pressuring the federal government to stop garnishing the Social Security benefits of older borrowers who defaulted on their loans. And in some state capitals the group is taking on the student loan industry, pushing for more regulations to police abusive loan-collection practices.

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Study Shows Americans Want and Need Financial Education

Jun 22, 2018 /

Recent Research from Raddon®, a Fiserv company, reveals that Americans are generally overconfident in their financial acumen and the vast majority have never attended a financial education program, although many think such a program would be extremely or very valuable.

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Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?

Jun 19, 2018 /

It’s taken as a given these days: The current state of affairs with respect to Social Security solvency and Americans’ retirement savings rates inevitably means that Americans will have to work longer, whether that’s to the Social Security Full Retirement Age, or to age 70, or even later. But’s it not that simple: Workers will need to be healthy enough to continue working, and they’ll need jobs available for them.

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Try Your Hand At Fixing Social Security

Jun 13, 2018 / 1 Comments

The release of the Social Security Trustees Report last week has led to dozens of articles from across the politcal spectrum. It’s clear that some sort of reform will be needed. But what kind? You can try your hand at Social Security reform with a game from the American Academy of Actuaries.

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2018 Trustees Reports Available

Jun 8, 2018 /
The big news this week was the release of the 2018 Trustees Reports for both Social Security and Medicare. Read more ...

Consider a Trial Run Before Relocating for Retirement

Jun 5, 2018 /

Many American workers dream of punching out for the final time, packing their suitcase, hopping on a plane and permanently relocating to a new city or even state in retirement. What those retirees probably don’t anticipate are the variables and unexpected costs that inevitably come with moving: housing costs, taxes, insurance and access to quality medical care. Then there are the intangibles: Does the community offer the amenities I’m looking for—a mix of interesting dining options, for example—and will I fit in politically, socially and culturally?

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