7 Estate Planning Mistakes

Mar 16, 2018 /

Experienced estate planners see a high percentage of clients with recurring mistakes. They know if a client has never seen an estate planner or hasn’t had a plan revised within the last three years, the plan is likely to have at least one of these costly mistakes. (Remember, even if someone hasn’t seen an estate planner, he has an estate plan, and it’s probably not a good one.) Bob Carlson, editor of Retirement Watch, has a seven-part series on Forbes about estate planning mistakes that are committed frequently and can be very damaging to your clients’ goals and loved ones.

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Investing in a Longer Life, Lived Well

Mar 5, 2018 /

Research demonstrates what may be the most significant challenge facing our society: A population that is living longer than ever while saving for retirement at record lows. For too long, we have measured life expectancy in number of years—this is longevity. But longevity ignores two more important factors.

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Survey Shows Employers Strengthening Defined Contribution Plans

Mar 2, 2018 /

With concerns mounting that employees aren’t saving enough for retirement, U.S. employers are making significant enhancements to their defined contribution (DC) plans, now considered the main retirement savings vehicle for most working Americans, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson.

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Widows and Widowers Got Bad Social Security Advice

Feb 27, 2018 /

According to a report from the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General, an estimated 11,123 widows and widowers were eligible for higher benefits had they delayed claims until age 70. The misinformed filings resulted in about $131.8 million in underpayments to beneficiaries age 70 and older, and another $9.8 million in annual payments for those under age 70.

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9 Tips for Predicting Your Retirement Expenses

Feb 20, 2018 /

Some might say that trying to predict personal costs for every month for the next 15-30 years is preposterously impossible. But you know that if your clients want a secure retirement, they need to predict how much they will spend. You undoubtedly have a method for forecasting retirement income and finding the overall amount needed. Here, we have 9 tips for bringing budget predictions down to more bite-sized steps that your clients can understand.

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Social Security: Why So Many Men Die at 62?

Feb 12, 2018 / 1 Comments

A significant increase in mortality starts at 62, according to a new study. The escalation is much more dramatic for men than for women. And the fatal catalyst, the study’s authors believe, might be the availability of Social Security.

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Are Medicare Managed Plans Steering Members to Low-Quality Nursing Facilities?

Feb 9, 2018 /

Last year, about 19 million Americans, one-third of Medicare participants, were enrolled in MA plans. This model holds the promise of fully integrating health care and long-term services and supports—a great benefit for frail older adults. But critics worry that when managed care organizations are at financial risk for the cost of care, they may skimp on quality to save money.

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Newsletters Available Now

Feb 2, 2018 /

Two more newsletters from Elaine Floyd are now available online for Savvy Social Security Members.

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Remind Your Clients: SSA Is Vulnerable to Fraud, Too

Jan 30, 2018 /

Cybersecurity experts have long encouraged people to register with MySocialSecurity even if they aren’t receiving benefits, because identity thieves register accounts in peoples’ names and siphon funds. But this story shows that even if you take the right precautions, you need to stay vigilant.

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How Much Does Motherhood Cost Women in Social Security Benefits?

Jan 23, 2018 /

The increase in female labor force participation coupled with a higher number of women reaching retirement unmarried has increased the share of women claiming Social Security benefits earned through their own job histories. But they still bear the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities, and the previous literature has provided clear evidence that motherhood reduces earnings during the childbearing and child-rearing years. What remains understudied is the extent to which mothers face lower lifetime earnings and, consequently, lower Social Security income.

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7 Ways to Eliminate Stereotypes About Aging

Jan 19, 2018 /

George H. Schofield, Ph.D., is one of Next Avenue’s “2017 Influencers in Aging.” When asked, “If you could change one thing about aging in America, what would it be?” he answered, “Eliminate stereotypes.”

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Update on Health Care Reform

Jan 12, 2018 /

It looks like lawmakers have done all they’re going to do in the way of health care reform until after the 2018 midterm elections. President Donald Trump and GOP leaders came out of their Camp David retreat last weekend with a scaled down agenda for safety net programs and health law. For what it’s worth, polls show that the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats oppose funding reductions for Social Security and Medicare. Of course, lawmakers did enough in December, when they passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which, among other things, struck down the individual mandate requiring every American to have health insurance.

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An Overlooked Epidemic: Older Americans Taking Too Many Unneeded Drugs

Jan 9, 2018 /

For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Doctors say it is not uncommon to encounter patients taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, heart disease, depression or insomnia or other disorders.

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Immigration Reform’s Impact on Social Security Coffers

Jan 5, 2018 /

Legislation introduced by Republicans in the Senate that would reduce the number of green cards would have the unintended consequence of expediting Social Security’s impending insolvency, according to new analysis from the Urban Institute.

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5 Places to Retire on Social Security Alone

Jan 2, 2018 /

It’s relatively hard to live on Social Security alone in the United States, where the average monthly benefit is $1,374 for a retired worker—or $2,090 for a couple.But take that modest budget overseas to a place where your dollars stretch, and you'll find you can be free from money woes.”

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Federal Taxes Have a Good Side Too

Dec 28, 2017 /

A Donald Duck cartoon funded by the U.S. government in 1943 urged Americans to pay their income taxes to support the war effort. Paying taxes was a patriotic act, to build up the inventory of war planes and battleships to defeat the Nazis— “sink the Axis!” the narrator bellows. Nobody liked paying taxes then, and they still don’t. Yet there was a growing awareness as the war played out in the 1940s that taxes—like saving your scrap metal—were necessary to advance the greater good.

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AARP claims, ‘$1.5 trillion bill will have a negative impact on millions of older Americans’

Dec 22, 2017 /

Congress gave its final sign-off on a massive tax overhaul bill on Wednesday, which deeply cuts tax rates for businesses but provides only temporary tax relief for most households. The AARP believes it will likely raise health care costs for millions of older Americans and increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion, putting at risk critical programs vital to older Americans.

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6 Ways Republicans Could Cut Social Security Benefits

Dec 18, 2017 / 1 Comments

According to the latest annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, the program will begin paying out more in benefits than it collects in revenue by 2022, which is mostly a result of lengthening life expectancies and the ongoing retirement of baby boomers. By 2034, the roughly $3 trillion in asset reserves held by the trust will be completely gone, leading to what the trustees project will be a cut in benefits for existing and future retirees of up to 23%. A combination of raising additional revenue and cutting benefits would be ideal, but compromise is in short supply in Washington. Here are six ways the GOP could, in theory, cut Social Security payments over the course of many years.

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Preparing for Retirement, In Every Way

Dec 15, 2017 /

By the end of 2016, there were 800,000 more Americans 65 and older not in the workforce (and without a disability) than the year before, Bloomberg reported—a number that will continue to rise as baby boomers age. Chances are, you have clients approaching retirement. They need to be prepared, and not just financially. Here are nine ways to help get them ready for retirement.

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December 7 Newsletter Now Available

Dec 13, 2017 /

Every advisor wants to maximize Social Security benefits for his or her clients. In this newsletter, Elaine gives a preview of the many calculations that go into updating the Savvy program materials, and what they mean for you. You will also find information about new Medicare brackets, presentation updates for 2018, the question of the week, and retirement news from around the web.

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