76% of Pre-Retirees Would Switch Advisors If Not Advised On Social Security

May 21, 2019 /

When it comes to Social Security, there is a lot that America’s workers nearing retirement don’t know. The sixth annual survey from the Nationwide Retirement Institute, conducted online by The Harris Poll among 1,315 U.S. adults ages 50 or older who are retired, or plan to retire in the next 10 years, finds that nearly half (44%) say Social Security will be their main source of retirement income, followed by just 23% of older adults relying on their pension. Here are some of the disturbing facts:

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Nearly 40% of Americans Wish They Had Filed for Social Security Later

May 17, 2019 /

If you can, wait. That’s the advice from today’s to tomorrow’s retirees. In a new survey commissioned with Age Friendly Ventures, the MassMutual Social Security Pulse Check accessed people in their 70s who are “paying it forward” by advising the next generation to defer claiming social security benefits in order to maximize monthly payments.

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American Confidence in Retirement Rises

May 14, 2019 /

The Retirement Confidence Survey gauges the views and attitudes of working-age and retired Americans regarding retirement, their preparations for retirement, their confidence with regard to various aspects of retirement, and related issues. The RCS is the longest-running survey of its kind and is conducted annually by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the independent research firm Greenwald & Associates. Here are some results from the 2019 survey. You can find more here.

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Will the SECURE Act Actually Bring Security to Older Americans?

May 10, 2019 /

For the 75 million boomers marching into old age and the Generation X cohort that follows, the future looks bleak. One in five working-age Americans has no savings, and another 10% have squirreled away less than $5,000 for retirement. The retirement income crisis has spurred Congress into action; both the House and Senate introduced bills which would provide U.S. workers with expanded opportunities to participate in employer-provided retirement plans. Beltway insiders say the SECURE Act is on track to become law. So, will it provide financial security to boomers and Generation X in their retirement years? The answer is yes and no.

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Behavioral Insights About Social Security

May 7, 2019 /

Say the word “annuity” and many people turn up their noses, yet are anxious to take their Social Security benefits as soon as they can. What can help more people embrace something that guarantees lifetime income and delay taking Social Security so they can have greater income in retirement?

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Dementia and Managing Money: A Growing Threat

May 3, 2019 /

The perils of aging generally escalate around 75, and they are becoming more pervasive as more Americans live to very old ages. One of these perils—declining cognitive ability—often creates financial problems. Currently, dementia afflicts roughly a quarter of seniors in their early 80s. And geriatricians and demographers have predicted for years that dementia will become a serious societal problem in the future as the tsunami of baby boomers reach older ages.

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A Glaring Omission in the Latest Social Security Report

Apr 30, 2019 /

The latest report on Social Security’s trust funds came out last week, and it revealed that the troubles in Social Security’s futures aren’t just going away. Yet the report also revealed another glaring problem that has now gone on for years: The two leadership spots that are supposed to be filled by members of the public remain vacant. Until public trustees take their role among the other members of the trust funds’ governing body, the general public will lack the direct representation they deserve in having their interests in the future of Social Security acknowledged.

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Social Security and Medicare Trustees Release Annual Report

Apr 26, 2019 /

The big news this week is that the Social Security and Medicare trustees issued their annual reports detailing last year’s financial results and their 75-year projections. Here’s what Elaine Floyd has to say about the news:

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Nobel Laureate Proposes Merging 401(k)s and Social Security

Apr 23, 2019 /

Richard Thaler, who won the Nobel Prize in 2017 for his work on behavioral economics, wants to mesh 401(k) plans with Social Security benefits to help Americans simplify what is perhaps their most daunting and complex financial issue: drawing down retirement assets. He said Americans should be allowed to contribute more into Social Security using a portion of their 401(k) benefits when they retire, which would increase the size of their monthly Social Security checks.

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Social Security Chief Actuary Weighs In On Paid Leave Proposal

Apr 19, 2019 /

Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Ann Wagner recently propsed a bill that would allow parents to take paid leave through Social Security in exchange for delaying retirement. According to information put out by Rubio’s office, “nearly all parents below the median household income of about $60,000 will be able to take significant leave at a rate of two-thirds of their prior wages,” with richer parents receiving a lower replacement rate. What does that mean for Social Security? The Chief Actuary has weighed in.

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59% of Americans Fear Running Out of Money More Than They Fear Death

Apr 16, 2019 /

As more people are living into their 80s and 90s, more than one out of every two Americans has their sights set on even greater longevity. According to a survey by AIG Life & Retirement, a surprising 53% say their goal is to live to 100 years. Thirty-nine percent identify deeper family relationships as the main benefit of such a long life, 32% name seeing the world change and 17% want to remain productive.

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Congress Inches Toward Retirement Legislation

Apr 12, 2019 /

In 2006, Congress passed the Pension Protection Act, which, among other provisions, encouraged 401(k) plan sponsors to offer automated-enrollment programs and expanded the use of target-date funds. Since that bill’s passage, though, Congress has effectively ignored retirement issues. At long last, that is changing.

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Elderly Report Financial Abuse By Kids

Apr 9, 2019 /

A son uses his elderly mother’s ATM card at casinos and liquor stores or takes her to the bank to withdraw money from her account. A woman reports that her sister stole thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry from their mother, who suffers from dementia. News accounts like these are rare. But reports about financial abuse of the elderly are increasing. The problem lurks largely in the shadows, because parents view it as a private family affair and are loathe to file a police report. Read more ...

How China Trade Affects Social Security

Apr 5, 2019 /

If you don’t know this fact about Social Security, join the club. The percentage of earnings for all U.S. workers combined that is subject to the Social Security payroll tax is falling. Growing income inequality is the reason. A recent study identified growing U.S. trade with China as one important factor that is shrinking the share of earnings subject to the payroll tax.

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Americans Curiously Optimistic About Retirement Future

Apr 2, 2019 /

They don’t have savings and most couldn’t deal with a financial emergency of $500—but they plan to retire by the age of 60 and plan on living till age 80. That’s why Varo Money describes these Americans in its research as “curiously optimistic” about their futures, particularly since it’s anticipated that a couple retiring now at age 65 will need some $280,000 just for medical expenses over the course of their retirement.

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A Growing Urgency: Boomers Unprepared For the Realities of Retirement

Mar 29, 2019 /

For the first time in a Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement study, more middle-income boomers now consider themselves retired than not retired. And as 10,000 Americans continue to turn 65 each day, retirement care—whether at home or in a facility, due to injury, chronic illness or decline in physical or cognitive function—is becoming an increasingly urgent issue which boomers need to plan for and address.

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SSA and OIG Take On Scammers In New Campaign

Mar 26, 2019 /

Scammers and robo-callers have been around pretty much as long as the telephone. But the prevalence of Social Security scams seems to be increasing, and the authorities have decided to do something about it. The following post is taken from the Social Security Matters blog. Share with your clients and prospects to show that you are concerned for all aspects of their financial well-being. It might be a great opening for further conversations about basic cybersecurity or the ability to handle financial matters as they age.

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Advisors Share Common Retiree Financial Mistakes

Mar 22, 2019 /

Saving and investing for retirement is probably the single most important issue for the clients of financial advisors, and outliving their retirement funds is a primary worry. Despite these priorities, however, mistakes are made, often before a client even hires an advisor or afterward, when the client fails to follow through on the advisor’s recommendation or outright opposes it. ThinkAdvisor asked financial advisors about the biggest mistakes they’ve seen retirees make. Here are their answers.

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On Disability and Facebook? The Government Might Be Watching

Mar 19, 2019 /

The Trump administration has been quietly maneuvering to use Facebook and Twitter to spy on people collecting federal disability payments, The New York Times reported. Social Security revealed in a budget request last year that it planned to study whether to use surveillance of social media to “expedite the identification of fraud.” The paper cited unnamed sources who said the White House and Social Security officials have been working since then to strengthen the proposal.

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The Impact of Longevity on Clients and Advisors

Mar 15, 2019 /

This Schwab Advisor Services study looks at the dynamics shaping the independent advice industry with the goal of shining a light on the opportunities and challenges facing RIAs. They asked advisors to look beyond the immediate forces influencing the advice and wealth management space, and to consider six larger trends currently being navigated at the individual and societal level. Namely: increased human longevity, changing workplace dynamics (automation, changing job skills), medical advancements, information privacy and data integrity, artificial intelligence (AI), and climate change. “Longer client lifespans” was seen by advisors as the leading dynamic that could impact advisory firms in the decade to come. Here are some more findings from the study:

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