Don’t Forget About Taxes in Retirement

Apr 17, 2018 /

Are your clients aware of what retirement income will be taxed and what won’t be? Most people assume their tax bill will go down in retirement. But that’s a dangerous assumption to make.

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Retirement Surprises: What Retirees Wish They Had Known

Apr 13, 2018 / 1 Comments

Retirement isn’t exactly as expected for many, with surprises including a younger-than-expected retirement age and higher health care costs, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index.

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Medicare Policies for 2019: What You Need to Know

Apr 10, 2018 /

On April 2, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its finalized policies for health and drug plans in 2019. Its aims are to lower the cost of drugs for beneficiaries and to provide additional plan choices. Here are 5 takeaways from the policies, as analyzed by the American Journal of Managed Care.

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National Celebrations a Chance to Reach Out

Apr 5, 2018 /

In April, the SSA celebrates National Social Security Month, a month dedicated to educating the public about who they are, why they exist, and the programs and services available to help Americans “Secure Today and Tomorrow.” Read more ...

Changing Attitudes Toward Social Security Spending

Apr 2, 2018 /

For 30 years, the General Social Survey has been asking Americans questions about everything from politics to civil liberties to religion and spirituality. It’s data is freely available and easy to persuse. One question in particular is relevant to this blog: Is the government spending too much, too little, or just the right amount on Social Security? The results are somewhat surprising.

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Yes, It’s True: Older People Depend on Social Security

Mar 26, 2018 /

Three researchers from the Social Security Administration have produced a comprehensive study that clarifies the role of Social Security by drawing data from three separate household surveys. The results from all three surveys are remarkably similar.

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The Growing Pension Risks Facing Boomers and Gen Xers

Mar 19, 2018 /

Boomers and Gen Xers may be in for some potentially unpleasant surprises in retirement. The pension they were expecting to receive every month from their former employer might not be coming from that employer. Instead, it may be turned over to an insurance company hired to manage the pension plan and turn it into monthly annuity payments.

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E*TRADE Study Reveals Varying Ways Couples Approach Saving and Investing

Mar 19, 2018 /

E*TRADE Financial Corporation recently announced results from the most recent wave of StreetWise, its quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. Results revealed the habits of married couples as they manage their shared investment portfolios.

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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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