Democratic Lawmakers Launch Expand Social Security Caucus

Sep 21, 2018 /

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.).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What Are the Social Security Trust Funds, and What Exactly Is In Them?

Sep 4, 2018 /

In spite of it being such a crucial cog to retirees’ bottom lines, there’s a lot that seniors, and the American public as a whole, just don’t understand about Social Security. Let’s look at what we might call Social Security’s heartbeat—its Trust funds—and explain what they are, how they get funded, and where the money that’s collected winds up.

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SSA Adds 5 Medical Conditions to Compassionate Allowances

Aug 31, 2018 /

The Social Security Administration uses the Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program to help them identify and fast-track cases where people have diseases that are most likely to be approved for disability benefits. It recently announced the addition of five severe health conditions to those that receive quick attention.

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No Cats, No Sleepovers: Boomers Become Housemates

Aug 28, 2018 /

Demographic and economic shifts are reshaping what the golden years look like for baby boomers. Many are realizing they haven’t saved enough for retirement. They are less likely to be married than in years past. At the same time, a historic shortage of homes is pushing up housing costs. Many are turning to an old solution: roommates.

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How Should Social Security Adjust?

Aug 24, 2018 /

How to “fix” Social Security has been a hotly debated topic for decades and likely will continue to be so for many years to come. The problem of funding is compounded by the fact that Americans are now living longer, requiring benefits for more years. The Urban Institute has released a new online tool and report discussing how Social Security should adjust for increased longevity. From the report:

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Millennials Helping Boomer Parents Manage Finances

Aug 21, 2018 /
Since millennials (men and women age 22 to 37) are just getting started managing their money and launching their careers, many of their boomer parents are giving them financial advice. But here’s a twist: Some millennial kids are trying to help their parents get a better handle on money, arranging for their moms and dads to meet financial advisers. Read more ...

Boomer Employment Options Improving

Aug 17, 2018 /

It’s not difficult to find baby boomers out in the job market who will tell you that they have fewer employment options than they used to. The turning point occurs around age 55. According to a recent study, only 4% of people in their early 50s who find a new job are moving into what the researchers label as “old-person jobs”—that is, jobs in occupations that disproportionately employ older workers. The share in these jobs increases sharply, to 13%, by the time they reach their late 50s and to 22% in their early 60s.

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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 the 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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