Social Security News, Information and Guidance

Do You Really Care About Your Wife? (Social Security Survivor Benefits Suggest Otherwise)

A new study from the Boston College Center for Retirement Research has found that husbands ignore (maybe overlook or under think) their wife’s retirement income needs when making decisions about when to start Social Security benefits. Widows (and widowers) are entitled to switch to Social Security Survivor benefits and receive their spouse’s full benefit amount…

how to apply for social security

How to Apply for Social Security: Easy Steps to the Right Decisions

How to apply for Social Security is very straightforward.  In fact, applying is perhaps too easy for such a very important decision.  The more important and complicated question is: When to apply? But, let’s get started with the easy part… 6 Steps to Apply for Social Security Just follow these six steps… Step 1: Make…

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11 Ideas for Living on Social Security Alone

Living on Social Security alone is not only possible, many retirees already accomplish that very feat every year. And, while the lifestyle associated with a Social Security income isn’t exactly luxurious, it doesn’t have to equal peanut butter sandwiches for the rest of your life, either. How you make living on Social Security alone work…

Social Security and Medicare: New Info About Costs and Benefits for 2019

To say that Social Security and Medicare are important to the financial well being of seniors would be an understatement.  Sixty two percent of eligible beneficiaries rely on Social Security income for more than half of their income.  And, almost everyone who is eligible uses Medicare to help fund their healthcare after 65. So, any…

Making the most of Social Security

7 Insider Tips for Getting the Most from Social Security

Mary Beth Franklin is a nationally recognized expert in Social Security claiming strategies, she is also a frequent public speaker.  And, she literally wrote the book (“Maximizing Your Clients’ Social Security Retirement Benefits,”) that retirement planning experts use to advise clients on Social Security. Here she offers you her Social Security expertise with 7 insider…

Podcast: Mary Beth Franklin on Avoiding Big Social Security Claiming Mistakes

Episode 10 of the NewRetirement podcast is an interview with Mary Beth Franklin.  Mary Beth is a nationally recognized expert in Social Security claiming strategies.  In fact, she literally wrote the book (“Maximizing Your Clients’ Social Security Retirement Benefits,”) that retirement planning experts use to advise clients on Social Security. Listen to find out why…

Social Security is Officially Running in the Red and News for Medicare is Worse

Social Security and Medicare are in real financial trouble. If you are of retirement age now, your benefits are probably not in peril. However, nothing is certain and if you dive into the numbers, you can see that there are very real concerns about the future of these programs. Big Problems for Social Security Become Real…

Social Security and Working

Social Security and Working: Everything You Need to Know

Social Security and working: believe it or not, the two are more or less completely compatible with each other. You can absolutely get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time. However, there are a few things that you do need to know. There Might Be Penalties: Work Penalties Will Be Determined by…

Social Security 2018

Social Security 2018: Biggest Benefit Increase in Recent History Is Probably Not Enough

Social Security 2018: The Social Security Administration announced this week the biggest Cost of Benefit Living Adjustment (COLA) increase of the last five years.  However, many retirees say that it is just not enough. The Social Security 2018 increase is big, but definitely NOT that big. Recipients will receive a whopping… big… massive… 2% increase. …

starting social security

Are You Relying Too Heavily on Social Security in Your Retirement Plan?

Most of us count down the days, months and even years in anticipation of starting Social Security. In fact, besides qualifying for Medicare, perhaps the retirement event we most look forward to is the day we can start receiving these benefits — after sleeping in of course. Carly Simon’s lyrics come to mind: Anticipation Anticipay…

collecting social security

Delay Collecting Social Security and Your Finances Will Win Big:
It’s a Better Bet than Real Estate

You need to make a lot of choices in retirement.  Many people tout the benefits of investing in real estate.  However, there is a less glamorous way to use your money for better returns.  Delay collecting Social Security and your finances will win big. Here Henry K. “Bud” Hebeler outlines how delaying the start of…

Married? This is the Single Smartest Social Security Decision You Can Make

You have a lot of decisions to make about retirement.  And, if you are married, you have nearly twice the number of choices — plus the complications of competing priorities and sometimes differing goals and expectations. Your Social Security decisions can profoundly impact your spouse today, tomorrow and long after you are gone… The good…

social security 2017

Social Security 2017: What to Watch

Social Security 2017: You might want to keep your eye on the money. While President Trump promised on the campaign trail that Social Security would not change if he achieved victory, many pundits are worried that this is one promise he will not be able to keep. Most experts have assumed that Social Security would…

Social Security Tricks

Social Security Tricks: Ace the Ultimate Marshmallow Test

It is no secret that delaying the start of your Social Security benefits will probably pay off big in the long run.  However, most retirees eschew the advice and start getting Social Security paychecks almost as soon as they are eligible. According to a report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 90%…

Are Social Security Benefits Taxable

Are Social Security Benefits Taxable? What to Watch Out For

Thanks to Devin Carroll, of SocialSecurityIntelligence.com , for his expertise and contribution to this article… Are Social Security benefits taxable? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes. Most of us assume that Social Security is tax-free. After all, you’ve been putting money into the system over the course of your career….

How Do Clinton and Trump Compare on Social Security and Other Retirement Issues?

Should retirement issues influence how you vote?We are in the midst of a presidential election like none that has ever come before.  And with record numbers of people turning age 65, retirement issues are important. If you are at or approaching retirement age, you may wonder which candidate is a better bet for your interests…

social security disability

Expert Interview Series: Sheri Abrams on Social Security Disability

An illness or injury can totally derail the best laid retirement plans, making it difficult or impossible to earn an income. In 2014, 2.5 million Americans applied for Social Security Disability. But only 810,973 were granted disability payments. What happened? What went wrong? Government agencies can be tricky to navigate at the best of times,…

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3 Big Social Security Changes: What Do They Mean for You?

A few big new Social Security changes will begin being implemented on May 1, 2016 Most of these rules aim to eliminate the ability to manipulate benefits so that you can continue to delay the official start of your own Social Security payments — thereby maximizing your monthly benefit amount.  The longer you delay starting…

Social security benefits

Thought Leader Series: Retiring on Only Social Security: Great or Terrible Idea?

Rebecca Wiggins is the Executive Director of AFCPE and holds a Masters of Family Financial Planning from Kansas State University. Search for an AFCPE Certified Professional in your area by using the association’s search tool. Now in its 80th year, Social Security is still the cornerstone of the American retirement plan. Following the Great Depression,…

Improve your retirement plan

Know Your Social Security Choices to Improve Your Retirement Plan

Choosing the right time to claim your Social Security benefits could improve your retirement plan. If you review your Social Security choices — your options for claiming Social Security benefits, you will find that you can increase your monthly Social Security income by waiting until after you are 62 years old to claim your benefit….

work and social security

Can I Work and Also Get Social Security Benefits?

Working as long as possible is a great way to stay young and improve your retirement finances! And, yes… You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time. No Penalties if You Have Reached Your “Full Retirement Age” If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your…

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Will Social Security Really Be There When You Retire?

With Social Security celebrating its 80th birthday this year, it’s a good time to reassess whether the program still works, and whether it might even exist once your retirement rolls around. It’s seen its share of negativity, with many people doubting its solvency and ability to roll with the unsteady times. But a funny thing…

Social security

Happy Birthday, Social Security: You’re 80 Years Young!

August 14 marks the 80th birthday of the program that we know as Social Security. Eighty years ago, the country was suffering through the Great Depression. Jobs were worse than scarce, and families were worse than poor. Pensions had all but disappeared, so the elderly suffered along with younger people who couldn’t find adequate work….

Social security

How Can I Be Sure it’s the Right Time to Start Taking Social Security?

Choosing when to claim your social security benefits can be one of the most important decisions that you make in retirement. Proper timing is important, but with conflicting information and advice, it can be hard to determine what the best course of action is for you. Let’s explore what factors you should consider when making…

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How is My Social Security Payment Calculated?

You can reasonably count on Social Security benefits once you retire, but determining how much you’ll receive is a different story. There is a formula, of sorts. But as Mark Miller for Morningstar explains, it’s still complex. Although you might not come to a precise dollar amount in predicting your benefits, it’s still interesting to…

How I Boosted My Social Security Benefit by $100,000

If you are like most people facing retirement, you are figuring out how to generate enough income in retirement and feel confident that it will last as long as you need it to.  This article will talk about two of the biggest levers you have – when/how to claim social security and using home equity…

Social security

Retirement Directions: What to Know About Social Security

Retirement is tricky business. You can save and plan your whole life, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know how to best use your Social Security benefits. Counting on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to help you find your way doesn’t always work, either. And then there’s the elephant in the room, which is whether Social…

Social Security Benefits: The Big Mistake Women Make

For many women, Social Security benefits are not nearly what they could be. That’s because women tend to claim Social Security early when it would better serve them to wait, data show. Social Security can represent up to 40% of the total income Americans receive throughout retirement. However, only 15% of women wait until their…

Why Waiting Until Your Social Security Full Retirement Age Makes Financial Sense

Social Security benefits can increase up to 32% if you wait until age 70 to start collecting them. This may translate to an additional $300,000 in benefits over the course of a couple’s lifetime or $100,000 during an individual’s lifetime, says Kevin McGarry, director of the Nationwide Financial Retirement Institute (NFRI).But the reality is that…

Alarming Analysis: Social Security Will Not Be Adequate to Fund Your Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending

Social Security has served as a financial safety net for many older adults, but recent research indicates that era is drawing to a close as retirement health care costs skyrocket. Many older Americans rely heavily on Social Security benefits as their main source of income in retirement. Nearly half (47%) of unmarried people depend on…

Have Dependent Children? Social Security Dependent Benefits May Make Taking Social Security Early a Good Choice for Your Retirement

You have probably read and reread that you should delay the start of your Social Security benefits until at least your full retirement date (typically around age 66 if you are retiring soon). This advice is probably good for most people because delaying the start of benefits increases your monthly Social Security checks for your…

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5 Social Security Tips for 2015

  The turning of the calendar year is a classic time to evaluate your financial goals. If you’re rapidly approaching retirement age, or if you’re already there, Social Security benefits are probably near the front of your thoughts. Social Security helps supplement the lives of millions of retired Americans. But even though every worker gets…

How to Increase Your Social Security Benefits

Benefits of Waiting to Claim Your Social Security The New York Times, November 15th, 2013 For many who are over the age of 62, collecting your Social Security benefits is a rite-of-passage of sorts, the payoff of your years of letting the IRS take your hard earned money out of every paycheck.  For some, particularly…

Delay Social Security for more income

Deciding when to start drawing Social Security can be one of the toughest decisions that a new or near retiree can make. For most, delaying Social Security is the preferred option — in fact, it may your best investment decision. By Henry Hebeler Henry (Bud) Hebeler is one of the most experienced financial advisors within…

The (Potential) Pitfalls of Social Security

In his list of the TenWorst ‘Gotchas’ oftheSocialSecuritysystem, Paul Solman informs us that there are 2,728 rules in the Social Security Handbook, buttressed in turn by tens of thousands of additional explanations in something called the Program Operating Manual System.  As one might expect from any system that complicated, there are a number of rules…