Social Security

4 Reasons to File Early for Social Security

Looking for reasons to get your mitts on that sweet Social Security money at the earliest age possible? Prepare to be disappointed: There aren't many good reasons to file for Social Security at age 62. But if you fall into any of the categories listed here, go ahead and file. Your reasons are pretty unassailable. The reasons people file early ...Read More

Goldilocks and Social Security Planning

Most people apply for Social Security retirement benefits when they become eligible at age 62, or soon after. For many, if not most, that's a costly mistake. Here's why: The amount you get increases sharply the longer you delay starting benefits. Someone who would get $17,200 a year starting at 62 could boost her benefit to $24,600 (43 pe...Read More

Work Less – "It's a Better Life"

Whenever I write about reasons not to take Social Security early, I get responses from readers that are similar to this one: I just read your article on holding off taking Social Security when one reaches age 62.  Some people say this is a government conspiracy to keep people from taking a piece of what they and their employers have paid into ...Read More

Are You Social Security Smart?

People nearing retirement are too confident about their ability to make smart Social Security decisions and could shortchange themselves by tens of thousands of dollars, according to a study commissioned by Financial Engines. The firm commissioned a survey of people who: Were ages 55 to 70. Had not yet started Social Security. Had annual incomes mo...Read More

Social Security Love Fest

Proposals to expand Social Security got more congressional support this week from Democrats who are apparently nervous about the mid-term 2014 elections, since some prognosticators predict that Republicans are likely to win enough seats to give them a winning majority in the U.S. Senate. As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. So th...Read More

7 Little-Known Social Security Benefits

That FICA guy won't be your buddy In the first season of “Friends,” Rachel Green looks at her first paycheck as a waitress and asks, “Who's this FICA guy, and why is he getting all my money?” That's one hard lesson about Social Security. Another is that when it's time to claim, you can't depend on th...Read More

Retirement, Marriage, and (What Else???) Money

My husband has just retired. There was a beautiful ceremony and a lovely party. He got all dressed up – and so did I, for that matter. We wanted to look our best because we felt this was an important occasion. This represented a rite-of-passage. He would be transitioning from the world of dutiful work into a world far less well defined, and t...Read More

Social Security Cuts? Puhlease…Say It Isn’t So!

Oh no….can it be? President Barack Obama’s federal budget proposal includes a concept that should send shivers up and down our spines. Included in the budget is a proposal for a Social Security chained consumer price index (chained CPI) to guide annual increases. Essentially, what this means is that Social Security checks would increas...Read More

Confronting Illusions

A couple of events have occurred recently that have me thinking about some of the illusions we maintain as we age. Here are three. DEMENTIA. You may not be at all concerned about developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia – today. But you should be. It’s in the back of my mind – all the time. I may have reason for con...Read More

The Federal Budget and Debt – Oh Boy!

The US Treasury Department is estimating that the government will hit its $14.3 trillion ceiling (yes, that’s a “t” for trillion) sometime soon – most likely between April 15 and the end of May. A few in Washington are talking about raising the debt ceiling – but most (on both sides of the table) are adamantly against ...Read More

Retiring (Outside the US) on Social Security

The average Social Security check is $1200 per month. If Social Security is or will be your main source (or only source) of retirement income, then you may need to do some serious thinking about where you’ll hang your hat in retirement. While issues such as climate, medical care, and potential for intellectual stimulation are important, none ...Read More

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