Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Bob's Blog on Retirement & Beyond

Social Security Benefits Increase for 2019

October 15, 2018

Social Security beneficiaries will receive the largest  annual cost of living increase (COLA) since 2012. It’s all thanks to a higher Consumer Price Index and the Fed’s quantitative easing policy. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $132,000. The earnings limits for workers under full retirement age also […]

Medicare Premiums Rise For 2019

October 15, 2018

Medicare announced the premiums and other costs for 2019. There’s a modest increase in the standard Part B premium to $135.50 per month from $134.00. As income increases, so do Part B premiums under the Medicare Surtax, or IRMAA, provision. This is where it can get very expensive for very high earners. For 2019, there […]

The Overlooked Influence On Today’s Markets

October 12, 2018

People are talking a lot of higher interest rates, trade conflicts, and more. But there isn’t enough attention paid to the Fed’s policy of shrinking its balance sheet, according to this article. The Fed expanded its balance sheet dramatically during quantitative easing, increasing the assets to $1 trillion. Recently, it’s been allowing some of the […]

What They’re Saying About Stocks

October 12, 2018

Here are a few reactions to this week’s sharp decline in stock prices. Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine says the decline indicates U.S. stocks can’t resist the negative trend established by the rest of global markets. In this article, various market analysts say that while President Trump blames the Federal Reserve for the decline, the tariffs […]

Social Security’s ID Problem

October 12, 2018

For decades Americans have been identified by their Social Security numbers. That’s become a problem in the digital era, because hackers have compromised many numbers. That’s why, as this article describes, people are at work considering ways to replace or supplement the old SSN. The problem: “If we look at how well we’re doing right […]

Wednesday’s Stock Decline In Perspective

October 11, 2018

This article details how many stocks declined in Wednesday’s stock rout and compares it to past market crashes. As with all stock market crashes, dips and blips, it’s important for investors to maintain perspective: While an 800-point drop looks scary, such declines are becoming more common, because the Dow itself has risen to record highs […]

The Next Financial Crisis

October 11, 2018

This article describes important differences for policymakers between the last financial crisis and the next one, assuming the next one isn’t too far in the future. The point is that because of all the tools used in response to the 2008 financial crisis, there will be fewer options available when the next crisis hits. In […]

Steps To Protect Your Financial Accounts

October 11, 2018

Even the largest firms are unable to keep their data systems from being hacked. That’s why it’s important to aggressively protect your financial accounts from hacking. This article presents a good review of the actions to not, and not to take, to maximize protection of their accounts. You should also be wary of calls, texts […]

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