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Many people benefit from delaying their Social Security retirement benefits until at least full retirement age. Delaying until age 70 can be an even better deal. For years I’ve shown people how to calculate the difference using what I call the quick-and-dirty method. The method involves calculating how many years you need to live after […]
Almost everyone has a Social Security number and is eligible for Social Security benefits. Yet, survey after survey indicates people know little about the program and their benefits. Also, much of what people think they know is wrong. Let’s took a look at some key misunderstandings and oversights about the program. Understand benefit statements. The […]
Roth IRAs are one of the best tax-advantaged investment vehicles. Right now they are available to only taxpayers with incomes below certain levels. In a couple of years, all investors will be able to take advantage of this opportunity by converting traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs. Those whose incomes make them ineligible for Roth IRAs […]
State tax laws discriminate based on age, and that can be a good thing for some taxpayers. Even notoriously high tax states can be tax havens for retirees. In fact, Florida and other retiree magnets might not be the tax havens they are promoted as when the full tax picture is considered. Florida has no […]
Few people own the right amount of life insurance, because there probably is truth in the adage that life insurance is sold, not bought. Most people avoid the topic until they have to address it. Those that do seek out life insurance often receive all their advice from one commissioned agents instead of from several […]
Benefits for a spouse are among the least understood part of the Social Security program. Your earnings and your decision of when to begin benefits affect the benefits received by your spouse and even by an ex-spouse. Every married person eligible to receive Social Security benefits looks to two work records to determine the amount […]
My file of articles about retiree medical expenses is filling rapidly with unpleasant headlines. One sample sums up the group: “How Safe Are Your Retiree Health Benefits?” Numerous surveys and my own experience lead to one conclusion: Most retirees and pre-retirees greatly underestimate how much medical expenses will be during retirement and are mistaken about […]
Identity theft was on the rise again in 2004. But the causes of ID theft will surprise most people. A new study issued by the Better Business Bureau found that a minority of known ID theft occurred over the Internet. The study found that in 68.2% of ID theft cases in 2004 information was obtained […]