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

Social Security

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Social Security and Spouses – Part 3

July 1, 2008

In recent visits we explored how spousal benefits can affect the decision of when to begin Social Security benefits. In this visit we will take a look at one more scenario. First, we’ll review the key points from past visits. A spouse is entitled to receive the higher of either his or her earned retirement […]


Social Security Benefits and Spouses

June 1, 2008

Last month’s discussion on coordinating Social Security benefits among married couples generated a lot of interest. Let’s take a few minutes to review the basic rules of this complicated issue, and I will add some references to some key sources. To keep things simple, we’ll assume the wife is the lower wage earner. That will […]


Should You Take that Early Retirement Offer?

May 1, 2008

With the economy slowing more people have to face one of work life’s more difficult issues:  Should the early retirement offer be accepted? Evaluating the value and merits of a buyout offer can be difficult, because the offer contains many parts. Here is a summary of key points to consider when a buyout offer is […]


How to Time Social Security Benefits to Help Your Spouse

April 1, 2008

One of the least understood and most confusing aspects of Social Security benefits are the spousal benefits. Much attention is devoted to the best time for an individual to begin receiving retirement benefits, but how that choice can affect the benefits of a spouse receives much less attention. In this visit we primarily are going […]


Estate Planning for Singles (with and without Kids)

March 1, 2008

A perusal of estate planning literature gives the impression that every senior in America is part of a married couple with two or more kids. We know that is not true, and those who do not fit the profile need estate planning guidance at least as much as the stereotypical couple does. Unmarried estate planning […]

The Roth IRA Opportunity

March 1, 2008

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 […]


How to Beat the Retirement Tax Ambush

March 1, 2008

The days of tax advantages for retirees are long gone. In the old days, most people could count on being in a lower tax bracket in retirement than during their working years. Now, many people stay in the same tax bracket. For other retirees the marginal tax rate (the rate on the last dollar of […]


How to Take Advantage of the 0% Tax Rate

February 1, 2008

We are finally here. It is 2008, the year the tax rate drops to 0% for some taxpayers on some types of income. We covered this tax break a couple of times over the last few years. In this visit we review who can take advantage of the 0% tax rate and the different strategies […]

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