Social Security

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social-security-and-medicare-what-lies-ahead

Social Security and Medicare: What Lies Ahead?

June 1, 2007

The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds issued their annual report recently, and as usual it was dismal. Yet, buried within the report is some reasonably good news for those who want to see it. That news also is important to those who are planning their retirement income over the next few […]

how-are-you-doing

Retirement Planning: How Are You Doing?

May 1, 2007

Financial and retirement planning start with answering the question in the headline. After determining how you are doing, the next step is to define the actions that are needed to either help you do better or at least maintain your current status. Answering the first question is not as easy as many people suppose. Traditionally, […]

Estate Planning

Social Security and Your Spouse

December 1, 2006

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 […]

medicare-premium-hikes-coming

Medicare Premium Hikes Coming

October 1, 2006

Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes face higher premiums in 2007 and thereafter. We have better estimates of those premiums now, and beneficiaries can factor these higher costs into their financial plans. The higher premiums, called surtaxes, are imposed on a sliding scale. They begin rising for single beneficiaries whose incomes exceed $80,000 and for married […]

what-is-the-best-age-to-begin-taking-your-social-security

What is the Best Age to Begin Taking Your Social Security

October 1, 2006

What is the best age to begin taking your Social Security benefits? The answer might be changing. We discussed this conundrum that faces those approaching retirement in both our past visits and in my book, The New Rules of Retirement. The general conclusion is that the vast majority of retirees who begin taking their benefits […]

the-newest-wrinkle-in-id-theft

The Newest Wrinkle in ID Theft

September 1, 2006

ID theft is a booming business, and not always for the crooks. Firms are responding to fears of ID theft with new services. A host of ways now exists to protect you from ID theft or limit the damages from theft. Not all these services are effective or worth the money. Don’t be stampeded into […]

tax-cuts-and-tax-increases

Tax Cuts and Tax Increases

July 1, 2006

A new tax law passed Congress just before Memorial Day. It contains important tax breaks and tax increases for investors and others. We gave the highlights last month. In this month’s visit we will delve into more details of the newly-enacted law, known as Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2006. The major provision […]

retirement-time-bomb

The Overlooked Retirement Time Bomb

February 1, 2006

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 […]

November 2020:

Congress Comes for your Retirement Money

A devastating new law has just been enacted, with serious consequences for anyone holding an IRA, pension, or 401(k). Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to sidestep Congress, starting with this ONE SIMPLE MOVE.
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