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Social Security

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Why Investment Returns Should Decline

April 6, 2017

A number of investment firms have argued that investment returns, especially stock returns will be below the long-term averages over the next 10 years. The main reason is that Federal Reserve policies after the financial crisis artificially boosted stock returns the last few years. Here’s another argument for lower investment returns over time. This argument […]

The Cut in Social Security Benefits

February 16, 2017

The full retirement age for Social Security rose to 66 a few years ago. Going forward, it is going to increase steadily for new retirees. This article explains how an increase in the full retirement age is a benefit reduction for most retirees. It also provides some basic background on Social Security, such as how […]

Social Security Full Retirement Age is Rising

January 30, 2017

The Social Security reforms put in place in 1983 gradually raised the full retirement age (FRA), the age at which you can receive full benefits. FRA’s been at 66 for a while. But for those turning 62 this year, the FRA increases to 66 and two months. It continues to increase for people born after […]

What To Do About Social Security

January 19, 2017

Social Security will have enough money to pay only 70% to 80% of its promised benefits if changes aren’t made. The year when the program won’t be able to pay full benefits changes depending on forecasts for economic growth and inflation plus life expectancy, but it consistently has been between 2030 and 2040. Donald Trump […]

Social Security to Mail Fewer Benefits Estimates

January 18, 2017

The stop-start nature of benefits estimates from Social Security continues. For a brief period, Social Security mailed paper statements of estimated benefits to every U.S. workers who had enough earnings to qualify for retirement benefits. Since then, Social Security’s periodically saved money by limiting the number of statements it mailed. Recently, Social Security posted a […]

Offering Social Security Strategies for Widows and Widowers

January 18, 2017

Social Security survivor’s benefits are one of the most important parts of retirement planning. Often, a married couple is living comfortably when both are alive and receiving Social Security retirement benefits. When one spouse passes away, however, one of the retirement benefit checks stops. Social Security pays survivor’s benefits. But the surviving spouse can receive […]

Those Year-End Stock Market Forecasts

December 22, 2016

The big investment firms almost always have their economists or strategists issue forecasts of how much the market indexes will rise or fall the following year. In the past, I’ve urged readers to view these forecasts as entertainment. Don’t use them to manage portfolios. Here’s a good post from a statistician who took forecasts from […]

Anticipating Future Stock Market Returns

September 28, 2016

Meb Faber summarizes a talk he recently gave about valuations and what they say about likely future returns. He doesn’t make forecasts. He looks at the probabilities of different scenarios and what the returns are likely to be in each of those scenarios. The outcomes aren’t very positive for investment positions taken today. Historical returns […]


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