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Social Security

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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 […]

Steve Eisman, A Big Short, Gives His Current Views on the Economy and the Stock Market

September 23, 2016

Steve Eisman is one of the people given credit for seeing the mortgage/housing crisis coming and benefiting from the collapse. He’s been quiet the last few years. But this post describes his latest speech, in which he describes what he thinks is likely to be a good short position and a possible source of a […]

Don’t Rely on the Social Security Administration to give you good Information

September 19, 2016

The Social Security Administration isn’t doing a good job of advising Americans on their options and how to make the best choices. That shouldn’t surprise any Retirement Watch readers, but it recently was confirmed in a study by the GAO. The government agency studied the information SSA gives to beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries and found […]

The Current State of Stock Rotation: Which Sectors are Hot?

August 17, 2016

Here’s another sign that the U.S. stock is resuming some normal historic patterns. In normal times, there are rolling bear markets and bull markets within the sectors of the indexes. Some sectors are doing well while others are doing poorly, regardless of what the market indexes are doing. That’s happened since 2014, when the Fed […]

Controversy About Social Security Replacement Rates

July 22, 2016

I wouldn’t have thought that replacement rates would be a controversial topic, but they’ve become one. Social Security routinely has reported that at median income levels, Social Security retirement benefits replace about 40% of pre-retirement income. The SSA invited criticism, however, when it dropped replacement rates from the latest annual trustees’ report. It turns out […]

Social Security Solvency Slides

June 24, 2016

The latest annual report from the Trustees of Social Security and Medicare is published, and it’s not positive. Because the economy and tax revenue have been lower than forecast, the trustee are forecasting the fund will “run out of money” in 2034, two years earlier than the previous forecast. These forecasts fluctuate like this from […]

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