If you are gearing up for retirement, chances are you have seen the headlines. Earlier this June, the trustees of Social Security and Medicare published their annual reviews of both programs. And, at first glance, their news isn’t good.
The trustees acknowledged the programs face funding challenges. But that is a far cry from them being completely emptied. Even so, it wasn’t long before the Internet was flooded with alarmist headlines on the outlooks for Medicare and Social Security. As we will see in a bit, even some prominent news organizations had a few of the critical details wrong.
Like many people, you may have thought at some point: “Will Medicare and Social Security be there when I retire?” It’s a legitimate question, especially considering how you have paid into these program funds for your entire working life.
Let’s try to get to the bottom of these worries—and clear up some confusion—by consulting the latest research and findings on the one issue that affects every American who plans to retire one day. Read More
Editor’s Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part series on retirement risks that we should definitely plan for. For more information on retirement money mishaps and how you can enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you may find helpful answers in The New Retirement Report.
In the first half of this series, we discussed 5 of the 10 Retirement Risks you need to plan for. With apologies to the Late Night Show and Late Show, no Top 10 List would be complete with a stop at the halfway point. So, without further ado…. Here are 5 other retirement risks that retired and working-age investors should definitely heed.
As you read through this list, you may want to consider the strategies your plan has to manage these risks. If you are unsure or would like more confidence in your plan, a retirement-knowledgeable financial professional can help you. Their guidance can help identify potential financial gaps, clarify your needs, and solve for those shortcomings. Read More
Editor’s Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on retirement risks that we should definitely plan for. For more information on potential retirement money mistakes and how you can enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you may find helpful answers in The New Retirement Report. You can find Part 2 of this series here.
Top Ten Lists were a signature of David Letterman’s Late Night and Late Show legacies. Now that he’s 70, if Letterman were to prepare such a list today, it might look something like this: “The Top Ten Retirement Risks I Didn’t See Coming, But Should Have.”
While three decades on TV may give Dave the aplomb to tackle top retirement risks with more leniency, this isn’t the case for everybody. Not everyone can be blasé about what they face as they enter and move through retirement. To help you look ahead—and plan accordingly—we offer these Top Ten Retirement Risks You CAN See Coming. Read More
When you begin claiming your Social Security benefits is one of the most important decisions you will make. Knowing when to start your benefits—and when not to—could mean thousands of more dollars to you, and your surviving spouse, when you could use the income the most.
But with so many claiming possibilities, when is the right time?
You probably have heard arguments for claiming early and waiting. That being said, it pays off to understand the break-even ages for Social Security benefits, their impact, and how different claiming ages may compare. Read More
Good news! Next year, Social Security beneficiaries will get their biggest raise since 2012. The Social Security Administration reports that monthly benefits will receive a 2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in 2018.
For the average retiree, the increase amounts to around $27 extra a month. For the year, it adds up to an extra $324 in benefit payments. Social Security beneficiaries will see increased payments in January 2018, while increased payments for SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017.
While this is welcome news, another development may offset the increased benefits for retirees. Many retirees actually may see little or no increase in payments. Most beneficiaries have Medicare Part B premiums taken from their Social Security. For those who have benefited from the “hold harmless” provision of Medicare law in recent years, Medicare may eat into some or all of the raise.
Let’s get more into the details of this now. Read More
According to MagnifyMoney, people are carrying more than goal checklists into retirement. A recent analysis by them looked at data from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) Health and Retirement Study. Their results found that more Americans are shouldering debt in their 50s and over.
MagnifyMoney found a number of debt trends that could undermine, or even cripple, the retirement goals of numerous Americans. Let’s look at how debt is affecting older Americans and their post-work lives. Read More
As far as financial security goes, when thinking of retirement, it’s important to consider the safety of your financial portfolio.
Do you have reliable income streams in place for retirement, whether for a set period or life? Is there enough liquidity in your assets to allow you to retire comfortably? Is enough of your money safe and put in secure, dependable places? Do you have an appropriate financial strategy for combating the the impact of inflation, high-ticket expenses like long-term care, and other costly retirement risks?
All of this brings us to a discussion on building a dependable safety net and how to make sure that you can answer these questions with confidence. Read More
Time and again, we are told of the importance of having an emergency fund. It makes sense, especially for retirement. After all, retirees are likely to have unexpected costs creep up, just like everyone else does. But according to a BankRate survey, even a small unexpected expense could be a struggle for many households.
In the survey, nearly 60% didn’t have enough savings to pay for emergency expenses. Almost half (45%) said they or immediate family had incurred a major emergency expense in the last 12 months. Among high-income households and college graduates, nearly half lacked enough savings to handle emergency costs.
While emergency expenses can affect anyone, they may create harmful setbacks for retired households. Many retirees live on a fixed income. Without the fallback of healthy earned income, like that in the working years, they could find unexpected expenses to be disruptive. All of this underscores the practical wisdom of having financial cushioning for emergencies.
So, what’s a target amount to have in an emergency fund? And what are some ways you can build up emergency reserves? Here’s a quick look at some strategies. Read More
Like other people, you probably hold a Social Security card. But unless you are close to retirement, you may not know that much about Social Security benefits. As a large governmental program, Social Security has many rules and moving parts that can affect you.
Social Security plays an important role for retired households. Among elderly beneficiaries, 48% of married couples and 71% of single persons receive half or more of their income from Social Security. As you near retirement, you may have questions of your own. Learning more about Social Security will help you get the most out of your benefits.
Because Social Security is a major income source for many people, when you claim benefits might be one of your most important retirement decisions. However, moving through the ins-and-outs of this program can be daunting. To help you get started with planning for your benefits and other income sources, here are answers to seven top Social Security questions. Read More
As we inch closer to our retirement age, it becomes more important for us to have more control of our money and the future. This is true for a variety of reasons. But for many of us, more control means a greater sense of financial security.
However, financial peace is hardly a happy accident. Rather, it comes from careful planning and following a well-laid-out strategy built for retirement, a plan that emphasizes income, safety, and protection. In simple terms, we can call this sort of plan a “Safe Money Strategy.”
Building a solid safe money strategy, however, is not as simple as it may sound. For one, the financial needs for each of us are different, especially at the near-retirement and post-retirement phases of life. And as the life expectancies of people in the U.S. have increased, retirement planning has certainly become important like never before.
There was a time not so long ago when our grandparents lived comfortably throughout their retirement years, relying mostly on their employer pension, Social Security, and perhaps other income sources. However, the golden days of pensions and other employer-sponsored income vehicles are long gone. Now our approach to retirement planning must be different, as it’s more of an individual responsibility than ever. Read More
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