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Low Rates Force Hands for Pensions, Retirees

30 Jan

Pensions may be a thing of the past in terms of benefits offered by employers and governments, but they’re still very much present-tense in their liabilities and the fact that many retirees rely on them. That makes it even more troubling that they’re underfunded, meaning their liabilities are greater than the value of assets they [...]

Some Good Comes From Budget Deal

30 Nov

I’ve written before about how there would likely be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) in Social Security benefits for 2016. Well, it’s certain now – no COLA. This will mark only the third time since 1975 that there has been no COLA. And make no mistake, there are a lot of negatives stemming from [...]

New Budget Kills Two Valuable Retirement Planning Tools

16 Nov

Last week I wrote about President Obama’s latest budget, and today I want to focus on two significant Social Security strategies that will be eliminated as a result of that deal. The first is file-and-suspend, where couples could increase their overall benefits by voluntarily foregoing them up until age 70. Let’s look at a common [...]

Clink Clink Goes the Can Down the Road

9 Nov

The recent eleventh-hour budget deal will have some big repercussions for years to come, yet doesn’t do much to solve our debt problem. With a simple stroke of the pen, President Obama suspended the nation’s debt limit until 2017 and increased spending by $80 billion over two years. We’re now free to take on more [...]

Social Security: Perception vs. Reality

19 Oct

A Nationwide Financial survey on Social Security from earlier this year yielded some interesting findings. It compared retirement perceptions and reality, and after reading the statistics, you’ll probably shudder like I did. If you take nothing more from this post make it this – save for retirement early and often!  Here we go, buckle up. [...]

2016 Probably Means No COLA

14 Sep

If you read my last post, you’d think I can’t get enough of the 2015 Trustees Report, the annual look at current and projected finances for Social Security and Medicare. But believe me, there is important information there about what being a retired American could mean in years to come. For instance, there will probably be no cost [...]

Doint Nothing Will Yield Nothing

11 Sep

Unless action is taken, the stark reality of sudden and severe benefit cuts could be around the corner for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. You can read all about it in the latest Trustees Report. It’s an annual examination of the current and projected financial status of both the Social Security and Medicare programs. Believe me, [...]

Potential Legal Changes That Could Affect Your Retirement

17 Aug

Much of my industry revolves around understanding financially-related laws and how to navigate them. As you can imagine, there are several ways to maximize retirement benefits, many of which the government considers “loopholes.” Unfortunately, some of the most popular strategies are under threat from proposed legislation. Here are three that could be off limits in [...]

Social Security Disability on a Dangerous Path

16 Feb

If projections are true, a potential disaster is on the horizon for the nearly 9 million disabled workers (and their spouses and dependents) receiving Social Security disability benefits.  That’s because the Disability Insurance Trust Fund that funds these benefits is on course to become insolvent in late 2016. The reasons for this situation are numerous and complex – [...]

The Great Unwind: Enacting Things that Need to Be Done

10 Nov

Another recent report that I read said that 109.6 million Americans which translates to 35.4% of the population, live in households that receive benefits from one or more federally-funded Means-tested programs – also known as welfare. In 2012, there were 103 million full-time year-round workers in the United States, so therefore welfare recipients outnumbered full-time [...]