Retirement Planning

Subscribe to Retirement Planning RSS

Claiming Ex-Spouse’s Benefits

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Friday, October 31, 2014 - 3:00pm

Important information for divorcees: You can still receive benefits on your ex’s Social Security record if you were married longer than 10 years, and you are not yet remarried.

Because sometimes the ex’s income represents the lion’s share of the couple’s Social Security record, many divorcees are very interested in knowing what benefits are available to them, and when. Listed below are seven common questions about divorced spousal benefits.

Q: Am I eligible for benefits on my former spouse’s record?

Biz Owners: Prepare for Exit

Submitted by Hilary Hendershott on Friday, October 31, 2014 - 12:00pm

If you’re an entrepreneur, you work, build and earn for yourself. Lacking the security of another’s business to help fund your later years, you must take special care saving for the future – beginning with now.

Start with the end in mind. Understand the prospects and limitations of your business – including when and how you’ll exit. If you already run a business, know your business type and how that type affects potential ways you can eventually exit or sell.

Getting Professional Advice

Submitted by Jeff Rose on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 3:00pm

We’ve all been there: whenever you have a question, you Google it. But when it comes to your finances, don’t rely on the Internet. There’s so much going on in a person’s life that is unique to him or her. The advice that applies to others doesn’t apply to you.

Consider this question a woman asked me:

Optimizing Social Security

Submitted by Harold Wong on Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 12:00pm

Your retirement income hinges on a seeming paradox: People increase dependence on Social Security even as the long-term solvency of the government golden years’ program reportedly dwindles. What tricks of timing and finances can give your benefits checks the biggest boost?

Waiting to collect is the key. Examples may give you a good idea.

Survivor Benefits: 8 Questions

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Monday, October 27, 2014 - 12:00pm

Social Security survivor’s benefits become available when a Social Security recipient dies and leaves surviving dependents: a spouse, children and other dependent family members. For many, the benefits constitute a transfusion to diminished household budgets at a tough period of life. The devil’s in the details of these benefits, though, and here are some answers you and yours need ahead of time.

Q: What survivor benefits are available to my spouse?

Social Security Payout Shrinks

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 12:00pm

Calculating Social Security retirement benefits can be tricky. If you worked in a government job and did not pay Social Security taxes, part of your civil service pension gets deducted from your Social Security benefits, an offset called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). What you may not know is that the WEP’s effect goes beyond that – this provision also brings down your spouse’s and other dependents’ benefits.

How to Afford Retirement

Submitted by David Geracioti on Saturday, October 4, 2014 - 12:00pm

The methods of building a secure retirement income, which include wise use of Social Security and amassing sufficient savings, are complex. A smart financial planner can help you do it, according to a panel of advisors.

Acrophobia at Market Highs

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 9:00am

Despite a small slide in September and recent days' whipsawing, U.S. stocks remain near their all-time high. Should you worry that this bull market is ending? No. Such records are meaningless. Moreover, there’s a leeriness in the air – call it acrophobia, or fear of market heights – which usually is the opposite of a signal that a rally is doomed.

Boost Stocks as You Age?

Submitted by Jared Kizer on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 9:00am

The standard investment advice is to decrease your portfolio’s stock allocation as you get older, because equities are riskier than bonds and cash – and you don’t want a bear market to devour your retirement nest egg when you need it. But now, there’s research showing that it is safer if you increase your stock exposure.

Trouble is, this approach doesn’t give you any better results, according to my analysis.

Social Security Do-Overs

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 3:00pm

Social Security benefits constitute a big part of many retirement plans. Advice abounds about how and when you need to file. What if you goof?

Generally, you can file for your Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 62. Most financial advisors recommend you delay filing to better maximize your lifetime benefits.

Let’s say that’s the advice you followed when you first filed. After all, you paid into the system for your entire working life and you deserve to get the money back out, right? Plus, who knows when Social Security will go bankrupt?

Pages