Social Security

Why Retiring Is Tougher Now

Today’s retirement may look nothing like your parents’ or grandparents’. People live longer, benefits grow thinner, and health-care costs rise. Review your financial situation and start planning early so that this new retirement doesn’t catch you unprepared.

How to Fill Jobs Going Begging

Jobless stats drop steadily and companies being to cry for workers. Our national future may hinge on filling jobs fast. One contentious solution seems best: Workers from beyond our borders.

I recently heard Neil Howe, a demographer who pays lots of attention to social and population shifts in this country. He mentioned that there are four million job openings right now. Four million.

When Should You Retire?

You might be thinking about retiring, but how do you know when you are really ready for it, mentally and financially?

For decades, the normal retirement age was 65. This was when you became eligible for Social Security and Medicare. Things are different today. Baby boomers get full Social Security at 66, for instance, and younger generations will have to wait longer.

Answer these five questions to find out how, when and if you should retire:

Asset Caregivers’ Guides (Pt.2)

Our first article touched on two guides from the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for novice financial caregivers. Here we look at the second pair of guides in the series “Managing Someone Else’s Money” if a friend or family member asks you to help with major money matters.

7 Retirement Considerations

When helping people get ready for retirement, I find the same issues come up over and over. Thinking ahead can spell the difference between a successful retirement with enough money and a stressful one with difficult decisions that you don’t want to make.

1. Understand Social Security. The goal with Social Security is not to get the most you can from the government in your lifetime. It is to optimize the amount you receive per month when you finally retire.

Figuring How Long You’ll Live

How long do you think you will live? How long does your money need to last? If you’re like most people, you get this age wrong.

The consequence? Faulty retirement planning, overspending now and running out of money before you actually reach your true longevity. Or spending too little now, depriving yourself of a comfortable retirement before your death.

Marriage: Pros and Cons

To marry or not to marry? This isn’t a decision to make on financial grounds, but the choice certainly has financial consequences.

My article in April about laws that provide financial incentives not to marry drew a great many comments. I address the points several readers made in this follow-up.

Benefits for Surviving Spouses

The death of your spouse creates enough confusion without Social Security adding to the problem – which it does if you don’t play the benefits game right.

When you patch together the variations of survivor and personal benefits, remember that each has its own unique characteristics. The basics of qualifying for Social Security:

The End of a Useful Benefit?

President Barack Obama’s recent new budget documentation briefly mentions a desire to curtail file and suspend as an option for Social Security benefit filers. The administration views this option as one way for high-income folks to take advantage of the government. Right or wrong, this spells danger for one of your potentially valuable benefits.

30 Years For Retirement? Doubtful

A life expectancy of 30 years in retirement is a commonplace assumption these days. Funding a non-working life of three decades is a real challenge, however, and may lead to a lot of retirees scrimping needlessly – because they won’t live that long. The life expectancy for individuals is well under 30 years and while at least one member of a married couple may live that long, the odds that both do is actually quite small.


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