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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 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?

You’re a Millionaire? Big Deal

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 9:00am

For many, millionaire status is a pipe dream. But to be reasonably comfortable in your golden years, a million dollars is only the threshold.

Celebrated in song, literature, movie plots and motivational seminars, becoming a millionaire status was a sign of financial independence. In the past, perhaps. Today, not so much.

10 Key Pre-Retirement Steps

Submitted by Tom Orecchio on Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 3:00pm

Retirement takes a lot of planning and decades of preparation. You’ve gathered assets, set up a home and perhaps raised children. Now is the time to enjoy all you have achieved. But as you move from the world of work into retirement, here are 10 key steps to take first.

They are:

1. Prepare a budget that takes into consideration typical monthly costs and your plan for big potential expenses (e.g., travel, home renovations, moving).

Why Retiring Is Tougher Now

Submitted by Eve Kaplan on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:00pm

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.

Retire Early? 14 Snags (Pt. 1)

Submitted by Jeff Rose on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 12:00pm

Who doesn’t want to retire early? Unfortunately, if you’re like many people you won’t be able to. Here is the first of two articles looking at 14 reasons that early retirement might elude you.

Some of the reasons involve how you handle money, but others focus on your mindset and expectations or on factors beyond your control.

Wise Retirement Withdrawals

Submitted by Larry Frank Sr. on Friday, August 8, 2014 - 12:00pm

Saving for retirement is one thing, spending those savings wisely another. One school of thought says you must withdraw consistently from your savings to simply avoid exhausting cash before you die. Another believes in adjusting withdrawals depending on changes in your later years. Which is right for you?

Best Retiree Cities, Financially

Submitted by Jeff Rose on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 3:00pm

You’ve probably seen dozens of lists of places to retire in, but they seldom focus on financial factors, which are important when you live off your savings.

Due to warm weather, beaches and the absence of a state income tax, locations in Florida are heavily over-represented on most such lists – I even included one here. But I took the liberty of assuming that not everyone wants to live out their golden years in the Sunshine State, and broadened the list to cover the country.

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