When Social Security gets its wrong on claiming advice

It’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make about retirement: when to claim Social Security benefits. Delaying past your full retirement age (currently 66) adds valuable delayed retirement credits of around 8 percent to your benefit – and couples can gain even more through coordinated strategies. But the claiming rules are complex, and the […]

Yes, disability really is a part of Social Security

Quiz time: what do the letters “SS” stand for in SSDI? If your answer is “Social Security,” congratulations. You know that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of Social Security. That seems obvious, but the Trump administration wants you to think otherwise. “If you ask 999 people out of 1,000, (they) would tell you that […]

Ready, set, go: New fiduciary retirement advice protections are here

Friday is the day, folks. Starting on June 9, all financial advisers providing guidance on retirement accounts must adhere to the new U.S. Department of Labor rule requiring that they act in your best interest rather than their own. The controversial rule survived a bruising seven-year battle against entrenched interests in the financial services industry, […]

Watchdogs step up fight against elder financial fraud

Thieves follow the money, and wealth accumulates as we age. But the aging brain is not always well-suited to financial decision-making – and that creates opportunity for financial fraud and abuse targeting the elderly. “It’s a perfect storm,” said Elizabeth Loewy, general counsel for Eversafe, a technology firm that monitors customers’ bank and investment accounts, […]

One problem with delayed Social Security claims: Risk of higher Medicare Part B premiums

Delaying your Social Security benefit as long as possible is a great way to boost retirement income, but the strategy comes with one built-in downside. Most seniors enroll in Medicare at 65, but those who are not yet receiving Social Security run the risk of much larger annual increases in their Part B premiums. Healthcare […]

Behavioral economics works for retirement saving; let’s try it in the states

How to get people to save for retirement? There are two schools of thought: cajole and educate, or give people a little push in the right direction. Pushing has been ascendant over the past decade for a simple reason: it works. Fueled by “behavioral economics” – which focuses on the psychological and emotional factors in […]

Future of retirement planning belongs to the cyborgs

Who will help you plan for retirement – a robot or a cyborg? Pundits have been saying for some time now that the future belongs to robo-advisers – automated portfolio services that use algorithms to manage investments. The robo-services have attracted interest as a way to deploy low-cost advice, but retirement planning guru Michael Kitces […]

More Social Security claimants see patience as a virtue

Good things come to those who wait, the old saying goes. And more Americans are getting the message when it comes to claiming Social Security benefits. The number of near-retirement workers planning to take Social Security benefits as soon as possible has fallen sharply, according to a new survey by Fidelity Investments. Just 28 percent […]

Social Security reform: the clock is ticking

Can you count on your Social Security benefits when retirement rolls around? Most Americans worry about this – partly due to the nonsense they hear from political opponents of Social Security and ill-informed media. You will hear that the program is bankrupt, its reserves are nothing but a bunch of IOUs, or that Social Security […]

Will Republicans fund tax cuts by tapping retirement piggy bank?

Tax reform is up next for our Attention Deficit Disorder Republican government, which just rushed through a chaotic, ugly battle to reform our complex healthcare system. The fight over tax reform promises to be just as chaotic and ugly – and it could mean big changes for Americans saving for retirement. The Republican tax plan […]