How Social Security could help fix retirement inequality

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  Americans need bigger retirement nest eggs, there is no doubt about that. More than half of us have saved less than $25,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Policy experts often point to such figures to underscore the looming retirement security crisis, and proposals have been flying this year from Republicans and Democrats […]

What’s the future hold for Social Security field offices?

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Will you be able to go to a Social Security office 10 years from now for help claiming your benefits? Probably — but a new report from the Social Security Administration (SSA) outlining its vision for future service delivery has some critics worried about the future of the agency’s face-to-face customer services. A report issued […]

Advice about maximizing Social Security from the guy who wants to end it

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I had a chance today to hear Larry Kotlikoff speak about his best-selling book Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. Kotlikoff is a professor of economics at Boston University and founder of Economic Security Planning, Inc, a financial software company that created MaximizeMySocialSecurity.com, one of a handful of premium software tools for optimizing […]

Unraveling the mysteries of Social Security WEP and GPO

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Some U.S. workers who have paid into the Social Security system are in for a rude awakening when the checks start coming: Their benefits could be chopped up to $413 per month. That is the maximum potential cut for 2015 stemming from the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), a little-understood rule that was signed into law […]

Watch: Making money last in retirement

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How can you make your money last throughout retirement? I discussed the question as part of a terrific panel at the recent Morningstar Individual Investor Conference. My co-panelists were Christine Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance, and financial planner Mark Balasa, co-founder of wealth management firm Balasa Dinverno Foltz. The session was moderated by Adam Zoll of […]

How Your Social Security Benefit Is Calculated

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If you’ve checked your annual Social Security statement lately, you probably know the size of the benefit you’re projected to receive in retirement. But do you know how that number is calculated? Social Security determines your initial benefit at full retirement age (FRA) using a complex formula that takes into account your earning history, wage […]

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The case for expanding Social Security: A conversation with Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson

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Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson are two of the nation’s leading progressive advocates for strengthening and expanding Social Security. Their new book, Social Security Works: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help us All, lays out the case for expanding benefits in order to address growing income inequality and the looming […]

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How Social Security can help you play catch-up on retirement

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More Americans over 55 are finally getting back to work after the long recession – the strong national employment report for January released last week confirms that. That’s good news not just for patching up household balance sheets damaged by years of lost employment and savings. But getting back to work also is likely to […]

Why White House disability insurance fix makes sense

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Advocates for disabled Americans got some welcome news today in the White House budget for 2016: The plan asks Congress to keep the 11 million disabled Americans now receiving Social Security disability insurance out of a looming brawl over broader Social Security reform (for more, see my column today at Reuters Money). The budget plan […]

Debunking the top 10 myths about Social Security

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Social Security is going bankrupt. It’s a Ponzi scheme. The program’s trust fund contains nothing but a bunch of worthless IOUs. Those are just a few of the comments we hear frequently from journalists, politicians, and policymakers about Social Security. But they’re all false–and that’s a big problem. Social Security is one of our most important […]

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