Twitterverse has questions about retirement; we’ve got answers

reutersretire-150px

The Twitterverse has questions about retirement. What’s the best way for young people to get started saving? Are target date funds good or bad? Should we expand Social Security to help low-wage workers? Those are just a few of the great questions I fielded during a retirement Tweet-up convened this week by my colleagues at […]

Hello, Congress: Americans want a strong Social Security system

Social-Security-card-slider

Political polarization is at a historic peak. Americans are divided on gun control, abortion, healthcare and privacy, according to a study released last month by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press documenting our increasing ideological rigidity and partisan antipathy. Then there’s Social Security. The public is worried deeply about the finances […]

Retirement and same-sex couples, a year after DOMA ruling

LGBT-marriage-150x220

Something big happened in the world of retirement benefits a year ago today: The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. The court’s recognition of marriage equality has transformed life for many same-sex couples. In the realm of retirement benefits, the DOMA ruling opened the door for couples to receive spousal benefits […]

Senate turns up heat on cuts in Social Security offices, services

Senator-Bill-Nelson150px

Until earlier this year, there was a Social Security field office in Gadsden County, Florida, in the state’s panhandle. It’s the kind of place where seniors need to get in-person help with their benefits rather than pick up a phone or go online. “Our poverty rate is nearly double the state average, and we trail […]

When to take Social Security? Employers adding advice to 401(k) plans

Finengines-Social-Security-150px

Deciding when to file for Social Security is no simple task, and most Americans don’t handle it well. But increasingly, help is available from an unexpected source: your employer. The nation’s largest independent investment financial advisory firm is rolling out a service today that walks 401(k) plan participants through their Social Security claiming options, with […]

How Social Security’s file-and-suspend feature works

Mstar-Investor-Conf-SS-blueprint

It’s not often that the federal budget deals with the nitty-gritty of personal-finance strategies for retirement. But this intriguing statement is buried deep inside the fiscal 2015 budget that President Obama released in March: “In addition, the Budget proposes to eliminate aggressive Social Security claiming strategies, which allow upper-income beneficiaries to manipulate the timing of […]

Senator Rubio’s surprisingly bipartisan retirement saving idea

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

When Republican politicians talk about how important Social Security and Medicare have been for their parents, it’s time to grab your wallet. These stories usually precede a proposal to cut benefits under the guise of “saving” the programs – and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tore a page from that playbook this week. Rubio, a […]

Social Security will resume mailing paper statements for some workers

Social-Security-card-slider

Paper Social Security benefits statements, which used to be mailed out every year and then fell victim to budget cuts, are going to make a partial comeback. Starting this September, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will resume mailings at five-year intervals to workers who have not signed up to view their statements online, an agency […]

Time to raise – or scrap – the Social Security payroll tax cap

tax-return---slider

It’s Tax Day, and a small number of wealthy Americans will have something to celebrate: They’ll be done paying Social Security taxes for the year. The payroll tax that funds Social Security is levied only on a certain amount of income. This year it’s capped at $117,000. That means most wage earners will pay 6.2 […]

‘File-and-suspend’ Social Security strategy under fire from White House

Obama-SOTU-2014-slider

Are high-income Americans gaming Social Security? The Obama administration wants to go after the wealthy for “aggressive” moves to “manipulate” their Social Security claiming decisions, according to the fiscal 2015 budget released by the White House earlier this month. The target is a benefit claiming strategy known as file-and-suspend – a twist on the more […]