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 […]

Longevity risk: Making money last as long as you do

How long should you plan to live? No one can really know, of course. But the answer to that question may be the most critical factor in making a successful financial plan for retirement. Expected longevity for men and women at age 65 has jumped more than 10 percent since 2000, according to the Society […]

The facts about Social Security, Medicare may surprise you

While the era of “alternative facts” dawned in Washington last week, experts from across the ideological spectrum gathered in the capital for a review of real facts about our two most important retirement programs: Social Security and Medicare. The annual policy research conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) focused on the group’s […]

Grading Obama’s performance on retirement and aging issues

In his farewell address last week, President Barack Obama quoted something his mother used to tell him: “Reality has a way of catching up with you.” Here is one reality that really is catching up with us: as a nation, we are getting older quickly. The U.S. population over age 65 will nearly double by […]

After the election, retirement security heads for a crash

Retirement security already looked like a looming train wreck for most U.S. households before Election Day. Now, the consolidation of Republican control of government threatens to accelerate the crash. It is too early to predict the agenda Donald Trump will bring to the White House on retirement policy, or where it might fit on his […]

Will Your Social Security Get Whacked by the WEP?

A friend called recently about her Social Security benefit, and she was not happy. Preparing to retire following a successful career in academic, private sector, and federal government positions, she expected to retire on a mix of Social Security, a pension, and savings. Then she checked the amount of her projected Social Security benefit and […]

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Beneath the rancor, Social Security is on the November ballot

The future of Social Security is on the ballot this year – not that you could tell by the U.S. presidential debates, or by any other aspect of this rancorous, sensational election. But 67 percent of registered voters rank Social Security as a “very important” part of their voting decision this year – just behind […]

Social Security beneficiaries must swallow flat COLA in 2017

Zilch. Nada. Diddly squat. Take your pick of words that best describe the Social Security inflation adjustment announced this week, but it all adds up to this: another year of flat benefits. The U.S. Social Security Administration declared a 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2017 – a bit more than the zero increase in […]

Five ways to improve retirement math when you haven’t saved

A large segment of American workers are approaching retirement with very little or nothing saved: Among workers age 55 or higher and nearing retirement, 48 percent have saved less than $100,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. A third have less than $25,000. The savings shortfall means many Americans face the prospect of retiring […]

Social Security urged to focus on delayed filing, longevity risk

The Social Security Administration needs to up its game when it comes to helping retirees decide when to claim their benefits. The timing of a Social Security claim is the most important financial decision most workers will make about their retirement. Benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, but waiting just a few […]