Social Security will resume mailing paper statements for some workers

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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

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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

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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 […]

The other Social Security funding battle: the squeeze on customer service

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If you want to understand the fight over Social Security’s future, look no further than your annual benefit statement – if you can find one. The Social Security Administration stopped mailing annual statements in 2011 in a budget-cutting move that saves $70 million annually. The SSA rolled out an online statement the following year, but […]

Your Medicare card: Go ahead, leave home without it

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What’s in seniors’ wallets? Most likely, a Medicare card that puts them at risk of scams and fraud. In an era of rising worry about financial scams and frauds targeting the elderly, we still have this peculiar anachronism: Social Security numbers are printed on every Medicare card – and the back of the card instructs […]

Medicare cost shifting: The next big worry for seniors

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Seniors can breathe a little easier now that Social Security benefit cuts are no longer part of this year’s federal budget debate, But the other shoe hasn’t dropped in Washington. That would be Medicare cost shifting. Last week, President Barack Obama’s administration ditched one of its worst retirement policy ideas, the “chained CPI” for Social […]

The war on elder poverty – however you measure it – is not over

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“Without Social Security, nearly half of seniors would be living in poverty,” President Barack Obama said last month, noting the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. “Today, fewer than one in seven do. Before Medicare, only half of seniors had some form of health insurance. Today, virtually all do.” Is the war on elder […]

Filing early for Social Security? Therapy may be in order

Suzanne Shu

Deciding when to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most important retirement moves you will make. Social Security is by far the largest retirement asset for all but the wealthiest Americans, and the only source of guaranteed lifetime income – with incredibly valuable annual inflation adjustments. And most of us are flubbing it. […]

Why minorities are losing the retirement race

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The issue of retirement inequality has caught fire in Washington, D.C., and a report issued this week turns up the heat. The report zeroes in on the appalling gap in retirement security among racial groups in America. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), a non-profit research group, found that workers of color – especially […]

How to navigate benefits if you’re working past age 65

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It’s no secret that Americans are working longer. But some are working well past traditional retirement age: the fastest-growing segment of the labor force is workers over age 65, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – and the growth is especially pronounced among workers over age 70. Working longer certainly can boost the […]