New Medicare cards a lone bright spot in identity-theft battle

Older Americans are especially vulnerable to scams and identity theft, and Medicare is doing something about it. Seniors will start receiving new identification cards next year as part of an effort to protect them from the rising risk of fraud. But that is the only good news surrounding a sweeping federal initiative to bolster fraud […]

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 […]

Should Social Security invest in stocks?

Pension funds do it. Insurance companies do it. Canada does it, and so does Japan. So, why doesn’t our Social Security system invest in the stock market–and should it? I’m not talking about transforming Social Security into a system of private, individual IRA-style investment accounts, as proposed by former President George W. Bush and some […]

Big Social Security COLA will be offset by Medicare premium rollercoaster

Retirees can look forward to the largest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year since 2012 – but don’t break out the champagne just yet. For many, higher Medicare premiums will take a big bite out of their raise. The 2018 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will not be announced until October, but inflation trends point […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]