Privatization of Social Security: Pros and Cons

Jul 20, 2018 /

It’s common knowledge that Social Security is in trouble. Although the program is in no danger of going bankrupt, and will be making payouts to many generations of retired workers to come, its current payout schedule isn’t sustainable.

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Survey Shows Couples Don’t Connect When it Comes to Salaries, Retirement

Jul 17, 2018 /

As someone said a few decades ago, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Among couples, that is. A Fidelity couples retirement study finds that despite the fact that 72 percent of couples say they communicate “exceptionally” or “very” well on financial matters, that’s actually pretty far from the truth.

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That Living Will You Signed? At the ER, It Could Be Open to Interpretation

Jul 13, 2018 /

One of the most important documents a retiree can have is a health care directive. But what does that mean, exactly? Is it a living will? A Do Not Resuscitate order? Is there a difference? There are actually many types of end-of-life documents, and sometimes not even medical professionals know the difference. One expert says that misunderstandings involving documents meant to guide end-of-life decision-making are “surprisingly common.”

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Do Your Homework Before Moving Into This Retirement Haven

Jul 10, 2018 /

Retirees hoping to spend their golden years in an idyllic retirement community should slow down before signing over their savings. The arrangements are convenient and often luxurious, but some older Americans may overlook the financial due diligence they need to undertake before committing to a facility.

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Plant Your Flag So Identity Thieves Don’t

Jul 6, 2018 /

Many people, particularly older folks, proudly declare they avoid using the Web to manage various accounts tied to their personal and financial data—including everything from utilities and mobile phones to retirement benefits and online banking services. The reasoning behind this strategy is as simple as it is alluring: What’s not put online can’t be hacked. But increasingly, adherents to this mantra are finding out the hard way that if you don’t plant your flag online, fraudsters and identity thieves may do it for you.

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Social Security Benefits Buy 34% Less Than in 2000

Jul 3, 2018 /
Since 2000, the buying power of monthly benefits has fallen by more than a third, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group based in Alexandria, Virginia. Read more ...

Nationwide Survey Shows Pre-Retirees Want Social Security Advice

Jun 29, 2018 /

62% of advisors say their clients frequently ask them about when to collect Social Security, the Nationwide Retirement Institute learned in a survey of advisors. Yet, in a separate consumer survey, Nationwide learned that only 13% of American workers have discussed Social Security with an adviser, and, among this group, 40% say they started the conversation.

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Why the AARP is Worried About Student Loans

Jun 27, 2018 /

In the latest sign of just how far-reaching student loan debt has become, the issue is now on the radar of another, perhaps more surprising group: AARP. Over the past several years, the nation’s leading senior lobby has become increasingly involved in student-loan issues, pressuring the federal government to stop garnishing the Social Security benefits of older borrowers who defaulted on their loans. And in some state capitals the group is taking on the student loan industry, pushing for more regulations to police abusive loan-collection practices.

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Study Shows Americans Want and Need Financial Education

Jun 22, 2018 /

Recent Research from Raddon®, a Fiserv company, reveals that Americans are generally overconfident in their financial acumen and the vast majority have never attended a financial education program, although many think such a program would be extremely or very valuable.

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Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?

Jun 19, 2018 /

It’s taken as a given these days: The current state of affairs with respect to Social Security solvency and Americans’ retirement savings rates inevitably means that Americans will have to work longer, whether that’s to the Social Security Full Retirement Age, or to age 70, or even later. But’s it not that simple: Workers will need to be healthy enough to continue working, and they’ll need jobs available for them.

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Try Your Hand At Fixing Social Security

Jun 13, 2018 / 1 Comments

The release of the Social Security Trustees Report last week has led to dozens of articles from across the politcal spectrum. It’s clear that some sort of reform will be needed. But what kind? You can try your hand at Social Security reform with a game from the American Academy of Actuaries.

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2018 Trustees Reports Available

Jun 8, 2018 /
The big news this week was the release of the 2018 Trustees Reports for both Social Security and Medicare. Read more ...

Consider a Trial Run Before Relocating for Retirement

Jun 5, 2018 /

Many American workers dream of punching out for the final time, packing their suitcase, hopping on a plane and permanently relocating to a new city or even state in retirement. What those retirees probably don’t anticipate are the variables and unexpected costs that inevitably come with moving: housing costs, taxes, insurance and access to quality medical care. Then there are the intangibles: Does the community offer the amenities I’m looking for—a mix of interesting dining options, for example—and will I fit in politically, socially and culturally?

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Parents and Adult Children On Different Pages When it Comes to Money

May 31, 2018 /

Emotions sometimes make us say things we shouldn’t. But when it comes to the needs of aging parents, emotions often prevent both parties from speaking up. That silence can be costly, potentially leading to conflict and loss over legacies, money management, financial fraud, and other issues. Wells Fargo recently conducted a survey of older Americans and those old enough to be their children around feelings about financial issues. The results show that a lot more conversations need to happen.

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The Extinction of the Early Bird Special

May 29, 2018 /

Writer Jaya Saxena ventured into South Florida’s east coast a few years ago and decided to go “full old person” for the weekend. That included taking part in a beloved American tradition, the early bird dinner. But she found that baby boomers and the ailing middle class are killing the value meal mascot. The following is excerpted from her article “The Extinction of the Early Bird” on

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Autopsy of a Retirement Plan

May 25, 2018 /

As Eastern Connecticut State University professor James W. Russell approached age 65 after 37 years of university teaching, he took stock of what his retirement income would look like. The numbers were disappointing, to say the least. In the article “Autopsy of a Retirement Plan,” he examines his saving and investing practices over the years, to see what he could have done differently. What follows are some of the article’s highlights.

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Top 10 States With the Highest Average Social Security Benefit

May 22, 2018 /
Retirement benefits from Social Security aren’t all that high on a nominal basis. The program isn’t designed to make seniors rich. In fact, there’s a monthly maximum benefit of $2,788 at full retirement age in 2018. As of March 2018, SSA data shows that the average retirement benefit was $1,409.91 a month, or about $16,919 a year. Though this average benefit is above the federal poverty level for a single taxpayer of $12,140, it doesn’t exceed it by much. Read more ...

Overcoming Hurdles at the Social Security Office

May 18, 2018 / 2 Comments

Every month, 61 million Americans collect some sort of Social Security benefit. So the process to file for and receive benefits must run like a well-oiled machine, right? Not necessarily. While the majority of Social Security beneficiaries enjoy a relatively simple and painless process when they apply for benefits, not everyone is quite so lucky. For some beneficiaries, the path to receiving monthly benefits may be littered with unexpected hurdles, pitfalls, and snags.

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Half of Americans Fail a Simple Social Security Quiz

May 15, 2018 /

Almost half of adults ages 50 and above—47 percent—failed a simple 5-question Social Security quiz that mutual life insurance company MassMutual recently sent out in an online survey. But there's a silver lining in that those results are actually an improvement from a similar survey conducted three years ago. That 10-question quiz resulted in a failure rate for 72 percent of the general population and a 62 percent defeat for those ages 50 and up.

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The State of Retirement: Healthier, Wealthier, and Living Longer

May 11, 2018 /

According to a new report from United Income, current retirees are healthier, wealthier, and living longer than any previous generation. The report, called “The State of Retirees: How Longer Lives Have Changed Retirement,” used a wide range of data from other surveys concerning retirees’ health, finances, time use, politics, and geography.

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