It’s 2017: Your Social Security Might Not Be What You Think

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

May 27, 2017 — If you thought you knew everything you needed to know about when and how to claim your Social Security benefit – think again. For those who have not yet claimed their benefit as of 2017, 2 major developments probably affect you. This 2 Part article will help educate you on how to best navigate this new world. Part 1 explains how benefits are different (lower and later) for people born in 1955 or later, and how those folks might cope with that. Part 2 will go into the 2016 changes affecting the popular claiming strategies called “file and suspend” and “restricted benefit”.

Where you born in 1955 or later?
The first item affects those who will celebrate their 62nd birthday in 2017 (or in a later year). If that describes you, the age in which you are eligible for full Social Security benefits is on its way from age 66 to 67. The Full (more…)

Posted by Admin on May 28th, 2017

Starting a Retirement business: The First Three Steps

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

By Robert Jones

April 25, 2017 — The good news about retirement is that it can be as much about beginnings as endings. While retirement often means concluding an existing employment contract, increasing numbers of people are grasping the opportunities that open up once they step away from the 9-5.

Today, worldwide connectivity through the internet means that, for most of us, there’s a whole planet of potential enterprise opportunity within easy reach. And many retirees are now considering starting up a retirement business – some to find a source of additional income, others simply in pursuit of an enriching or rewarding (more…)

Posted by Admin on April 24th, 2017

7 Out of the Box Ideas for Surviving a Retirement Savings Shortfall

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 22, 2017 — A lot of baby boomers are facing a very difficult retirement. The Employee Benefits Research Institute’s (EBRI.org) 2014 survey reported only 55% of retirees are very or somewhat confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement. A Topretirements.com survey was even less optimistic; only 46% of our Members said that their expected retirement income will allow them to continue their pre-retirement lifestyles.

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a baby boomer in this situation who took a surprising solution to solve the problem – “With $15 in the Bank, A Baby Boomer Makes Peace with Less (article might be behind a paid wall). Kathleen Wolf lived in the San Francisco area until recently. During her working life in real estate she made (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 21st, 2017

The 8 States With the Biggest Financial Problems

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 12, 2017 — First the good news – the financial outlook is not as bad as has been reported – for most states. A study by the Center for Retirement Research (CRR) looked at 3 fiscal components: pensions, other post employment benefits (OPEBs), and debt payments – to analyze which states, counties, and municipalities face the biggest future financial crunch. Most states have a manageable situation in the coming years; 36 of them have required payments below 15 percent of own-source revenue, and 22 of them have obligations less than 10%. The problem is more acute for the 8 states who face obligations more than 20% of own-source revenues. The experts in the study believe that payments over 25% are untenable.

The problem children
The bad news for five states – Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Kentucky – is that future payments for pensions, OPEBs, and debt service are more than 25 percent (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 11th, 2017

Turning 62 This Year? Your SS Retirement Age Goes Up and Benefits Down

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

February 7, 2017 — If you will celebrate your 62nd birthday in 2017 or later, the age in which you are eligible for full Social Security benefits is on its way to 67. The full retirement age (FRA) will steadily increase in two-month increments from age 66 over the next six years, eventually reaching age 67 for those born in 1960 or later. This is not a new development, however. It has always been part of changes made the last time the Social Security program was overhauled, which was 1983.

The bad news is that your Social Security benefits are also taking a hair cut compared to your fellow boomers who were born prior to 1955. When your FRA becomes age 67, your (more…)

Posted by Admin on February 6th, 2017

Living in Retirement on a Tight Budget – Ideas from Members

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

January 28, 2017 — Dear Members. On our “Are You Ready for Retirement” thread MaryNB started an interesting thread about cost of living and coping with various expenses. That generated a raft of suggestions, so many that we have decided to move them all here to a new post just on that subject. Below are the Comments moved over from the original. Feel free to add your own!


This may be off topic, but part of the calculations about cost of living. The references (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 28th, 2017

Think You Got Away with Not Paying Your Student Loans – Think Again

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

January 2, 2017 — Just as millions of baby boomers start to enjoy their Social Security retirement or disability checks comes a new worry. The problem arises for the folks who, for whatever reason, did not pay off all of their student loan debts. Many non-payers thought that after the initial wave of debt collection efforts subsided, they were off the hook. Wrong! The government has one last ace to play, and that is garnishment of your Social Security checks.

Last year the Feds reclaimed $171 million in unpaid student loans, and many of those paying it back were over 50 years of age – 114,000 of them in fact. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article the typical delinquent borrower sees their Social Security (more…)

Posted by Admin on January 1st, 2017

First Salvo to Fix Social Security Fired in Congress

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

December 21, 2016 — Almost everybody agrees Social Security needs some tweaking to keep this popular program running smoothly. After all the latest estimates are that, if no changes are made, starting in 2034 only 75% of promised benefits will be able to paid (Social Security Trustees Annual Report).

Politicians and economists have been talking about the need to fix Social Security for years, but up until now no one has done more than talk. Finally, at least one person in Congress, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), has proposed something. We don’t agree with a lot of what is in his plan, but we salute him for at least proposing something. The Bipartisan Policy Center has also proposed solutions, some similar to Johnson’s and some different. Soon to be President Trump said during the campaign (more…)

Posted by Admin on December 20th, 2016

2017 Medicare Part B Premium to Rise $4.10/Mo. for Most

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

Nov. 11, 2016 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that 2017 premiums for the Medicare inpatient hospital (Part A) and physician and outpatient hospital services (Part B) programs will increase.

Because of the low Social Security COLA, (0.3 percent for 2017) a statutory “hold harmless” provision designed to protect seniors will largely prevent Part B premiums from increasing for about 70 percent of beneficiaries. Among this group, the average (more…)

Posted by Admin on November 11th, 2016

Social Security Retirees to Get (Very) Modest COLA 2017 Increase

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

October 18, 2016 — The Social Security Administration today announced a very modest Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2017 of 0.3%. There was no COLA in 2016, whereas the COLA in 2015 was 1.7%. The 2017 increase results in a whopping $4 a month based on the average SS retiree benefit of $1350.

The government measures changes in the cost of living through the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Since the CPI-W did rise this year, the law increases benefits to help offset that inflation. As a result, monthly Social Security and SSI benefits for over 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017.

Other changes will also begin in January 2017. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase to $127,200.

Information about Medicare changes for 2017, when announced, will be available at www.Medicare.gov. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums.



Posted by Admin on October 18th, 2016