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Social Security payments to continue during government shutdown

January 22, 2018

Social Security payments to retirees, survivors and eligible family members, as well as Supplemental Security Income payments to low-income elderly and disabled recipients, will continue with no change in payment dates during the government...

Tax reform: 7 essential strategies for financial advisers

January 13, 2018

There's both good news and bad for financial advisers in the new tax law: While advisers face the difficult task of analyzing the law's impact, they will also have a significant opportunity to prove their value by implementing money-saving strategies...

Social Security rules for new retirees

January 8, 2018

I've received several questions from financial advisers recently asking what will happen to their clients who claim Social Security this year after they have already earned more than the annual earnings limit. Will their benefits be reduced...

January surprise of vanishing Social Security COLA

January 5, 2018

Now that it's January, financial advisers should prepare themselves for an onslaught of questions from clients asking why their monthly Social Security check stayed the same or even declined this month. After all, weren't Social Security benefits...

New Social Security rules trip up widow's adviser

December 22, 2017

Whenever I conduct Social Security seminars for consumers and financial advisers around the country, I tell audiences that retirement benefits and survivor benefits represent two separate pots of money. Generally, if you are entitled to both,...

Medicare surcharge notices are shocking retirees

December 5, 2017

There's a new Grinch in town and her name is IRMAA. That's shorthand for the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount notices that the Social Security Administration sends at the end of each year to inform Medicare enrollees how much they will...

Young boomers have some advantages over older counterparts

December 2, 2017

It's not all bad news for younger boomers. In fact, they have more than a few things going for them: 401(k)s and other workplace savings. Younger boomers are more likely to be automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan, and those plans are also...

Younger baby boomers face hurdles as they approach retirement

December 2, 2017

When it comes to the baby-boom generation, it pays to be old. The first of the boomers began reaching normal retirement age six years ago, and those who have already gone through the process probably are in better shape financially than their...

Medicare premiums and Social Security COLAs: Here's why retirees will pay up in 2018

November 21, 2017

Here's a riddle: How can Medicare premiums remain the same in 2017 and 2018 yet result in a 23% increase for millions of retirees? That's the quandary that many financial advisers will face next year when they try to explain to some retired...

2018 Medicare changes will erase Social Security COLAs for many

November 17, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday that the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services and doctor's bills, will remain at $134 per month in 2018. While it may seem counterintuitive,...

Someone tried to hack my Social Security account

November 6, 2017

Several Mopedia readers have asked me to weigh in on whether the recent Equifax data breach, which affected an estimated 143 million Americans, could compromise online Social Security accounts. Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus,...

8 scary retirement facts

October 30, 2017

On the spookiest holiday of the year, investors need look no further than the global stirrings with North Korea or the uncertainty about healthcare costs in the U.S. to produce some shivers. But here are 8 frightening retirement facts to inspire...

Pre-retirement earnings can limit Social Security survivor benefits

October 16, 2017

As financial advisers and their clients become more aware of Social Security rules, many realize that if someone claims Social Security benefits before full retirement age and continues to work, their wages can reduce or eliminate their retirement...

Social Security benefits to increase by 2% in 2018

October 13, 2017

Monthly Social Security benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase by 2% in 2018, the largest increase in retirement and survivor benefits for workers and their families since 2012. The higher payments will begin in January. The...

Medicare rules are needlessly complex

October 9, 2017

People who collect Social Security benefits early are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65. But as increasing numbers of Americans delay claiming Social Security benefits until older ages when they are worth more, many of them...

Both spouses don't always need to delay Social Security until 70

October 3, 2017

It seems that 70 may be the new 66 when it comes to claiming Social Security benefits. Several financial advisers have asked me about the wisdom of having both spouses delay claiming benefits until age 70. Although that would certainly maximize...

Demand for Social Security advice growing

September 21, 2017

Less than 20% of older Americans work with a financial adviser who provides guidance on when to claim Social Security benefits. Despite the low incidence of this type of holistic financial advice, it marks an improvement from recent years, according...

Social Security COLA could get wiped out by Medicare costs

September 15, 2017

Consider this perverse scenario. Next year, typical retirees could see their expected Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2018 virtually wiped out by a big jump in Medicare premiums, but premiums for many higher-income clients could...

Reverse mortgages under fire again ​

September 6, 2017

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a new report warning seniors against using a reverse mortgage as an income bridge to delay collecting Social Security benefits. While the report rightly points outs the potential risks of...

The challenge of the longer lifespan

September 1, 2017

"Live long and prosper," Star Trek's Mr. Spock and his fellow Vulcans liked to say as a valedictory blessing. But for most people, living long will pose the greatest threat to their prosperity, cautions "We'll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford...

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