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Social Security at Tax Time: Key Strategies for Protecting Post-Retirement Income

Social Security at Tax Time: Key Strategies for Protecting Post-Retirement Income

Recent surveys tell us that working during one's post-career years is the new expectation for most retirees.   Three in four responded to a Merrill Lynch/Age Wave poll, last year, affirming that some element of a working life not only figured into their retirement—it would actually make their after-65 lifestyle ideal.   That kind of move toward post-retirement work — and additional income —means that many retirees will also have to think about what happens...more

Review Your Social Security Statement

Review Your Social Security Statement

The Social Security Administration automatically mails Social Security statements to all workers age 25 and older who do not yet receive benefits. The statements arrive annually, approximately three months before your birthday, and contain the following information: Your estimated retirement benefits at age 62, full retirement age for Social Security purposes, and age 70. These benefits are stated in current dollars and do not reflect any cost-of-living adjustments that may apply before you...more

Should You Elect Early Social Security Benefits?

Should You Elect Early Social Security Benefits?

One of the most critical decisions regarding Social Security benefits is deciding when to start those benefits. The age for full Social Security benefits is increasing from 65 to 67 for individuals born after 1937. You can still elect benefits at age 62, but the permanent reduction in benefits is higher. For someone who dies at their normal life expectancy, these reductions would result in the same dollar amount of benefits as someone who starts benefits at full retirement age. However, if...more

Social Security Inequality?

Social Security Inequality?

Most of us work all of our lives to try and secure a comfortable retirement. About 26% of us will not live long enough to collect social security. Almost everyone who works today pays into social security . There are some exceptions such as public school teachers, railroad employees and social security employees who have elected out years ago. The cost of social security is 6.2% of your pay up to $87,000.00 If you are self employed, the cost is 12.4% since you pay both the salary reduction...more

Social (In)Security

Social (In)Security

If you've been following the discussion, the question on your mind probably is whether or not the system needs to be changed or not, so let's try and shed some light on it. In last year's State of the Union address, President Bush said that Social Security was 'headed for bankruptcy'. Yet, many economists (and even one former Social Security Commissioner) disagree with that statement. One of those dissenting voices belongs to Dr. Irwin L. Kellner, Augustus B. Weller Distinguished Chair of...more

Darn if You Work, Darn if You Don't!

Darn if You Work, Darn if You Don't!

When are Social Security checks potentially loans and not benefits? Well, when you have "excess earnings" of course. In today's economy, many senior citizens still work during their "retirement" either because they want to or, all too often, because they must to make ends meet. Retirees who want to work as well as collect social security retirement benefits must plan their compensation carefully if they want to avoid losing some or all of their social security benefits. In order to...more

The 46% Marginal Bracket

The 46% Marginal Bracket

Thanks to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, better known as the Clinton deficit reduction program, most Social Security benefits are subject to income tax. Those affected are Social Security recipients who have the good fortune (misfortune?) to be subject to both the 25% income tax bracket and the 85% inclusion rate for Social Security benefits. Despite the new tax rate reductions of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, the top marginal tax bracket for these...more

Ten Things You Might Not Have Known About Social Security

Ten Things You Might Not Have Known About Social Security

Social Security is a lot like the ozone layer--we all know it's there now and we count on it being there in the future. Yet most people don't know much more about it than that. Here's a short list of interesting facts about Social Security. Social Security benefits do not automatically start coming in the mail the first day of Normal Retirement Age. They must be applied for. The easiest way is to set up an appointment with the local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213. To...more

The Perplexing World of Social Security and Earnings in Retirement

The Perplexing World of Social Security and Earnings in Retirement

Launched in 1935 during the Great Depression as a principal component of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal recovery program, the Social Security System has earned an unquestionable reputation for the reliability of its stream of monthly checks to retirees, the nation's first comprehensive source of retirement income. But did the laws that authorized the checks and ensured their reliability also: Permit the checks?based on your lifetime income 'to be large enough to sustain seniors in...more

Retirement Changes: Health Care, Social Security, and Medicare in 2014

Retirement Changes: Health Care, Social Security, and Medicare in 2014

By James O'Brien. How much do you know about the three largest learning curves that most retirees must face? In dealing with health care costs, Social Security, and Medicare, there are hurdles that can entangle even the savviest retirement-planner, especially when it comes to tracking rules and yearly changes. Some changes are at the top level, while others occur deep down in the guts of these systems. And with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, early retirement for many is a whole new...more

Obama's Budget Preserves COLA for Social Security: What it Really Means to Seniors

Obama's Budget Preserves COLA for Social Security: What it Really Means to Seniors

By James O'Brien March 8, 2014 Despite a narrow brush with a new reduction to Social Security benefits, seniors will not see the proposed move to a more conservative cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in 2014. President Barack Obama's announcement on Feb. 2 that he was scrapping the earlier proposal preserves the status quo for seniors -- for now. The grand budget compromise it was supposed to prompt did not materialize. The back and forth on COLAs, however, is not resolved. It is...more

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