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Social Security

Problems and (proposed) Solutions for 401k Plan

The 401k plan takes the blame much of the time for the problems individual investors are facing. But maybe adjusting the 401k plan is the real

Why are Social Security benefits taxed?

Why are Social Security benefits taxed? This article explores the history behind this seemingly “tax on tax” situation and provides some clarity.

Medicare and Social Security Ages Decoupled

It used to be that Social Security and Medicare both came to you at 65. Changes to the system have decoupled these two programs.

How Social Security COLA is Calculated

Do you know how the COLA is calculated for your Social Security benefit each year. We step through the actual formula to calculate the increase here.

Social Security / Ponzi Comparison – is it fair?

Often Social Security is compared to a Ponzi scheme. This article takes a close look at the comparison and comes up with some insights.

Government Pension Offset for Social Security

Are you impacted by the Government Pension Offset (GPO)? Read on for more details on how this program works and why you’re impacted.

I’m delaying my Social Security. Here’s why

I intend on delaying my Social Security benefits to age 70. That’s not the end of the story, and herein I explain why I’ve chosen this strategy.

Social Security Retirement Benefits – For Your Child?

Your Social Security benefit can be extended to a minor child (or grandchild) in some cases. This article explains how it all works.

Withholding and Social Security Benefits

If your Social Security benefit is being taxed, you may need to look at your withholding to make sure you’re not hit with a penalty at tax time.

Social Security Benefit Suspension

Social Security benefit suspension underwent some major changes a couple of years ago. It’s not anywhere near as useful as it used to be.

Credit for Reduced Social Security Benefits When Subject to the Earnings Test

Continuing to work while receiving Social Security benefits may cause a reduction to your benefit – if you earn more than the annual earnings test (AET) amount. But this reduction isn’t permanent – you will get credit for reduced Social Security benefits when you reach Full Retirement Age. So how does this work? Earnings Test The earnings test limit is $17,040 for 2018 if you are under Full Retirement Age for the entire year. The limit is $45,360 in the year that you reach Full Retirement Age. Full Retirement Age (FRA) is age 66 if you were born between 1946 and 1954, ratcheting up to age 67 if your birth year is 1960 or later. So for 2018 if you were born after 1952 and you are receiving Social Security benefits, for every two dollars that you earn over $17,040, one dollar of your benefit is withheld. For example, if […]

Social Security Earnings Test

Do you understand how the earnings test for Social Security works? This article is a brief primer on the way it works, with examples.

Social Security Survivor Benefits

Understanding Social Security survivor benefits.

Report pension changes to SSA

When you have a pension from non-SS-covered earnings, you must report pension changes to Social Security, so that WEP and GPO can be recalculated.

Social Security Spousal Benefit for a Divorcee

Recently we talked about the spousal benefit for Social Security retirement benefits.  It is also important to note that similar benefits are available to a divorcee. A divorced spouse is eligible for a Social Security retirement benefit based upon the PIA (Primary Insurance Amount) of his or her ex-spouse under the following conditions: he or she is at least 62 years of age the couple was married for ten years or longer he or she is not currently married he or she is not eligible for a benefit (on his or her own record or another ex-spouse’s record) that would be greater than the benefit based on this particular ex-spouse’s record The divorcée’s former spouse does not have to have applied for benefits, as long as the couple have been divorced for at least two years when he or she applies for the spousal benefit.  However, the former spouse must […]

Ah, Sweet Procrastination!

There can be significant benefit if you delay filing for Social Security. It might not be the best option for you, but it pays to understand how it works.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for Social Security

WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) can cause a substantial decrease in your Social Security benefit. This article explains WEP to help you understand it.

2018 Trust Fund Report Takeaways

What can we learn from the 2018 Trust Fund Report? Maybe that it’s really not as bad as everyone else thinks? Use your judgment and make up your own mind.

Calculating the Social Security Retirement Benefit

Do you know the process for calculating the Social Security retirement benefit? It’s a bit complicated, but it’s useful to understand.

The Spousal Benefit Option for Social Security Benefits

The spousal benefit – a great part of the SS retirement benefits program. This allows a minimum benefit to be available to a non-working spouse.

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