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THE END OF FILE & SUSPEND FOR MARRIED COUPLES

A great claiming strategy to try & optimize Social Security benefits disappears.

Congress just changed the Social Security benefit rules.On October 30, Capitol Hill lawmakers approved a two-year federal budget deal. As part of that agreement, they authorized the most significant change to Social Security policy seen in this century, disallowing two popular strategies people have used to try and maximize retirement benefits.
  
The file-and-suspend claiming strategy will soon be eliminated for married couples. It will be phased out within six months after the budget bill is signed into law by President Obama. The restricted application claiming tactic that has been so useful for divorcees will also sunset.

This is aggravating news... Read More

SOCIAL SECURITY CLAIMING STRATEGIES

What can married couples do to increase joint lifetime benefits?

What is your “magic number”? Roughly half of retirees claim Social Security benefits at age 62, as soon as they become eligible. Some people delay benefits and postpone using their retirement savings as an income source. Others apply out of necessity; their financial situation leaves them little choice.
  
These factors aside, what if you have a choice? If you wait a few years to apply for Social Security, how much more income might you realize?
  
Could you wait ... Read More

How Much Money Will You Need In Retirement?

Have you underestimated?

What is enough? If you’re considering retiring in the near future, you’ve probably heard or read that you need about 70% of your end salary to live comfortably in retirement. This estimate is frequently repeated … but that doesn’t mean it is true for everyone. It may not be true for you. Consider the following factors:

Health. Most of us will face a major health problem at some point in our lives. Think, for a moment, about the costs of prescription medicines, and recurring treatment for chronic ailments. These costs can ... Read More

Retirement Planning With Health Care Expenses in Mind

It is only wise to consider what Medicare won’t cover in the future. 
 
As you save for retirement, you also recognize the possibility of having to pay major health care costs in the future. Is there some way to plan for these expenses years in advance?

Just how great might those expenses be? There’s no rote answer, of course, but recent surveys from AARP and Fidelity Investments reveal that too many baby boomers might be taking this subject too lightly.

For the last eight years, Fidelity has projected average retirement ... Read More

Apply For Social Security Now ... or Later?

When should you apply for benefits? Consider a few factors first.
 

Now or later? When it comes to the question of Social Security income, the choice looms large. Should you apply now to get earlier payments? Or wait for a few years to get larger checks?
 
Consider what you know (and don’t know). You know how much retirement money you have; you may have a clear projection of retirement income from other potential sources. Other factors aren’t as foreseeable. You don’t know exactly how long you will live, so you can’t predict your lifetime ... Read More

 


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