social security

10 Posts Back Home

What You Need to Know About Your Medicare Card

When you enroll in Medicare, you’ll receive a card that proves your enrollment. Like most other health insurance cards, you present the card when you get medical care. Social Security and Your Medicare Card If you’re turning 65 and you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll get a Medicare card automatically – it should show up in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. If you’re turning 65 and not yet getting Social Security benefits, or if you need Medicare for other reasons, you can apply in three different ways: online at www.socialsecurity.gov, by calling Social Security (800-772-1213) between 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, or by going to your local Social Security office in person. What’s On Your Medicare Card Your Medicare card will be red, white and blue. It will show personal information about you – like your name and when your Medicare coverage took effect. It shows less…

What to Know About Retiring at 62 Versus Retiring at 70

Ah, retirement. That long-awaited life stage when all your hours of working, saving and family-raising efforts finally pay off. You’ll be free to travel, spend time with friends and family and enjoy the hobbies you never had time for. No worries, no stress, nobody to answer to. Except, without careful planning that scenario could be a fantasy. A 2017 Ipsos/USA Today poll found 45- to 65-year-olds surveyed, 30 percent had less than $100,000 in savings. Another 30 percent had no savings at all. No matter how much money you have invested for your retirement, deciding when to make the leap can drastically affect how far those investments can carry you. Trying to decide when to retire? Here are some things to consider if you decide to retire at age 62 versus age 70. Your Social Security Benefits At age 62: More people (42 percent of men and 48 percent of…

What To Know About Taxes and Retirement

Retirement. No more workday grind. No more being a slave to the clock. No more having to worry so much about taxes. Just a second. What was that about taxes? Sorry, but it’s not true. A lot of people go into retirement thinking keeping track of taxes practically disappears. The reality is dealing with taxes may actually get more complicated. In fact, taxes can be a retiree’s biggest budget item. How could taxes possibly get more complicated? Situations vary, but let’s take a simple example. In your working life, odds are you’ve got income from essentially one source—your job. Taxes were taken from your paycheck and you didn’t think about it. Every April, you file a few fairly similar forms and there you go. In retirement, however income streams vary—social security, retirement plan payouts, post-retirement jobs, etc. And there are taxes along the path of enjoying that income. While you…

How to Apply for Social Security

What most people think of as Social Security is just one part of a much larger program. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act—legislation that provided for Retired Worker Benefits, Survivor Benefits and Disabled Worker Benefits. This post focuses on Retired Worker Benefits—that money you’re expecting to see after all those years of payroll deductions. What Do I Need to Know to Get Social Security? So, the day has finally arrived. You’ve decided to sign up and start collecting your Social Security benefits. Before you start the process, ask yourself an important question: Is this the right time? Be sure you understand what your retirement needs are going to be. You can start collecting at age 62, which is definitely the right move for some people. However, the standard retirement age set by the government is several years older and depends on the year you were…

What You Should Think About When Thinking About Retiring

A Gallup Poll in 2016 reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans worried they did not have enough money for retirement. With other polls showing the retirement age is rising and more data showing Americans should expect to retire even later in life than previous generations, what effect does that have on your future plans? Check Your Savings and Create a Budget It seems to be an obvious first question: Do you have enough money socked away in savings? A majority of pre-retirees probably don’t have enough in savings if they wanted to quit working tomorrow. Life expectancies are growing, yes, but many Americans simply don’t save enough of their income to begin with. Savings should be at least 10 percent, if not more. For whatever reason, and it’s not always for reasons we can control, people tend to save less. How do you know if you’ve saved enough? And what…

The Social Security Dilemma: The Best Decision is a Personal One

The early bird gets the worm. The slow and steady tortoise wins the race. There are a multitude of adages defending both quick-acting people and those who delay decisions. When it comes to Social Security, there are advantages and disadvantages to collecting early or postponing the start of retirement benefits. Retirement Age and Percentages People who have paid into Social Security are eligible to start collecting their retirement benefits as early as 62 or as late as age 70. The amount of benefits received depends on how close someone is to their full retirement age when they begin collecting. Depending on someone’s year of birth, the full retirement age can vary. For example, individuals born between 1943 and 1954 have a full retirement age of 66.  Those born in 1960 or later have a retirement age of 67. If someone begins collecting benefits prior to the full retirement age, the…

Estimate Your Income in Retirement Annually

Few people want to work forever, which means you will need savings. While every American is already saving some thanks to Social Security, you’ll likely need more if you want to maintain the same standard of living in retirement you enjoy today. And if you want to have a dream retirement, you’ll definitely need to make sure you save enough while you’re working to reach your goals. Start by estimating what you need and working backward to a savings rate. If that seems tricky, follow along with this guide and you’ll be on track to a great retirement. What You Need Drives What You Save Many people save for retirement by just guessing what they should be saving. Many people save enough to get an employer 401(k) match, but so many don’t save at all. And just because you’re saving some doesn’t mean you’ll have enough to sustain the same…

A Little More Gold in Your Golden Years – Working During Retirement

Some people live to work and others must work in order to live. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, if you’re over 65, US Social Security statistics indicate an average of 20 years of life yet to live. Two decades (or more) of retirement requires a healthy nest egg and investing in some good hobbies. Whether for fear of outliving retirement savings or simply a desire to do something more than chase the grandkids or a little white ball, part-time work after retirement may be a good–or necessary–option.   And for good reason. Actually, seven: 1. Income According to Fidelity Investments’ annual survey, only 45 percent of Americans will be able to afford essentials such as housing, healthcare and food in their golden years. Working during retirement can help supplement your Social Security benefits, enable you to continue to save money and provide a better quality of life once you…

8 Ways to Catch up on Retirement Savings

It’s hard to believe that the year is more than half over and students will be headed back to school in just a few weeks. Now is an excellent time to ask yourself if you’re making progress with your retirement savings. Many Americans make the mistake of procrastinating when it comes to retirement planning. Some wait until their fifties or sixties to start saving, while others don’t ever save at all. The good news is that by taking some simple steps today, you can prepare for your future. Here are eight easy ways to get your retirement on track. Analyze Your Monthly Expenses Are you aware of how much you’re spending each month? Overspending can be detrimental to your retirement savings. Analyze your cash flows for the last several months and figure out where all of your money has been going. Reduce unnecessary expenses and consider automating contributions to a…

Financial Advice for New Dads

There’s nothing quite like your first Father’s Day as a new dad. But once the excitement wears off, panic can set in. Especially when you look at how expensive having a baby can be. According to a 2013 report by the US Department of Agriculture, most middle-income families can expect to spend an average of $245,340 on their child by the time he or she turns 18. Add the cost of college tuition to that, and you may want to reach for the antacid. That said, covering your child’s expenses for the next two decades can actually be more feasible than you think. All it takes is a little extra planning. Here are seven financial tips that every new dad – or mom, for that matter – should know. Create a Budget and Stick to it. While living within your means is always a good idea, it’s a really good…

Navigate