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Social Security and Survivor Considerations

Did you know that Social Security for couples has a built in pay cut for survivors? How does that happen? Retirement has three basic phases for couples: Phase 1: Both are here – Retirement Plan. Phase 2: One is here as the survivor – Survivor Plan. Phase 3: Neither are here – Estate Plan. Most couples […]

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Social Security

Can you “restrict” your Social Security now?

Did you turn 62 by 1 Jan 2016? Your options later if you didn’t. If you did turn 62 by then … … you retain the ability to claim just your spousal benefits (Why? answer later) from your spouses Social Security record when you turn 66 or later (called restricted claim for spousal benefits). With a couple of […]

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social security

Is File and Suspend Dead for Social Security?

Okay, the first part of the new Social Security rules* has gone by – we’re into May now and you may have read already about the demise of File and Suspend. Rather than talk about what one could have done (a moot point), I’ll discuss what works now. I’m writing this in early February thinking […]

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Spending Shocks, Budgets and Savings: Working and Retired

Whether you are still working, or retired, most people haven’t structured their budgets for spending shocks. In truth if you spend less than you could, regardless of working or retired, you build in a buffer that helps keep stress on your financial life lower. Most recognize the below as logical. Yet, many spend everything that comes […]

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wealth poverty and politics

Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell

“Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective” by Thomas Sowell is a great read for deeper insight into what may cause inequality and how that may even be defined in the first place. In plain English, Sowell discusses how wealth and income was distributed differently in times past. For example how ancient Rome far exceeded […]

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debt

Debt – what happens when you’re gone?

Most people have a better understanding about inheriting assets. But few understand what happens with debt! “What Happens to Your Debt After you Die” in US News by Geoff Williams talks about the cautionary tales of not understanding what debt may be forgiven and what debt must be paid. Thus … your actions before going may put your […]

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Second Hand News and Predictions

Predictions are hard to do, especially about the future. (Sidebar: Origins of this quote – you may be surprised). Yet, people seem to believe that they, or somebody, are able to predict what is going to happen next. What is going to happen next? If the news says this, then that? And how do the […]

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What about those Target Date Funds?

Target Date Funds (TDFs) – either you love them or you hate them. If you lack any tools within your 4o1k, or don’t want to use a qualified adviser, then I guess they’re better than nothing. However, they’re as arbitrary as where the International Date Line (IDL) is … more on arbitrary later in pros and cons … […]

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Bobarnowallet

IRS and Social Security Scams

It is that time of year when we get warned about the many different ways online scams work and what are most common. There are many more than those described here. Simply confirm the validity of email offers and don’t click links within emails you’re not sure of. Better practice is opening a new browser […]

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Need Pension Help?

You or a loved one may recall having a pension benefit but didn’t claim it or lost track of it. There are a couple of resources to help you, or you help your loved one, track it down. The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) has a tool on their site to find an unclaimed pension. The site […]

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