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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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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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Reverse Mortgages

“What’s the Deal with Reverse Mortgages?”

On occasion I change my mind on a topic when the facts have changed. Reverse Mortgages are in that category. The program has undergone many improvements as a result of the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013. Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) are called Reverse Mortgages for short. “HECMs help seniors remain financially secure by […]

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Younger than 59 1/2 and need money from your IRA?

Most people are aware that they need to wait until they’re 59 1/2, or older, to withdraw money from their IRA without tax penalties. Many are unaware that they could, if needed, withdraw money from their IRA without penalty. This post isn’t about what is called 72t or Substantially Equal Periodic Payments per se. There […]

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What changes when your kid turns 18?

We don’t simply throw a switch and forget about our children when they turn 18. But … legally a lot changes and we have no say for them at that point. They may be living close, or living far. It doesn’t matter. Not having a couple of key documents, even for them just starting out, could […]

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Aging in Retirement – Nipping Financial Issues in the Bud

“Mild cognitive impairment causes memory loss and poor judgment, both of which may not be obvious until it’s too late. Seniors with mild cognitive impairment are at risk for making disastrous money management decisions that can jeopardize their life savings, their home ownership, as well as the finances of other family members.” writes Sarah Stevenson […]

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How Should You Buy a Car in Retirement?

You are retired and need to replace your car. How do you do that? Buy it with cash? Or get a loan? The answer is not a simple as one might think – it depends on how old you are and how expensive the loan and/or car are. This question refers to those who are […]

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Who benefits when Social Security changed?

Changes needed for Social Security to be better funded often ignore a simple point – who benefits from the change? Short answer – anything done, to improve funding, benefits our children and grandchildren. Social Security is a multi-generational program … people forget this when they view it as a government program and mentally picture government (bad) […]

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