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DOW 20,000 … the more things change, the more they stay the same!

DOW 20,000. Is that good? Or is that bad? Guess what – this is simply another way point much like DOW 15,000 was, or DOW 10,000, or pick any DOW number. The Power of the Markets Markets don’t know your specific emotions and behaviors – so the markets march on ignoring them. It is best […]

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Social Security, Divorce, Remarriage, Survivor – confused yet?

When it comes to Social Security, divorce, remarriage and/or being a survivor of any spouse may get confusing. You’ve had a complicated life – what do you do when it comes to Social Security? Workers generally receive their own benefit based on their own work record IF that benefit is higher. Spouses may receive a spousal […]

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Federal employee pensions and Social Security confusion

There can be confusion about Federal Employees and Social Security about CSRS, FERS, and something called “CSRS offset.” Let’s see how these federal retirement plans interact with Social Security. The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was enacted in 1920 to give federal employees pension benefits at retirement. When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, […]

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When does the family maximum apply to Social Security?

Social Security does have a maximum payout called the Family Maximum. It may apply to families who are retired, family survivors, and families of a disabled person receiving benefits. There is a formula for the benefit which is complicated. Your Social Security statement specifies what the maximum benefit may be. The values the formula uses […]

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How might you replace lost income as a survivor?

Most people don’t realize (or do, but don’t plan for it) that, as a couple, there is lost income from Social Security automatically built in. I discussed examples in a post titled “Social Security and Survivor Considerations.” In this post, the question is … How much money* is needed to replace that lost income? First, the […]

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Just where does the fear of outliving our money come from? Part II.

The foundation to answer where does fear of outliving money come from was laid in yesterdays’ post (Part I). Why is all of this important? The fear of outliving your money also (there’s another reason listed below) comes from behaviors of the present self not considering the impact of present actions on your future self. Chile’s […]

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Just where does the fear of outliving our money come from? Part I

You see the headline all the time that has something to do with basically these four words: Risk, Outliving, Longevity and Money. The viewpoint that you may outlive your money because of increasing longevity (people are living longer) is based on a faulty assumption! That assumption is built into calculations the profession uses when estimating retirement […]

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College Scorecard website and more

The College Scorecard website, from the U.S. Department of Education, helps high school students, and others, find and compare colleges and universities across the country based of various search characteristics. Results have been revamped to show average cost of attending, graduation rates, and average graduate salaries compared to the national average. Another website is Educate to […]

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Rent vs Buy? What are the considerations?

Before you consider obtaining more debt for a mortgage, how much mortgage should you get? Lenders look at what is called your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio (with target ratio percentages). So what is your DTI ratio? This calculator determines your DTI for you and also discusses the various considerations debt may have. Both sites above help […]

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Paying off Student Debt.

While most people think of college planning this time of year meaning the beginning of college, what are your payment options for student debt once you’ve graduated? Student debt that you have under the present day Federal programs is NOT the same as private debt most people are familiar with. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has […]

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