Like anyone who is about to retire, you probably want to know how much income you will receive when you begin collecting your Social Security. There isn’t necessarily a cut-and-dry answer for this; much of it depends on you and the decisions you make in the years leading up to and during your retirement. This is true for anyone, male or female. However, for this specific blog post, I will be focusing more specifically on Social Security benefits for women.
More often than not, people claim their Social Security benefits as soon as they retire. It’s an instinctive reaction of both men and women when they retire, and I suppose on some level that makes sense. You’re retired—it’s finally time for you to cash in on your Social Security, right? Well, not necessarily…
When it comes time to retire, there are a lot of important decisions to make. These decisions can be hard to make with so many “rules” that seem to change on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, that is the world in which we live. Things are constantly evolving and changing, and the same is true when it comes to retirement. What was once true for your parents may not be true for you.
For example, it is more likely than not that you will not be retiring with a traditional pension. The days of being able to count on income from a pension are long gone, as employers today rarely provide pensions to their employees. While there are ways today to replace the loss of a pension, the fact of the matter is you can’t count on a pension from your employer like your parents could. Therefore, the rules have changed and you have to work around it.
Here are 4 more rules you need to STOP following when planning for retirement today:
Franklin Templeton Investments conducted a new 2015 survey called the “Retirement Income Strategies and Expectations (RISE) Survey,” and I recently read an interesting article on Yahoofinance.com that discusses the survey’s findings.¹
This survey included 2,002 Americans, and Franklin Templeton Investments says their “annual survey reveals significant insights about the views, expectations and income strategies people have regarding retirement.”² The company also said this survey has taught them “more about individual behaviors and the impact working with an advisor has on helping people prepare for what’s next.”²
I found this survey very interesting, so I wanted to share my opinion on some of its findings.
In 1935, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, it is claimed that he vowed never to tax Social Security Benefits. FDR kept his promise, too, because as long as he was alive, there was no tax imposed on Social Security benefits. But during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, the Social Security Amendments of 1983 changed all of that. Beginning in 1984, if your base income as a single taxpayer was $25,000, or, if you earned more than $32,000 per year as a married couple filing jointly, then up to 50% of your Social Security could be taxed by the Internal Revenue System.
The next tax increase would come with the 1993 budget deal under President Bill Clinton, which raised taxation to up to 85% of benefits for single filers with incomes of more than $34,000, and for couples with annual incomes of $44,000 or more.
When I was in junior high school, I decided I would learn to play chess. It was sort of a fad sweeping the eighth grade. I thought the best way to learn the game was to play with another classmate who already knew the game. I figured chess couldn’t be much more complicated than checkers. After all, they were played on the same board. I knew the basic pieces and how they moved. It looked like fun. The other kid slaughtered me. It was checkmate in fewer than 10 moves every time we played – that is, until I bought a little 50-cent book entitled Chess for Beginners at the local news stand and learned that there was something called “strategy” that was involved in this game. Once I understood the rules and strategy, I rocked! Well, that may be overstating it a bit. At least I didn’t get killed so much.
You’ve been paying tax into the Social Security system for many years now. Every time you receive your paycheck, you look at the stub and your eyes scan to the place where the deductions are spelled out. You grimace. It pains you to think of all of the money you have earned that never reached your bank account or your pockets.
Rest assured you are not alone. American workers across the country go through the same emotions every payday.
On January 1, 2013, a lame duck Congress at the last minute voted to approve legislation that would avoid what the media dubbed the “fiscal cliff,” a catchy term for the conundrum that the U.S. government would face at the end of 2012, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 were scheduled to go into effect.
To copy a page from the inimitable Jeff Foxworthy, who made his mark on American audiences with “You may be a redneck if…” jokes, you may be a baby boomer if:
- You know what a “sock hop” is.
- You ever listened to “The Lone Ranger” on the radio.
- You know who Howdy Doody was.
- You ever used Brylcreem.
- You can complete this song lyric: “I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who…”
- The first photos of you are in black and white.
- You ever used a metal ice tray with a lever.
- Your family had one automobile and it had fins.
- You know what a pet rock is.
- Sean Connery will always be James Bond to you.
- Your first allowance was payable to you in change.
Officially, baby boomers are those who were born between the years 1946 and 1964 when the birth rate in America rose dramatically following World War II. Those post-war babies have shaped the country and the world socially, philosophically and economically, and they are still doing it. The earliest of the boom generation are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. Words they applied to “old people” in the heyday of their own youth, such as “retirement” and “Social Security,” are now being used in connection with them.
Welcome to “Retirement Mark”!
Merriam-webster.com defines “unique” as “used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else; very special or unusual; and belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or person.”
If you’re here because you’re looking for retirement tips, advice, new income strategies you haven’t yet heard about, or you just simply want to learn how to live your retirement years to the fullest (and I assume you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be on my page), you’re in the right spot. Keep reading.
In this blog, I am going to show you little-known ways you can increase your retirement income, reduce taxes, AND preserve your nest egg using unique strategies that you may not even know exist. I will be regularly posting articles, short videos, and podcasts covering many different unique retirement strategies and vehicles.
People love finding money. In fact, as a financial planner, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to find money for them – riches they didn’t know they possessed. When the conversation lags at a dinner party, one way to get it going again by asking people to relate the answer to answer the question: “What was the largest amount of money you have ever found at one time?” The answers can be fascinating. Everyone, it seems, has a “found money” story. Some will tell about scrounging for coins in the family sofa, or the back seat of the family sedan. Others have found money in old wallets while cleaning out a desk drawer, or $20 bills in wastebaskets. Personally, the most I have ever found was a $10 bill in an old jacket pocket. One friend, however, said he found two one-hundred dollar bills on the floor of a hotel restroom. He said his first inclination was to find the rightful owner. Then he said he realized how fruitless that search would likely be, so he decided he would pocket the money but use it for a worthy cause. I was eager to know what the worthy cause turned out to be, but someone else at the party interrupted him to tell their story and the conversation moved along.
I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not believe that the recent removal of Twinkies from the grocery shelves was part of a Communist plot. I don’t think our own government faked the bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 2001, and I do believe that, yes, men actually landed on the moon, and no, it wasn’t all filmed in the Arizona desert. I suppose it also makes me naïve to say that I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the Kennedy assignation. But I do believe that there is an ongoing effort by the media and some in the financial community to focus our attention solely on the accumulation of assets instead of the preservation and cautionary use of our assets.