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The 2019 COLA increase could be the biggest in years

As we wind down the 3rd quarter of the year, the subject of next year’s Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) takes front and center stage. Year to year changes in the Consumer Price Index (specifically, the CPI-W) are what determines if…

Evolution of the Social Security COLA adjustment

The Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (or “COLA”) as we know it today is not at all what it looked like years ago.  As a matter of fact, for the first decade of the Social Security program’s existence, there…

Is Social Security a form of progressive wealth redistribution?

If you’re familiar with Social Security’s formula for computing benefits, you’re aware that it is weighted to provide proportionately higher replacement income to those with a lower lifetime average income. Conversely, those with a higher lifetime average income see a proportionately…

The advantages of claiming your Social Security benefits early

According to a study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, despite the benefits of waiting to claim your Social Security benefit, 48 percent of women and 42 percent of men started taking benefits at 62 and a…

The lesser-known advantages of a 401(k) plan

As traditional pensions were phased out, 401(k) plans were introduced to fill in the gaps. The tax benefits of traditional 401(k) plans are important but there are other, lesser known perks of 401(k) plans. Some of those perks include: after-tax…

Three examples of optimal Social Security claiming strategies

There are thousands of ways to claim Social Security when you consider factors such as spousal and child benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University said “it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all.” Kotlifoff created a complicated calculator that determines…

Protecting your surviving spouse while both of you are still alive

Losing a spouse is the hardest thing for married people. According to study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave titled “Widowhood: The Loss Couples Rarely Plan for –and Should,” currently, United States has 20 million widows and widowers, with 1.4…

Are you a “Chaser”: feeling that you have fallen behind on saving for retirement?

According to the Chasing Retirement Study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, almost half (49 percent) of Americans age 45 to 65 actively saving for retirement, are worried they may be already too far behind to reach their…

What is the maximum Social Security benefit and how do I get it?

So, what is the maximum possible Social Security benefit? And how much do I need to earn if I want the maximum Social Security? In 2018, the maximum Social Security benefit for a new retiree is just over $33,000 per…

Is a lump-sum payment right for you?

One of the most critical choices you will make with Social Security is when to start your monthly payments from the program. With Social Security, you have a range of eight years (age 62 to age 70) available to workers…

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