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Social Security: There when you need it

There’s probably little argument that Social Security has become one of the most important earned benefit programs enjoyed by America’s senior citizens.  It’s there for not only retirees, but also spouses, disabled workers, survivors and disabled children.  This article by Jim…

Retirement planning: Down the generations

Nearly all of what you read today will suggest that American’s are woefully unprepared for their future retirement, especially as relates to how big a nest egg they have, or will have, when the golden years arrive.  In this Chicago…

Some can get Social Security benefits before they’re 62

As it was first enacted, Social Security was envisioned as a program to provide benefits for older retirees, and even today those are who make up the majority of beneficiaries. Everyone knows that the usual eligibility age for benefits is…

Are my Social Security benefits taxable?

Whether or not your Social Security benefits are taxable income depends entirely on how much your “combined income” is. Combined income is your adjusted gross income from working, plus any non-taxable interest you may have and half of your total…

Don’t leave Social Security money on the table

If you would like more retirement income (and who wouldn’t?), then knowing some of the basic facts about Social Security will go a long way to helping you achieve that.  Not paying attention to just a few key things before…

Be careful if you’re thinking of claiming Social Security at 65

Many people think of 65 as the age at which they should claim their Social Security benefits. 65 is, of course, the historic retirement age when the Social Security was first enacted, and to many enrolling in Medicare at 65 may…

Your Social Security Number: What does it say about you?

Everyone is familiar with their Social Security number, which has evolved into a method of identifying you for nearly everything from Social Security purposes to healthcare and financial services.  But do you know what those 9 digits actually represent and…

Computing your Social Security benefit amount

In this article appearing in The Street financial e-magazine, contributor Robert Powell answers questions about how Social Security benefits are calculated in a couple of different circumstances.  In one case he corrects some bad information that was given to a…

The old days: “Living in sin” to keep widow’s benefits

Way back in “the old days”, if an unmarried woman and man were living together they were often described as “living in sin”. Despite the fact that it was socially unacceptable back then, many a widow was forced into that situation…

The “4% Rule”, and its flaws

The “4% Rule” is a strategy which says that you should withdraw no more than 4% of your retirement savings (adjusted for inflation) annually to make your nest egg last 30 years. This rule has been around for a long…

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