For most of us, Social Security will comprise a significant part of our retirement income. That’s why we calculate and re-calculate different benefit scenarios, weighing the pros and cons of each, before finally arriving at a conclusion. One thing we’ve found is that people tend to fixate on how much their benefits will be, but devote less time to planning when to claim them. Timing is actually a very important part of this equation! You probably already know that you can claim your full scheduled Social Security benefits when you reach what is called “full retirement age”. Social Security has
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In the course of financial planning, we make many decisions regarding our own financial futures. But of course, another huge consideration is the future of your family, in the event that something should happen to you. That’s why life insurance was created, to address the financial needs of your loved ones in your absence. Of course, none of us have the ability to accurately predict the future. All we can do is analyze the likelihood of different scenarios, and make decisions based upon needs and expectations. As you’re considering different life insurance policies to protect your family, familiarize yourself with
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When you retire, you will find that many aspects of your life change dramatically. On the other hand, there are some things that remain constant. Taxes are one of those things. While your exact tax situation might change somewhat, it is true that income taxes don’t just disappear once you retire. They remain a part of your life, and even your Social Security benefits can be taxed! Taxes on Social Security benefits can come as a shock to many retirees. Luckily, there are some ways to minimize these taxes, even if you can’t completely avoid them. Mind the thresholds. Your
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Lately, the news has brought us positive reports on the state of the economy. We’ve seen gains in the stock market and housing market, and unemployment is low. Those positive headlines, however, still aren’t translating into good news on a personal level for many people. According to a recent Bankrate report, many of us have yet to establish a “rainy day” fund for emergencies. The report first analyzed the preparedness of households overall, and then broke down those statistics into economic levels. 23 percent have no emergency savings at all 22 percent have a bit of money stashed, but not
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