Social Security & Medicare Challenges Continue

Every year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release reports to Congress on the current financial condition and projected financial outlook of these programs. The newest reports, released on July 13, 2017, discuss the ongoing financial challenges that both programs face, and project a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)  for 2018. What are the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds? Social Security: The Social Security program consists of two parts. Retired workers, their families, and survivors of workers receive monthly benefits under the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program; disabled workers and their families receive monthly…

Five Questions and Answers about New Social Security Rules

When Congress unexpectedly eliminated two Social Security claiming strategies as part of  the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, retirement planning got a little more complicated for people who expected to use those strategies to boost their retirement income. Here are five questions and answers about new social security rules that could help if you are wondering how the new rules might affect you. 1. What’s changing? The provision of the budget bill called “Closure of Unintended Loopholes” primarily addresses two Social Security claiming strategies that have become increasingly popular over the last several  years. These two strategies, known as “file…

Washington Ends Social Security “File-and-Suspend” Strategy

Social security is a huge benefit most retirees count on in retirement. Planning when to file is a complicated issue and involves many different strategies to consider. Up until November of this year, retirees and their spouses were able to utilize a strategy known as “Double Dipping” or “File-and-Suspend”. This allowed non-government workers the ability to elect both a spousal benefit and worker benefit at different points during retirement to maximize their overall social security benefit. The strategy is often best described through an example. John is age 66, and Mary is age 62 and their monthly Social Security benefits are: 62…