Social Security and Inflation

Last week it was announced that there would be an 8.7% increase in Social Security benefits next year on top of last year’s increase of 5.9%.  Now the good news is that there will be an increase, the bad news is that inflation is running at much the same level, so its safe to say at best we’re treading water.  On the flip side if you have a corporate pension, it is highly unlikely you’ve seen any increases at all. Corporate Pensions I was fortunate Continue reading →

It’s as Clear as Mud – 2,700 Rules related to Social Security

I had conversation the other day with a CPA who questioned the need to run an analysis, since some of the claiming strategies (File & Suspend and the Restricted Claiming Provision) that were available have been eliminated.  I agreed with him on those two provisions were extremely attractive, but that there are still a number of reasons, why no one should claim until they run a thorough detailed analysis of all their options.  Here are just a sample of issues that have come up recently; Continue reading →

A Priest, an Accountant and a Doctor 

A Priest, an Accountant and a Doctor  You remember some of the old jokes that started with such a line?  Well in the last month I’ve had conversations with all 3 regarding their plans to retire and claiming of Social Security benefits.  What’s interesting is all 3 want to continue working, but at greatly reduced hours and responsibilities.  Welcome to the future……… Phased Retirement It’s interesting is that these 3 individuals love their current professions, but they desire to eliminate certain aspects of their current Continue reading →

INFLATION & Claiming Early

With a projected COLA increase this coming year of 10.5% on top of last year’s 5.9% I’ve had a number of calls from CPA’s, Advisors and Clients as to the wisdom of waiting until 70 or claiming early!  There is 2 ways to think about it, so let’s look at it from 2 different perspectives. #1  Simplistic View – I get a BIGGER Increase in monthly benefits We both claimed, you claimed at 62 and I claimed at 70 Your check is $2,000 and mine Continue reading →

Revisiting WEP AND GPO

One of the most confusing and misunderstood issues in receiving Social Security Benefits is the WEP and GPO provisions, that relates to individuals who receive pension benefits from a job where they did not pay FICA taxes!  Who we are talking about is mostly are school teachers, police and fire fighters where either the school districts or cities opted out of paying FICA taxes and withholding payroll taxes from their employees.  Almost all individuals feel that these 2 provisions treat them unfairly, thus they want Continue reading →

Gotta, Wanna, and Nice to Have

The previous weekend I attended a retreat at Mo Ranch titled “Coping with Chaos” which seemed quite appropriate based upon the times we live in!  On Monday morning I had to catch a flight to Dallas to address the Dallas CPA Society that afternoon.  On the way to airport, I was listening to several different radio stations, and these were the issues addressed during my 40 minute drive. What great inspiring thoughts to start my week off!  The issue is this is the way we Continue reading →

Inflation & Social Security

Does it make sense to delay claiming Social Security when we have inflation at 40 year highs? That question has come up several times in the past couple of weeks and bears exploring.  In a nut shell the answer is YES, it is even more important that we delay claiming, especially for the higher earning spouse! Social Security Benefit Calculation SSA takes the highest 35 years of earnings, indexes it to inflation (CPI – W) up until one’s 60th birthday and that determines one’s AIME Continue reading →

An Under Appreciated Risk

As one stands on the 10th tee (Start of the Back 9 / beginning of retirement) one must anticipate and realize the many hazards that they may face in the years to come.  As an example; there is LONGEVITY RISK (How long will we live), HEALTH RISK, INFLATION RISK, STOCK MARKET RISK, INTEREST RATE RISK, WITHDRAW RISK (What is safe amount), LONG TERM CARE RISK, BLACK SWANS (unexpected events like 9/11 or COVID), DEATH OF A SPOUSE, etc. etc.  But the 1 Risk that often Continue reading →

An APPLE a day

When I lived in Phoenix back in 2012, I participated in men’s bible study offered through the Phoenix Seminary, it was lead by it’s president Dr Darryl DelHousaye.  I remember one such session where he mentioned always having a framed picture of apple in his kitchen above the table where he and his wife had breakfast each morning.  He said we should think of that apple as being on a conveyor belt and each day an apple moves in front of us.  Now we cannot Continue reading →

How Quickly Time Flies

It is super hard to believe that anyone born in 1960 will now qualify to claim Social Security benefits since they’ll be 62 this year!  When I began my Social Security Consulting practice, I was running analysis for folks born in the late 1940’s and 50’s, now I’m running reports for folks born in the 60’s, 70’s and recently in the 80’s!  Damn seems like only yesterday I was in college….. 2022 Potpourri Claiming Early – Just because you can claim at age 62 doesn’t Continue reading →