Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Save as Much as $50,000... When You Sign up for Social Security

The new book, Get What's Yours, The Secrets to Maximizing Out Your Social Security helps you decide when and how to collect retiree, spousal, survivor, divorcee, parent, and child benefits to achieve the highest lifetime benefits.  It is a must read as following the suggestions in this book could earn you as much as an additional $50,000 in benefits.
Some of the most important information this book provides which is not generally known includes:
  • It’s best to wait until age 70 to start collecting retirement benefits. About half of Americans choose to collect at 62 because they have no other savings, but the payout is 76 percent higher at 70 than it is at 62. Less than 2 percent wait until 70. Waiting is a good idea for low income retirees as well, because the benefits are a higher percentage of earned income.
  • A good strategy for married couples is for one spouse to file for the retirement benefit at 62 and then immediately suspend it. The other spouse files for a spousal benefit and can collect half of the others retirement benefit through age 70. Spousal benefits also apply to any couple married for at least 10 years, including divorcees.
  • Depending on circumstances, it might be better to file at 62, suspend at 66, and then refile at 70 if dependents need money more quickly. The goal is to maximize your longer-term payout so you don’t run out of money.
  • Is it fair to try and game the system like this? Yes. More knowledge creates more fairness. There are hundreds of thousands of social security rules, and it’s not fair if only those who have the resources to understand them get maximum benefits.
  • Social Security recipients will receive 1.7 percent bigger payments in 2015, due to the annual cost-of-living adjustment. Most workers will continue to pay 6.2 percent of their earnings into the Social Security system, but the maximum taxable earnings amount will increase in 2015 year from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 in 2015.

    For more information on Social Security
    click here

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Increase Your Retirement Income

Many who are planning their retirement or who have already retired won't be able to live the lifestyle they had hoped for during these years. It’s important to look at ways to increase retirement income in addition to saving and investing more.

Because of the substantially longer lifespan of today’s retirees and the anticipated increased expenditures on health care over the coming years, savings and investments are more likely to be diminished or exhausted as you near the end of your retirement years. This makes planning to increase retirement income all the more important.

The suggestions covered in this article represent areas you may very well be aware of, but hopefully provide additional information and resources making your planning and decision processes a bit easier.

Annuities can be considered a form of "reverse insurance" that create income you can use later in life or after you’re retired. They’ve been referred to as a "private pension" that you can purchase to create regular income after you retire.

Annuities are tax-deferred mutual-fund-like investments. There are no annual contribution limits, contributions can be made in a lump sum or over time, and the payouts can be immediate or deferred.
Before purchasing an annuity, it’s important that you carefully read your annuity contract before investing. Also, learn the terminology. Don’t let annuity jargon bait you into a policy you don’t want.

Reverse mortgages
Reverse mortgages convert equity in your home into income. It is similar to a home loan but instead of making payments to the lender, the lender makes payments to you.

According to the Federal Trade Commission: If you're 62 or older — and looking for money to finance a home improvement, pay off your current mortgage, supplement your retirement income, or pay for health-care expenses — you can consider a reverse mortgage. It's a product that allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills.
There are three types of reverse mortgages:
  1. Single-purpose reverse mortgages, offered by some state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
  2. Federally-insured reverse mortgages, known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) and backed by HUD. Private loans that are backed by the companies that develop them.
  3.  Structured settlementsStructured settlements involve accelerating/selling the collection of moneys owed [such as a damages awards from a personal injury tort claim] into a discounted lump sum payment. As an example if you're injured in an accident and receive a $500,000 settlement from the insurance company, it's tax free. If you then invest this money the earnings you receive are taxable. If you take the money as structured settlement instead of cash, you will receive payments over a period of years or your lifetime (your choice) and each payment is tax free. A structured settlement actually converts your after-tax earnings into a tax free return.

Post retirement work
Post retirement work is a job in which you receive compensation as an employee or self-employed individual.

In February, an informal poll of roughly 400 RetiredBrains visitors found that 14% had started their own businesses and 37% were working full time, part-time, temporary, seasonal or some combination. Click here for job seeker information

Note that there may be an impact on Social Security benefits — both income and health.

Delaying Social Security benefits
If your benefits at full retirement age are $1,000 a month, you’ll see that figure fall to $750 if you start collecting at 62 and leap to $1,320 if you hold off till age 70, according to Social Security.

For a breakdown of how benefits increase from year to year from U.S. News & World Report’s “Your Guide to Social Security.” Click here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Working Longer as Jobs Contract

from the New York Times

In recent years, many retirement experts have been giving the same unwelcome advice:
 American workers who are not as rich as Warren Buffet should retire three or so years
 later than they had planned — to ensure that they have a large enough nest egg.

A recent AARP survey found that the economic slump has been badly squeezing the
 nation’s 78 million baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. In the survey,
20 percent of boomers said they had stopped contributing to retirement plans, 34 percent
said they were thinking of delaying retirement and 27 percent acknowledged problems
paying rent and mortgages.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

7 Steps to a Successful Encore Career

It's little wonder that baby boomers are flocking to second careers, 60 being the new 40 and all.

In addition to crunching the numbers before you punch out of your current job, there are a handful of less obvious considerations which, left unaddressed, could not only scuttle your startup but endanger your retirement. Health insurance and education costs, financing options, tax implications and Social Security timing all play vital roles in whether your new venture will sizzle or fizzle.

"Work is healthy as long as you feel you're in the driver's seat, and at 50 or 60 you can be, as long as you do your homework," says Kerry Hannon, author of "What's Next?" and "Great Jobs for Everyone 50+."

In the meantime, start to prepare your professional support network for your next chapter, advises Art Koff, CEO and founder of, a retiree job resource based in Chicago.

"You need to maintain your networking and continue to go to conventions and association meetings," he says. "It's totally necessary to maintain those contacts after you retire."  A lot may have changed since you first set your sights on your dream career. Use your last few years at your current job to explore whether that second act is still a good fit.

If you plan to simply hire on elsewhere, start by searching the job listings on, and  "That will rule out a lot of jobs that you might want but aren't equipped to handle and rule in some that maybe you weren't thinking of," says Koff. "It also gives an indication of how many of those jobs are out there."

To read the entire article on click here

Visit the RetiredBrains Website

If you're looking for a job, caring for an aging parent, are worried about memory loss, have arthitis pain, planning a vacation or even want to continue your education, the information you need is at