Calculating Social Security Benefits

Calculating Social Security Benefits are a function
of three primary factors.

How Many Years Have You Worked?Calculating Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration uses 35 years of earning history

▶ If you worked more than 35 years – it uses the highest 35 years of salary

▶ If you worked less than 35 years – it still uses 35 years of salary (the years you didn’t work count as $0) This rule impacts far more women than men.

Why? Many women took significant time away from work to raise one or more of their children. 

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Top IRA Rulings of 2015

Here are two of last year’s top rulings

Top IRA Rulings of 20152015 produced numerous new laws, IRS actions, and court decisions that affected IRAs and other retirement accounts. Here are two of the top rulings of 2015: The New Age 50 Exception & Social Security Strategies Eliminated

Distributions from retirement plans before age 59½ typically trigger a 10% penalty, but there are some exceptions to that age requirement. For instance, participants in employer-sponsored qualified plans avoid this penalty if they separate from service during or after the year in which they reach age 55.

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Do you have a 5/10/20 Year Retirement Plan?

Think your expenses will drop in retirement? Don’t count on it!

Tips for a planning ahead on your retirement plan

5-10-20 year retirement plan“In the first two years of retirement, 28.0 percent of households spent more than 120 percent of their pre-retirement spending. By the sixth year of retirement 23.4 percent of households still did so.”1 

If you’re 5 years away from retirement:

  • Make a list of retirement “needs” and “wants.” If you do not have enough savings for all your “needs,” make a five-year plan to increase your funds.

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Our Gambling Culture

The craving for immediate gratification has spread well beyond Wall Street.

April 2015 | by Laurence Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock

Retirement gambling CultureWe tend to speak of short-termism as though it’s a problem that only afflicts investors or corporate leaders, but that’s not the case. Short-term thinking pervades our most important institutions, from government to households. We’ve created a gambling culture in which we tune out everything except the most immediate outcomes. If we’re going to meet our commitments to our children and grandchildren, and to society as a whole, we need to open up the lens and start taking a more responsible, longer-term view of the challenges we face.

There’s a host of reasons short-termism has taken hold in our culture, both in the United States and more broadly. Greed and the media’s reliance on daily bombardments of bad news certainly play a part, but more important, we’ve lost sight of our actual goals. It’s in everyone’s interest to provide opportunities for education, a reasonable level of healthcare, and a secure retirement for the most people possible, just as we should all be working to conserve our natural resources to assure that clean air, clean water, and renewable fuel sources are available to our children.

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