When Are People Claiming Social Security?

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

One of the hottest topics in retirement income planning over the past several years has been how to help individuals strategize on their Social Security claiming decisions.

Philosophy of Social Security Claiming Strategies 

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

Social Security claiming strategies can be extremely complicated. Treaties on this topic, some of which are listed in the table below, provide page after page of details, nuances, and exceptions.

Keep Social Security Changes in Perspective

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

As you may have heard, Congress made some notable changes to Social Security last week. I’ve received more emails asking about these changes than any other event in the retirement income world.

Calculating Social Security Retirement Benefits

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

I will discuss the philosophy of claiming strategies later, but first, it is meaningful to first consider how retirement benefits are calculated.

The Social Security Administration has now followed the same approach for calculating benefits since 1979.

Protecting Your Assets and Making Your Wishes Known

By Bob French, CFA

A lot of things get lumped under the broad title of estate planning. Not only are you arranging the financial aspects of your estate, but you’re letting everyone know your intentions regarding healthcare and any other wishes you may have. This process…

Introducing the Social Security Claiming Decision

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

For the vast majority of Americans, Social Security benefits serve as the core of a retirement income strategy. As a government-backed, inflation-adjusted monthly income for life, Social Security benefits help to manage longevity risk, inflation risk, and market risk.

A Brief History of Social Security

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

Recipients of Social Security benefits today are not just retirees – they’re disabled workers, spouses and young children of deceased or disabled workers, and the spouses and survivors of retirees. This was not always the case.

What Does Retirement Mean?

By Bob French, CFA

Retirement has changed. It’s no longer about getting your gold watch and playing golf all the time. Retirement is now a frame of mind – you’re retired when you can do what you want. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to with whether you are drawing a paycheck or not. Retirement is the freedom to decide what you want to do. At the same time, retirement has also gotten longer. You could very well be looking at a retirement that lasts 30 years or more, making retirement even harder to plan for than it was before.

What’s Really Going to Happen When Social Security Runs Out of Money

By Rob Cordeau, CFP®

One of the hottest topics in retirement income planning over the past several years has been how to help individuals strategize on their Social Security claiming decisions.

Organizing Your Finances After a Chronic Illness

By Bob French, CFA

Chronic illness is life-changing. When it comes to medical expense coverage, you might be looking at new regulations on the kinds of treatments available to you, the physicians you meet with, and the hospitals that are covered. Unfortunately, the older you get,…

Making Sense Out of Variable Spending Strategies for Retirees

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA

Variable spending strategies fall between two extremes: spending a set amount without regard for portfolio balance, and spending a fixed percentage of the balance.

A Tax on Giving – Understanding the Rules of the Gift Tax

By Rob Cordeau, CFP®

Getting taxed once is hard enough, but getting hit a second time on the same dollars? That’s enough to give a compliant taxpayer the urge to toss crates of tea into Boston Harbor. Whether double taxation like the gift tax is morally right or…