*September 2019 Articles*
3 Reasons to Take Social Security at Age 62
Assume that you are age 62 this year and your full Social Security retirement age will be 67, five years from now. Assume the age 67 amount will be $1,500 a month or $18,000 a year. What if you wish to take Social Security now instead of waiting until your full retirement age? At age 62 your full retirement benefit will be reduced by 70% and you will only receive $1,050 a month or $12,600 a year for the rest of your life. Why then would you want to take a reduced amount of Social Security for the rest of your life? Here are three possible reasons.
1. There is little other choice
2. Due to poor health it makes sense to take it earlier
3. Adequate retirement income allows for investing Social Security
4. There is little other choice
Many people either single or married and who are in their early 60s are struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps they are not employed or underemployed and don’t make enough monthly income. Being able to get an additional $1,050 a month as in our example above could make a significant difference for these people. This is likely one major reason why about 30% of all individuals in the United States have taken Social Security at age 62.
There is a caveat however. If someone taking Social Security is still working at age 62, and if that person earns more than $17,640 in 2019, his or her Social Security will be reduced by one dollar for every dollar earned over the limit. It is likely that many people taking early Social Security are also still employed. If that person were earning $25,000 a year and then elects for age 62 Social Security, that person would be over the earnings limit by $7,360 and his his or her he Social Security would be reduced accordingly.
If we use the numbers in our example above, the person earning $25,000 a year and taking $12,600 a year at age 62 would have his or her Social Security reduced to $5,240 a year. This is still a win because that person just got a yearly income increase from $25,000 a year to $30,240 a year by adding in the extra Social Security– $25,000 plus $5,240 . Also, for this person the earnings penalty disappears at age 67 and he or she can earn whatever they want and not lose any Social Security after they turn 67.
2 . Due to poor health it makes sense to take it earlier
Taking Social Security at an earlier age results in an actuarial adjustment made by the Department of Social Security. The reduced amount at age 62 is designed to pay out the same amount of money over the lifetime of the recipient as the full amount at age 67. Based on inflation and other factors, this is usually around age 76.
If someone is in poor health and does not anticipate living to age 76, it makes more sense to take the benefit earlier as the total lifetime payout will likely be more money than waiting until full retirement age.
3. Adequate retirement income allows for investing Social Security
if you will have adequate retirement income at age 62 – that is not earned income for Social Security purposes – as well as significant retirement savings, you may feel confident in fully retiring before age 62. Given this favorable retirement situation, if you were to take Social Security at age 62 that could represent extra income that you don’t need. Social Security could be invested for the future. But it is also a lesser amount than if you were to wait until Social Security full retirement at age 67 and invest the full retirement amount which would be about 120% more.
Does it work better to invest the reduced amount of Social Security from age 62 for the extra five years instead of waiting until age 67 and then investing the larger amount? Yes, it does. The extra five years of investment compounding, even at a the lower monthly amount, will produce a larger benefit in future years.
We did some analysis on investing the 2 different sums from our example – $1,050 a month starting at age 62 and $1,500 a month starting at age 67. We did not take into account the CPI annual increase in Social Security as the 62-year-old would have a larger monthly income at age 67 due to inflation and also have 5 years of yearly credits from earned income.
Because we have no idea what the annual increases in Social Security might be, we left out these variables. Without these adjustments, the investment amount after 18 years starting at age 62 until age 80 versus starting at age 67 until age 80 would an extra $58,38.2 at 5% APR and an additional $145,087 at 7% APR. Adjustments for inflation and work credits might reduce these differences between investing at age 62 and age 67, but we believe it is still better to start compounding that money an extra five years earlier.
By: Thomas Day, ltclink.net
Top 23 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 50's
- Financial Drain - We've all made money mistakes over the course of our lives. It's only natural. But for those who are among the 50-plus demographic, money mistakes can have far greater consequences, including potentially delaying retirement or impacting the quality of your life during retirement. So, we asked money experts across the country to share some of the biggest financial mistakes made by those who are who are in their 50s. Here's what they had to say.
- Upgrading Your Lifestyle Too Much - Your 50s are a great time as they are typically your highest income-earning decade, says Lauren Rilling, a financial coach. "Most people assume they can afford a substantial lifestyle increase as their salary increases," Rilling explained. "However, you need to make sure you're adequately saving for retirement and other future expenses before spending the additional income." The last thing you want to do is live lavishly in your 50s and then have to survive on Social Security a few years later, Rilling said.
- Taking Out Parent Plus Loans - Many parents want to help their children pay for college and often that involves signing on for a Parent Plus loan to provide the funding, Rilling says. But those in their later years might want to think twice about signing on for such a significant financial burden. "You are solely responsible for paying back the loan. Can you really afford to pay back all that debt in your 50s and 60s?" Rilling asked.
- Not Reviewing and Updating Life Insurance Policies - Life insurance should be evaluated every few years to make sure the policy you initially purchased still meets your needs, said Mike Raines of Raines Insurance Group. "The majority of people purchase policies in their 30s and 40s," Raines said. "Often people purchase a term policy with a 10, 15 or 20-level term period. But, what happens when that term period expires and you still need protection? Now, you are 10, 15 or 20 years older and now have some health issues that might make life insurance unaffordable or even impossible to purchase." In other words, Raines said, it's better to reevaluate your life insurance needs every couple of years and adjust your policy to make sure it lasts as long as you need it to. Don't wait until the end of the term.
- Thinking You'll Spend Less in Retirement Than You Do Now - "People believe that they will no longer have a commute, won't be eating out for lunch each day, the house will be paid off, and the kids will be independent," said Cory Nichols, owner of Yes Life Financial. "The reality is, in retirement you have more time and therefore you do more things. Things cost money." At a minimum you will continue to spend the same amount month to month upon retirement as you did prior to retirement, Nichols said.
- Not Taking Advantage of Catch-Up Contributions - Turning 50 is a milestone number in the retirement savings process as this is the age that the government allows you to make an annual catch-up contribution of $1,000 to an IRA and in most cases a $6,000 catch-up contribution to your employer-sponsored retirement account, said Alicia Rose Hudnett, a financial planner, personal finance expert, and creator of The Business of Your Life. "If someone is in a position to increase their savings limit, then this is the first place to start," Hudnett said.
- Not Checking Your Social Security Benefits - For many people, Social Security will most likely be one piece of recreating an income stream in retirement and perhaps the only one that is guaranteed, said Hudnett, of The Business of Your Life. However, many people fail to regularly check on their expected benefits, which you can do by visiting the Social Security Administration website and creating a "my Social Security" account, which allows you to verify your earnings and see your estimated Social Security benefits. "As you approach retirement, it's a good idea to have some understanding of what is expected from Social Security so that you can make any adjustments that may be needed in your own personal saving," Hudnett explained.
- Taking Early Distributions from Retirement Accounts - Age 59½ is another important number in the retirement savings process as it's generally the age that one can finally take penalty-free distributions, and in some cases tax-free distribution from retirement accounts, Hudnett said. "It's best to avoid withdrawing money before this age if you can," Hudnett explained. "If you have a life event and are in need of funds, be sure to check the IRS guidelines regarding penalty-free, but usually not income-tax-free, exceptions to this rule."
- Putting Too Much into Qualified Plans - "The biggest mistake that I see people make is putting too much of their retirement assets in qualified plans such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and 403(b)s. They have no tax diversification," said Cody Crawford, a retirement planner and investment adviser with SPG Advisors who specifically works with those in or near retirement. Those who have the majority of their income coming from such qualified plans will likely jump into much higher tax brackets, reducing their spendable income, said Crawford, who suggests that starting in your 50s, it's a good idea to explore Roth contributions with their employer, such as a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k). "Another great option is taking advantage of a health savings account," added Crawford. "This gives a triple whammy: pre-tax contributions, tax deferral, and free of income tax as long as it's been spent on medical expenses."
- Going on a Bucket-List Frenzy - Many of us have a checklist of the things we would like to do as we get older. But be careful not to go overboard in pursuit of accomplishing items on this list, said Igor Mitic, co-founder of the financial news site Fortunly, as doing so could have significant negative financial consequences, including delaying your retirement readiness. "As you approach retirement, it's best to focus on more realistic investments that will give you the peace of mind and the financial security you deserve when the time comes to retire," Mitic said. "Once you are comfortably retired and have your finances in order, then you can consider revisiting your bucket list."
- Not Eliminating Debt - It's not uncommon to reach retirement and still have credit card and bank loan debt said Mitic, of the financial news site Fortunly. "To make matters worse, some choose to finally invest in their dream house, jet ski or favorite Jeep when they are approaching retirement," Mitic said. "The best thing to do is the opposite, and try to clear as much debt as possible and make realistic investments."
- Falling for Pyramid Schemes and Scams - Pyramid schemes and scams tend to target older individuals who have more money and may be more vulnerable, Mitic said. "This can range from an innocent-looking door-to-door consultant that convinced you to commit to a monthly donation plan for a cause in Africa to more serious scams and pyramid schemes," Mitic said. "These may seem like a great investment opportunity at first until you are locked into a yearly plan that drains your finances."
- Not Maxing Out Your Company's Retirement Match - Maxing out a retirement account, beginning as early in your career as possible, is important because it's one of the most efficient ways to grow wealth over time and support an uncertain future, said Greg Klingler, director of wealth management for the Government Employees' Benefit Association (GEBA). "For those lucky enough to work for an employer that provides a retirement plan with a contribution match, contributing a minimum of whatever that match is in order to take advantage of this 'free money' should be a no-brainer." If your take-home pay meets your living expenses, it's a good idea to contribute 10% to 15% of your salary to your retirement plan given that contributions are tax free, Klingler said.
- Not Creating an Emergency Fund - Given that countless Americans struggle to produce $400 to pay an unexpected bill, everyone should have an emergency fund to prepare for an unexpected bill or income loss, said Klingler, director of wealth management for GEBA. "A good baseline is three to six months of expenses in liquid cash," Klingler said. "Studies show personalizing your accounts by naming them according to your goal is highly effective. We are more likely to contribute to a vacation fund or new car fund or emergency fund versus a nameless string of numbers."
- Not Establishing an Estate Plan - Mortality is hard to think about. What is doable, however, is getting your affairs and assets in order to prevent loved ones from inheriting a headache and legal fees in the event of a death, said Cody Barbo, founder of Trust & Will. Many adults don't think they need a will whatsoever and operate under the assumption that estate planning is a practice for only the very wealthy. "The reality is, no matter how few assets it seems someone owns, completing a few pieces of paperwork now can make a world of difference in the future," Barbo said.
- Emphasizing Your Children's Education at the Expense of Investing - Putting your children through private schools and expensive colleges is good and a noble idea, helping to give them a proper start in life. But this shouldn't be at the expense of your future in retirement, says Edith Muthoni, chief editor at LearnBonds, a site focused on various investment opportunities. "It is advisable that you maintain a healthy balance between supporting your children and investing in your future," Muthoni said. "Stop viewing your children as an investment and start pushing for a balance between your retirement plans and other financial commitments."
- Investing Too Conservatively or Too Aggressively - At 50 years old, the best decision you can make regarding readiness for retirement is diversifying your portfolio, said Muthoni, chief editor at LearnBonds. "But too many individuals within this age bracket will either invest too aggressively or too conservatively," Muthoni said. The downside of being too aggressive is that it tends to expose your savings to unnecessarily high risks when you don't have enough time to recover from possible losses. "Conservative investments and too much emphasis on safer investments when creating a portfolio ends up locking you out of possible investment wins," Muthoni added. "You need to master the art of maintaining a healthy investment portfolio that balances between high-risk and high-reward investments."
- Over Investing in Real Estate - A common mistake that many people later in life is simply buying a home or buying a much larger home than they need. "Simply put, historically, residential real estate hasn't been a very good investment," said Robert Johnson, professor of finance at Creighton University. "In 2013, Nobel Laureate economist Robert Shiller was on 'Bloomberg' talking about residential real estate as an investment. Shiller said housing is traditionally is not viewed as a great investment. It takes maintenance, it depreciates, it goes out of style. All of those are problems." In addition, Johnson noted, home equity can dissipate very quickly, as it did for many people during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
- Failing to Make a Concrete Retirement Plan - Often people think they're going to spend less when they retire, but that's not always the case, said Harsha Reddy, co-founder and editor-in-chief of SmallBizGenius. "Some expenses will decrease, for instance commuting costs, but others will rise," Reddy said, adding that many people fail to sit down and determine exactly how much they must save in order to live comfortably during retirement.
- Not Setting Aside Money for Medical Expenses - According to a recent study by the Blackstone Group, about 79% of middle-income baby boomers haven't set any money aside for medical expenses in retirement, said Danielle Roberts, a Medicare expert and personal finance writer for Forbes. "That's an alarming amount since Fidelity Investments reported that as of 2019, the average couple retiring at 65 will need $285,000 just to cover medical expenses," Roberts said.
- Staying in a Job Too Long - In today's competitive job market, more than any other time, you are the master of your own future, said Keith Minn, managing partner at Minn Retirement Consultants. "The days of promoting from within and tenure equating to job security and compensation advancement is long gone in most industries," Minn said. According to Forbes, those who stay employed at the same company for more than two years earn less over the course of a lifetime by about 50% or more.
- Not Considering the Costs of Adult Children or Aging Parents - The term "boomerang kid" has increasingly been making its way into American vernacular, said Minn, of Minn Retirement Consultants. "If one is fortunate enough to get their adult child or children to leave the home in a positive fashion, then they now have to face the possibility of them boomeranging back home one day," Minn explained. Additionally, there's the chance of one's aging parents needing care and assistance. "With the average senior couple aged 65 to 74 having only between $13,000 to $15,000 in savings, you can see the concern," added Minn, who suggests having a long-term care plan in place for parents before they get sick.
- Paying Off Your Mortgage When You Have Other Debt - Often, as we approach retirement age, it's tempting to want to pay off your mortgage entirely. David Bakke, of Money Crashers, says this should not be your first priority. "Don't worry too much about your home mortgage if you have other debts with higher interest rates, such as credit cards," Bakke says. "Treat all debts in an objective fashion — the ones with the highest interest rates get addressed first. Work your way down the list from there."
- Thinking It's Too Late to Build Wealth - Those who have debt and little savings may feel like their financial future is hopeless. But Rilling, the financial coach, says never give in to that kind of thinking. "Do what you can today to budget carefully, reduce spending, and increase your income," Rilling said. "Ten to 15 wealth-building years before retirement beats zero by a long shot."
By: Mia Taylor, blog.cheapism.com
40 Things Only Baby Boomers Will Remember
Baby boomers have seen massive changes in technology, media, and culture over their lifetimes. Defined as the generation born between 1946 and 1964, they grew up before smartphones and the internet ruled almost every aspect of our lives. That almost makes it more fun to recall these 4o nostalgic things that only baby boomers remember.
- Tuning into 'I Love Lucy.' - On air from 1951 to 1957, Lucille Ball won hearts as Lucy Ricardo, a middle-class housewife prone to hilarious antics and charmingly sticky situations. The sitcom carried on from 1957 to 1960 with 13 one-hour specials, dubbed The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show (and later The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, in reruns).
- Licking S&H Green Stamps. - Deciding what to do with a book of S&H Green Stamps was a major decision. A new set of dishes? A toy guitar? The S&H catalog was a treasure trove of options.
- Admiring Mr. Green Jeans. - Mr. Green Jeans was unquestionably the unsung hero of the children's TV show Captain Kangaroo (or, maybe not so unsung, considering his popularity). Played by Hugh Brannum, he was beloved by audiences during the show's nearly 30-year run.
- Driving into the movies. - Drive-in movies are a nostalgic symbol across all generations these days, but only boomers truly remember the experience in its golden age. (Anyone remember watching The Pink Panther or the original Parent Trap from their car?)
- Taking part in Beatlemania. - If you remember the 1960s frenzy known as "Beatlemania" as a first-hand participant, you're definitely a boomer. The Beatles catapulted into global superstardom around 1963, and their then-unprecedented fan base is still an icon of the era.
- Watching Wide World of Sports. - ABC's Wide World of Sports was some of the most sensational TV of its time. In this episode, aired on February 5, 1976, Evel Knievel pulled off one of his famous jumps.
- Witnessing the Miracle on Ice. - Sure, the 2004 Disney movie Miracle gave younger generations a recap, but there was nothing like seeing the "Miracle on Ice" happen in real time. On February 22, 1980, the U.S. hockey team did the unthinkable by beating the then-untouchable Soviet Union team in the semifinals at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
- Jumping on an original pogo stick. - There was nothing like the sheer joy of bouncing up and down for as long as you could on a pogo stick. Released as a toy in 1957, these early versions were neighborhood standbys (and still exist today).
- Watching the wild west world of Bonanza. - As you may recall, Bonanza was a sensation because it was one of the first television programs you could watch in color. You just needed to befriend someone with a color TV first.
- Getting your mail twice a day. - Very early boomers may recall seeing the postman more often than they do today. According to USPS, mail carriers delivered twice a day to residential homes up until 1950.
- Marveling at electronic calculators. - Oh, how far technology has come. Back in the day, electronic calculators were the hot tool that promised to make "long division" a thing of the past — though the original tool was a bit clunkier than today's sleek handheld calculators.
- Playing with a Howdy Doody doll — and watching his show. - Debuting on NBC's Puppet Playhouse TV show in 1947, the Howdy Doody puppet soon after earned his own show, becoming a household name throughout the '50s and beyond. The character's popularity resulted in plenty of merchandise, including a namesake doll that you probably played with at some point or another.
- Dialing a rotary phone. - It used to take a lot longer to dial someone's phone number, especially if it had a lot of nines in it. We'd bet that most people born after the baby boomer generation have no idea how to dial a rotary phone.
- Smoking on airplanes. - Air travel has changed in so many ways, but baby boomers remember when it was common to see people smoking on airplanes. It wasn't until the 1990s that smoking on airplanes was banned completely.
- Looking something up in an encyclopedia. - Before the internet and smartphones put the answer to almost every question right at our fingertips, people had to find the information they wanted in an encyclopedia. The set was probably sold to the family by a door-to-door salesman — another thing that's basically a relic of the past!
- Clipping baseball cards to your bike spokes. - It made the most satisfying noise when you rode down the street really fast.
- Eating Swanson TV dinners. - Technically, these types of meals are still around today, but only certain people will remember when these were invented. The first Swanson-brand TV dinners consisted of a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas, and sweet potatoes.
- Waiting for the milkman to deliver to your house. - About 30% of milk was still delivered to homes in the 1960s. Prior to that, it was by far the most popular way for consumers to get their milk. Even today, a very small number of households still have it delivered to the home.
- Seeing the TV channels sign off at the end of the night. - It's almost unimaginable in the era of 24-hour TV, but TV channels used to sign off at the end of this night with graphics like this. Many also played the National Anthem to close out the evening.
- Shopping at the five-and-dime store. - Before we had Target, Amazon, and Walmart, we had five-and-dime stores where you could buy almost everything you needed. The first one was created by Woolworths in 1878. Today, the prices have changed, but there are still a few you can shop at.
- Watching 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show.' - Mary Tyler Moore made television history by being one of the first women on TV to wear pants. It was reportedly so scandalous that the producers limited her to one pants-wearing scene per episode. It's safe to say things have definitely changed since then!
- Talking to an operator. - Later generations probably have no idea that you used dial 0 and then talk to a real live person to direct your call.
- Wanting to be as cool as Paul Newman. - Kids today (sadly) only know Newman as the guy on the pizza or popcorn box from the store. But baby boomers know that Paul Newman was the coolest guy ever. I mean, he was a movie star who drove race cars!
- Seeing billboards advertising tobacco. - Back in the '60s and '70s, cigarette advertisements were everywhere. Everyone knew Joe Camel, the Marlboro Man, and the classic Lucky Strike slogan: "It's toasted." But as the public became more aware of the dangers of smoking, tobacco advertising on billboards was (thankfully) banned.
- Eating all kinds of weird Jell-O dishes. - In the '60s, people were putting everything in Jell-O. And we do mean everything: ham, salmon, lamb, cottage cheese, fruit ... the list goes on. Thankfully, that trend has faded.
- Watching the first season of SNL. - The first episode of Saturday Night Live aired on October 11, 1975. George Carlin was the host, and some of the first cast members were Chevy Chase, John Belushi, and Gilda Radner. More than 40 years later, the show is still going strong.
- Looking up a number in the phonebook. - If you wanted to call a friend or a business, you had to flip through the phone book to find their number.
- Putting tin foil on the TV antenna. - It might look silly, but people used to put tin foil on the TV antenna to boost the signal and get a clearer picture.
- Riding a banana seat bicycle. - These kids' bikes were designed to look like a chopper, with the high handlebars, smaller wheels, and that classic banana seat.
- Listening to a transistor radio. - These fell out of style once everyone started using portable CD players and other personal devices, but some will remember how during the 1960s and 1970s, everyone had a transistor radio. It's reportedly one of the most popular electronic communication devices in history.
- Dealing with round-the-block lines thanks to the gas shortage. - In 1973 and again in 1979, Americans faced a persistent gas shortage. There were lines around the block and odd-even rationing was introduced — meaning that if the last digit on your license plate was odd, you could get gas only on odd-numbered days.
- Using a typewriter. - When it came time to write a letter in pre-computer days, you used a typewriter. And lord help you if you made a typo — there was no backspace option, just the saving grace of liquid paper to cover your mistake.
- Actually eating Spam. - This canned, cooked meat product made with ham was in every baby boomer's pantry at some point. At the time it was introduced, it was the only canned meat product on the market that needed no refrigeration.
- Seeing long(er) hair on men and women. - Coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s, there were plenty of men and women who had long hair. Today, you'll still see men with long hair and women with really, really long hair of course, but it's definitely less common.
- Having to change the channels using the knob on the TV. - Older baby boomers might remember having to change TV channels by walking up and using the knobs, before remotes were common in every household.
- Buying your first record. - Whether it was The Beatles or the Beach Boys, people born in the '50s definitely remember buying their first vinyl record and listening to it over and over again. Later generations have made records popular again, but baby boomers were doing this way before it was cool.
- Using a payphone to call someone. - Payphones used to be on every corner, but today finding one in a mile radius is impressive. While it might be sad, we can't deny how great having a cell phone is ...
- Riding in the family's wood-paneled station wagon. - Though wood-paneled cars were invented back in the 1930s, they became especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s as reliable but stylish family cars.
- Hearing the news that President Kennedy had been shot. - Though most baby boomers were young at the time, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was an event that made a huge impact on people of this generation.
- Looking through the Sears catalog. - Do you remember looking through the Sears catalog, feeling totally amazed at all the things you could buy without leaving the comfort of home?
By: Jamie Ballard and Alexa Tucker, goodhousekeeping.com
Community Service - Bo Camps
As most of us know, community service is essential to the well being of our neighbors. SRC plays a vital role in supporting the Bo Foundation and Bo Summer Leadership Camps which were established by our CEO Anthony Falco and his wife Suzanne in the memory of their son Bo. At the Camps hundreds of kids in middle school spend two weeks each growing bonds with mentors and developing essential life skills they might not otherwise learn. Bo’s memory is being carried on in a very special way by helping others in the community. Click below to see a video of the 2019 summer camp just completed and/or visit:
Are At No Cost
Anthony S. Falco, Esq.
Ronald R. Kearns, R.N., Esq
Kevin Spitz, Esq.
Paul E. Thornhill, Esq.
Patricia G. Novak, Esq.
Anastashia C. Kamberidis, Esq.
Judith M. Flynn, Esq.
Victoria LaBate, Esq.
Getting Started Booklet Courtesy of Senior
Resource Center, Inc.
Falco & Associates, P.C. is afFiliated with Senior Resource Center, Inc., an ancillary care management and Financial overview business. www.helpingelders.com