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Social Security – How Much Do You Really Know (Part 5)?

Waiting to collect Social Security benefits past Early Retirement Age (62) is financially rewarding, as the System increases your monthly benefit for every month you delay filing. The annualized increase is about 8%, which constitutes an excellent guaranteed annual benefit increase. The (now defunct) unlimited “do-over” provision took advantage of this by increasing the benefit as if no benefits had been collected.

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Social Security – How Much Do You Really Know (Part 4)?

For generations, FRA was 65, and for “good” reason; most people didn’t live long. As strange as that may sound, the Social Security System was not designed to be a retirement income system. Rather, it was a “safety net” for those who defied the odds and lived well past average life expectancy. Since Social Security is an insurance-based system, and not a classic welfare system, it has been accepted as an integral part of the fabric of American society.

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Social Security – How Much Do You Really Know (Part 2)?

We have previously written about the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have not qualified for Social Security benefits. These are largely workers who apply their skills and perform work as independent contractors. Whether paid in cash or by check, their wages are difficult for the government to track. Therefore, many of these workers simply ignore the reporting and tax-paying demands of the Internal Revenue Service and, by inference, Social Security and Medicare. They will not qualify for benefits unless they start paying taxes.

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Social Security – How Much Do You Really Know?

For most of us, our Social Security benefits constitute an important part of our retirement income needs. Social Security is fundamentally a lifetime annuity system, and like all annuities, it is very complex. Maximizing lifetime benefits is our own responsibility, yet many Americans are woefully unaware of the myriad possibilities for collecting.

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Feeling Less Charitable in 2019?

The U.S. Tax Code has long provided an incentive for charitable givers, in the form of an itemized tax deduction for contributions to eligible charities. For taxpayers who itemize deductions on their returns, this directly decreased their tax bill. Was that tax deduction the reason these people supported their charities? Would they continue to give if that deduction were eliminated?

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Excerpts From a Letter to Clients

We continually ask ourselves the operative question, “What changed?”. We are probably smarter to ignore politics, but that is difficult in tumultuous times like these. Nonetheless, cooler heads will always prevail, but when that will start is anyone’s guess.