When Should You Apply to Receive Social Security Benefits?

When Should You Apply to Receive Social Security Benefits?

Social Security benefits account for 50% or more of retirement income for 66% of retirees, according to the Social Security Administration. For 35% of retirees it accounts for 90% or more of income. Given the importance of social security payments in retirement, maximizing benefits becomes essential to retirement planning.

That leads to the question of, “When is the best time to take social security?” One school of thought is to take it as early as possible so you will receive benefits for the longest period of time. The other side of the fence tells you to wait as long as possible to receive the highest payout. But which option is best for you personally? Read more

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Your Financial Health

The Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Your Financial Health

Interest rates increases have been a hot topic in 2015 and will likely continue into 2016. The Federal Reserve is closely evaluating the economy looking for signs that it is time to start raising rates for the first time in 6 years. At each meeting, discussions are made about when and how much rates should begin to go up. The last meeting of the year will take place in December and analysts are expecting the rates to increase at this time. With the economy at nearly full employment and the recession officially behind us, it seems the conditions are ripe for rising rates to begin to take hold.

We have enjoyed the lowest rates in decades, and as that comes to an end, making the right decisions regarding debt management can prevent you from encountering a personal recession. It is anticipated that rates will increased slowly over the next few years to keep inflation under control, without dipping the economy back into another recession. Read more

Do You Really Need $1Million Dollars or More Saved for A Comfortable Retirement?

Do You Really Need $1Million Dollars or More Saved for A Comfortable Retirement?

With the median savings in 401K balances of only $111,000 for households between the ages of 55 and 65, the idea of working until you have a million dollars in the bank can be disheartening. While it is easy to say you have not saved enough to retire comfortably, many seniors are finding their options limited. Health issues or disabilities may require you to retire early. Children’s expenses and short sighted living resulted in less being set aside than intended. Market fluctuations and the recession decimated accounts, many of which have never recovered.

Whatever the reason for the shortfall, it does not change the fact that you are getting closer to retirement age with each passing year. Perhaps re-looking at what you actually need for a comfortable retirement and creating a plan may be more valuable than shooting for the million-dollar mark. Read more