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Published:Thu, 05 Apr 2012 06:38:18 -0700
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri employers would be barred from identifying workers by the last four digits of their Social Security numbers under a bill in the state Senate. Missouri ......
Published:Wed, 04 Apr 2012 21:11:53 -0700
Eggs long have been a symbol of new life in the spring. In America, the Easter egg hunt finds its roots in the 1700s when German immigrants brought the tradition to Pennsylvania. ......
Published:Wed, 04 Apr 2012 00:03:45 -0700
Retirement » 12 FAQs On Social Security BenefitsDr. Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, has been advising Bankrate readers for 13 years. A topic that frequently comes up is Social Secur......
Published:Wed, 04 Apr 2012 07:02:45 -0700
Dear Dr. Don, I am 60, and my wife is 62½. We both worked and will get our own Social Security benefits. My benefit at 62 will be $1,500, and hers is $1,100. I am still working, ......
Published:Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:17:22 -0700
Dr. Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP, has been advising Bankrate readers for 13 years. A topic that frequently comes up is Social Security. People want to know the best strategy for cl......
Social Security And Planning For The Future
One of the reasons that many people are having a hard time with either considering retirement or wondering if Social Security benefits will pay for their bills, is that they have gone into debt by borrowing and spending more money than they make.
Unfortunately, many banks and credit card companies took advantage of the prosperous financial situation and offered introductory "no interest" credit cards to almost everyone. These credit cards were easy to get with little or no check of your credit history.
This resulted in people getting several different credit cards, spending freely and making the minimum monthly payments. Of course, the "no interest" introductory offer expired and suddenly credit card holders were hit with high interest rates that were applied to the unpaid balance.
While you might be able to make the minimum credit card payments, the interest being charged keeps you in a no-win situation. Paying off your credit cards becomes a financial burden that you can't seem to get away from. If you are late making your credit card payments, that will be recorded on your credit report and can affect your credit score.
A common question is whether or not your Social Security benefits can be garnished to pay off your credit card debt? The simple answer is "No", but you should be aware of the requirements and how to make sure that you protect your Social Security benefits account. This is a simple step you should take to keep your benefits safe.
If you are one of the millions of people in debt, here are some solutions that you should consider to get yourself out of debt.
You should stop using your credit cards if at all possible.
You should pay off the balance or at least pay down the balance if you can.
If you owe money on several different credit cards you should consider a credit card consolidation loan. This allows you to pay off all your credit cards, end up with one loan with a lower interest rate, and then a longer term to pay off your loan. Make sure you spend the time to do the necessary research and select a reputable credit card consolidation loan company to work with.
How do you retire your credit card debt when you retire?
Are you 62 and starting to see retirement on the horizon? If you are planning on retiring in three years to pick up your pension what are you going to do about your credit card balances and will Social Security be enough to help.
Maybe you have gotten a series of 0 percent balance transfer cards, so that your interest costs are nonexistent. Maybe you have enough money to live on for a while, but you are going to need to get a handle on how you can make it until 70 when your Social Security kicks in.
The standard wisdom of most financial planners is to enter retirement with no debt, but it what if it takes you almost five years to pay off your credit cards. What should you do? Should you carry the debt into retirement? This is an example of some of the questions that many people have regarding their financial debt (typically credit card debt), retirement, and Social Security.
In three years, you will start collecting a pension. It will take five years to pay down the credit cards with your current and future income. In eight years, you will have an additional income source, collecting Social Security.
It is important to protect your income in case of an emergency, health crisis or if you encounter a large unexpected expense. Since you are being diligent, one thing you want to look at is making sure you have adequately protected your income for the future.
If you have not looked into long-term care insurance, then this is the time to do it. There are many different types of insurance plans out there so be careful. We suggest using an independent agent that can look at many different carriers and compare different plans for you.
There are many questions this brings up, including if are you eligible, if are you inclined to take the protection, its cost and how you would pay for it. If you have some room to spare in your disposable income to pay down your credit card debt, then you most likely have the room to pay for a long-term care policy. Of course, you have to look at the actual numbers and do not want to take on an additional expense you cannot afford. So be as diligent with this expense as you have been with all other expenses.
If you cannot get or do not want long-term care insurance, then we suggest paying down the credit card debt over the five-year time frame. This will free up disposable income two years into your retirement.
If you want and are eligible for long-term care insurance, then we suggest coordinating those long-term care insurance payments with reducing your debt. In this case, an eight-year debt reduction plan would work to coincide with your receiving Social Security benefits.
Consider an income strategy that provides payments to you over a five-year time frame. That is a program to guarantee income to you for ages 65 through 70. You can set this up in a variety of ways including: a five-year bank CD ladder, a five-year bond ladder, a money market or savings account and a five-year income annuity.
All of these should guarantee your principle for five years and provide you with a steady paycheck. The rest of your money should be in a diversified portfolio that is suitable to your investment experience, risk tolerance and needs.
After age 70, your income needs may change for a few reasons. One, you will be five years older and things may be different for you at that time. Two, inflation. Three, tax laws are changing by 2010 and probably more after that. Four, you will have your Social Security kicking in, and this will reduce your need for more income under today's income need assumptions.
When you turn 70, it would be appropriate for you to revisit your situation and plug in the appropriate income strategy that makes the most sense to you and your family for the future.
Along the way, you will have eliminated your debt, possibly protected all or a portion of your income from unexpected expenses, given yourself a great income strategy to follow and shown flexibility to adjust as your needs change.
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