Comprehensive retirement planning guide

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 16, 2023

In December 2021, I wrote a favorable review of Wade Pfau’s Retirement Planning Guidebook, published by Retirement Resources. Pfau has recently produced a second edition of his book, which addresses all the major regulations passed since then. Many experts agree this book is the most comprehensive and best-written personal finance book ever written. I agree. If you are approaching... READ MORE

How working affects Social Security benefits

By Jim Miller
Posted on May 11, 2023

Dear Savvy Senior, I started drawing my Social Security retirement benefits back in 2021, when I was forced to retire early. Now I’m interested in going back to work part-time. Will this affect my benefits, and if so, how much? —Back to Work Dear Back, You can collect Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time, but depending on how old you are and how... READ MORE

Social Security, Medicare facing changes

By Amanda Seitz and Hannah Fingerhut
Posted on May 02, 2023

Most U.S. adults are opposed to proposals that would cut into Medicare or Social Security benefits, and a majority support raising taxes on the nation’s highest earners to keep Medicare running as is. The new findings, revealed in a March poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, come as both safety net programs are poised to run out of enough cash to pay... READ MORE

REITS offer ways to invest in real estate

By Edward E. Fernandez
Posted on April 28, 2023

With the equity market as volatile as ever, investors are increasingly turning to alternative assets to generate cash flow. One investment vehicle that’s drawing particular attention is real estate investment trusts, or REITs. Research by Nareit shows that investments in REITs have more than doubled over the past 10 years. REITs come in many different forms, with varying criteria.... READ MORE

Many say tipping is getting out of control

By Haleluya Hadero
Posted on April 26, 2023

Across the country, there’s a silent frustration brewing about an age-old practice that many say is getting out of hand: tipping. Some fed-up consumers are posting rants on social media complaining about tip requests at drive-throughs, while others say they’re tired of being asked to leave a gratuity for a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at their neighborhood bakery. What’s... READ MORE

Credit unions share profits with members

By Melissa Lambarena
Posted on April 24, 2023

In the past year, the Federal Reserve has employed several interest rate hikes in an effort to stabilize the U.S. economy. Depending on your situation and financial institution, your debt may have gotten more expensive or your savings might have grown. As rates continue to change, it’s worth exploring whether you’re still getting the best offer around. Compared with big banks, a... READ MORE

Keeping up with the federal gift tax rules

By Rocky Mengle
Posted on April 20, 2023

Thanks to the gift tax exclusion (a.k.a., the gift tax limit or gift tax exemption), you can give money or property each year to family members, friends and others without having to pay any federal gift tax or even file a gift tax return. The federal gift tax rates range from 18% to 40%, so avoiding the tax can save you a lot of money. And not having to bother with a gift tax return can... READ MORE

Understand the new RMD Rules for 2023

By Jim Miller
Posted on April 06, 2023

Dear Savvy Senior, What are the new rules on required minimum distributions from IRAs and 401(k)s? I will turn 72 this year and want to be clear on what I’m required to do. —Planning Ahead Dear Planning, Thanks to the SECURE Act 2.0 that was passed by Congress last December, there are several new rules that affect required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs,... READ MORE

Beware scammers impersonating banks

By Ben Demers
Posted on March 30, 2023

Consumer scams are getting more and more creative with every year that goes by. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that consumers lost more than $5.8 billion to fraudsters in 2021, an increase of more than 70% over the previous year. And the data for 2022 is expected to be even higher when it’s released, as criminals experiment with more intricate and inventive scams. One of ... READ MORE

Devices that make driving easier, safer

By Jim Miller
Posted on March 28, 2023

Dear Savvy Senior, Do you know of any car gadgets that can help older drivers? I drive a 12-year-old car and have arthritis in my neck, back and knees that limits my mobility, making it more difficult to get in and out of the car and look over my shoulder to back-up. —Almost 80 Dear Almost, There are a number of inexpensive products you can purchase that can easily be added to... READ MORE