What is the Social Security earnings test?

By Austin Powell
Posted on June 17, 2021

More than half of Americans surveyed by Voya Financial plan to work in retirement. If you share that plan, you may assume that you can easily combine paid employment with other sources of retirement income, such as your retirement savings and Social Security. However, if you claim Social Security before your full retirement age — which is based on your year of birth — your... READ MORE

When to establish a private foundation

By Hannah Shaw Grove
Posted on June 16, 2021

For families of means, there are plenty of reasons to consider establishing a private foundation: tax savings, control over assets and the ability to give back using a broad range of philanthropic capabilities, such as program-related investments and grants to individuals. But for many of my clients, the most important benefits of a foundation are those that help them ensure that the... READ MORE

Birthdays that can affect your finances

By Liz Weston
Posted on June 14, 2021

You hit a lot of milestone birthdays when you’re young. There’s your first birthday, of course, and at 13, you’re a teenager. At 16, you’re probably thinking about driving. At 18, you can vote; at 21, you can get into bars. You reach milestones later in life as well, and many of them have to do with retirement. Knowing these age milestones can help you better prepare for life... READ MORE

What we can learn from the best investors

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on June 07, 2021

Financial journalist William Green has written a great book, Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life, based on his in-depth interviews with the world’s most successful investors. The book stands out because Green probes beyond the field of investing to find out how they have succeeded in their lives generally. This is especially interesting... READ MORE

Things you need to know about insurance

By Sarah Schlichter
Posted on May 25, 2021

Insurance is notoriously complicated, and few people have the time or desire to pore over their policies. But some basic knowledge can go a long way. And that’s where an insurance agent can help, by clearing up some of the most common misconceptions they encounter. Here are five things agents say are helpful for customers to know: Insurance doesn’t cover everything When it comes to ... READ MORE

How to protect your portfolio from yourself

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 24, 2021

Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com), a well-respected publisher of finance-related content, recently published an enlightening article titled “4 Simple Rules To Protect Your Portfolio From Yourself.” It’s a long article, full of sound advice based on historical analysis and advice from many stock market experts, such as Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, among others. I ... READ MORE

Why worry about loss of ‘basis step-u­­p’?

By Liz Weston
Posted on May 21, 2021

Death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, but death taxes are only a remote possibility for most people. The vast majority of Americans won’t ever have or give away enough to owe estate or gift taxes. But far more people could be affected if a tax break that benefits heirs is eliminated. While campaigning for president, Joe Biden proposed doing away with something called the ... READ MORE

Answers to readers’ financial questions

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 19, 2021

Q: I have a long-term care health policy with Genworth. I understand that these policies may be taken over by a Chinese company. Should I continue to pay the premiums, or should I cancel this policy and obtain a new policy from another company? A: You should not cancel your policy. If you do try to obtain a new long-term care policy, you may not be approved if your health condition has... READ MORE

Afraid to retire, even though you can?

By Kara Duckworth
Posted on May 13, 2021

I am seeing an interesting pattern in discussions with my clients about retirement — and it’s certainly not one I was expecting. Instead of worrying about whether they’ll have enough saved to enjoy retirement, they’re worrying about whether they’ll enjoy retirement at all. Discussions about retirement start almost as soon as people get their first jobs. Whether it’s saving as ... READ MORE

Get and check free weekly credit reports

By Lisa Gerstner
Posted on May 06, 2021

The three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — will continue to offer a free credit report to consumers each week at AnnualCreditReport.com until April 20, 2022. The extension follows the bureaus’ move in spring 2020 to provide free weekly reports as the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S., causing financial hardship for Americans who lost their job or... READ MORE