Will Obama's Chained CPI Help Keep Inflation from Eating into Your Savings?

This week we examine ways in which inflation nibbles away at your retirement income, especially in light of the President’s proposal for Chained CPI adjustments to Social Security. The formal title is Chain-weighted Consumer Price Index and it’s a variation of how the government figures out what is what we would call "inflation." Either way, with the low rates on offer from CDs and other "safe" investments, investors who don’t take action fall behind every year.

Unfortunately, the numbers show what most people don’t want to face: the days of relying on Social Security plus a few stable bonds and CDs are long over. To earn decent and sustainable returns, investors must search beyond traditional safe havens. Continue reading "Will Obama's Chained CPI Help Keep Inflation from Eating into Your Savings?"

When Should You Take Social Security? 62 or Full Retirement Age?

My wife, Jo, started receiving Social Security as soon as she could. When she wondered aloud how much larger her checks would have been if she'd waited, I said, “It makes no difference! You are already four years ahead of the game.”

When we applied at the local office, the agent kept reminding her of the big raise she would get if she waited until full retirement age, or better yet until she was 70. Stop with the hard sell; she wanted it at 62, period!

Why did she take it early? To illustrate, I did a little investigating on the Social Security Administration's website and used its retirement planner. Continue reading "When Should You Take Social Security? 62 or Full Retirement Age?"