social security

Top of Mind (Q2 2019)

Each quarter, we will share three things that we are keeping Top of Mind

Here's our latest list:

1.) Reading List

I was recently asked about my “must read” news sources and daily email lists.  Seems like there is an endless supply of news to pick from but here are a few of my daily reads and favorites:

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Newspapers of choice : Wall Street Journal and New York Times.  I receive the print edition of the WSJ (call me old fashioned!) but I read the Times online.  Both sites have excellent menu options that allow you to set preferences for your news feed as well as email alerts

Other business sites : I also review headllines from Bloomberg, CNBC, Dealbook, and Financial Times

Daily Emails :

  • The Skimm – part fun, part news.  This daily email curates the day’s top news and includes a lot of information and a bit of humor

  • Capitol Insights – written by Greg Valliere, a top Washington strategist, this daily email is an invaluable look inside Washington DC, with a focus on the markets

  • The Hustle – self described as “all the tech and business you need each morning, bite sized”

  • Seth Godin’s Blog - think this is only a blog related to marketing? Think again. These daily messages always leave me thinking and looking at my days in a whole new light

Podcasts – Prefer to listen on the go? Three news/business podcasts I enjoy include The Daily, Up First, and Recode/Decode

2. Check your Mortgage Rates

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In 2018, it was widely believed that interest rates were headed in one direction – up.  Fast forward to today and interest rates (namely those at longer maturities) have actually trended lower. The reasons for these moves are many (we’re happy to explain further). But if you are a homeowner with a mortgage (especially one from late 2018) , it may be worth evaluating a refinance. Can’t hurt to look into it!

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3.) Social Security – whether you are decades away from claiming benefits or are currently doing so, it is always a good idea to annually verify your earnings history with the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) . SSA receives your earnings from the IRS (via your tax returns) but as with most things in life, mistakes can happen.  Take the time to visit ssa.gov, retrieve your statement, and verify the wages listed. 

Top of Mind (Q3 2018)

Each quarter, we will share three things that we are keeping Top of Mind

Here's our latest list:

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1.)Social Security - It’s an incredibly complex system that despite paying into it for our entire careers, few of us fully understand. Not to fear, we are here to help! Here are a few things to keep in mind: 1) Review your SS statement annually - Available at ssa.gov, your annual social security statement lists your historical wages. Be sure to check this against your tax return on an annual basis (as your wage history will be used to determine your benefits) 2) Know your options - as you reach your 60s, it’s important that you understand your claiming options and understand how each of them impact your overall financial plan. The SS website (above) has some good resources. We also like this comprehensive guidebook 3) Make your decision carefully - Social security employees do a nice job explaining the program to you when your time comes to claim. However, as with all financial matters, we highly suggest also obtaining independent advice on the subject matter to ensure you make the choice that is best for you in the context of your overall financial situation

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2.)  Keep up with Family - Have you ever noticed that you have lots to talk about with people you see all the time - but when you see people only once a year, you struggle to find things to talk about. There’s something to say for frequency of contact and updates. This phenomenon was brought up on a recent podcast, as well as a method to combat it. The suggestion was using an “email update” with out of town family and friends. A group is set-up that knows one another (ie: your parents and siblings). You set the frequency that works for you. And then you just send an update to the group, with as mundane and routine info as you wish (ie: kid’s activities, your workout schedule, fun work meetings, a new recipe, etc) - whatever you choose. There’s no expectation that anyone replies but it let’s everyone share their day-to-day world on a frequent basis without adding too much work to anyone. These emails should take 1-3 minutes to write (nothing too long!) and will help you stay in touch with those you miss. Try it - and see just how much more you have to talk about the next time you see one another

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3.) 90 days left - At the start of this year, I created an “18 for 2018” list - a way to keep myself on track for the year and to set some goals (both large and small). Upon reviewing it this past weekend, I still have a ways to go (7 of 18 left). Not to worry! This served as a great reminder that we still have 90 days to go (OK, a little less now but you get the jist). Why not reach some goals and check a few things off the list now? No need to wait for a new year and new resolutions. Set some now for the final 90 days and make this the best year yet!