Are You Leaving Thousands of Social Security Dollars On The Table? Choosing the right claiming strategy can add $100,000 or more to your lifetime retirement income. Deciding when to take your Social Security benefits is one of the most important retirement moves you can make—and it’s one that a lot of Americans get wrong. The good news is that new tools and services are being launched that can help you avoid these costly missteps. The latest entry: Social Security Income Planner, was unveiled today by 401(k) advice provider Financial Engines.
Unemployment Benefits and Social Security: Paying Seniors Not to Work An obvious place to begin is by changing existing formulas so that benefits are not reduced when individuals choose to work until full retirement age. Alternatively, we could offer much more attractive benefits at retirement for those choosing to work longer. Both options are easy to introduce and mild experimentation can be used to optimize their design. But this can be only a start. More extensive restructuring must to be considered for future generations and others have studied the issue more than me. Of course everyone, young and old, is free to choose not to work. Some may well prefer to concentrate their work over a few short years, and live off their private savings thereafter. Many sports and pop stars do just that. But, except for periods of child rearing or debilitating illnesses, there is no reason why society should incentivize this behavior.
CNNMoney: Social Security Faces an Imminent Funding Shortfall Social Security’s funding shortfall is typically viewed as a long-term problem. After all, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance fund is expected to have enough funds for another couple decades. But the Social Security Disability Insurance fund will probably become insolvency by the end of 2016. If Congress doesn’t act soon, the disability fund won’t have enough money to pay benefits. The fund, reports CNNMoney, will be able to pay approximately 80 percent of benefits to 8.8 million disabled workers and their spouses and dependents. Not surprisingly, it’s not clear when Congress might take up the issue or how — or even if — it might solve the problem.
Social Security closes record number of offices as millions of baby boomers reach retirement Budget cuts have forced the Social Security Administration to close dozens of field offices even as millions of baby boomers approach retirement, swamping the agency with applications for benefits, a senior agency official told Congress Wednesday. Better Internet access and more online services are easing the transition.
Social Security Administration Rubber-Stamped $400 Billion in Disability Claims A new report details massive waste in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs, revealing how federal judges have rubber-stamped nearly $400 billion in benefit claims, “eroding” credibility in the agency. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report on Tuesday examining administrative law judges (ALJs) who approve disability claims more than 75 percent of the time. The so-called “red-flag” judges approved benefits for 1.3 million people between 2005 and 2013, amounting to $394 billion in lifetime disability payments.