Among the best stories from Retirement Daily for Nov. 18 - 22: Calculating the best age to claim Social Security, the most common retirement planning mistakes, and how to avoid holiday credit-card debt.
It's one of the most frequently asked questions we get from Retirement Daily readers: "When should I claim my Social Security benefits?" In his guest column this week, The Social Security Age Gamble: Claim or Wait?, adviser Keith Whitcomb talks about how to calculate when you should claim your Social Security benefits to get the most money. He writes: According to many financial advisers, you'd be better off waiting until you're 70 to start claiming Social Security, than if you take benefits in your 60s. The logic behind this advice is driven by the typically cited 8% government-guaranteed increase in your lifetime payments for each year you delay, up to age 70. That sounds like a no-brainer, but what's missing from this analysis is the probability of the payoff. I'm not talking about Social Security running out of money to fully fund benefits, although there's speculation about that, too. Rather, I mean the likelihood you will live long enough to benefit from the increased payments that start later in life."
He points out that from an actuarial standpoint, Social Security isn't designed to reward the patient. "It's designed to compensate everyone equally, regardless of when benefit payments begin." So, he asks, does it even matter when you begin taking Social Security? Take a look at some factors that will impact your decision on when to start. Read more in The Social Security Age Gamble: Claim or Wait?
And in case you missed them, here are more great stories from Retirement Daily:
Robert Powell writes: Research seems to support a small portfolio of only 10 to 15 stocks, but the hard part is how to select them for optimal performance.
Underestimating expenses, waiting until the last minute to plan, not investing appropriately and failing to manage risk... When it comes to retirement planning and investing, mistakes matter. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid, or fix, them.
Adviser Lynn Ballou writes: "For a variety of reasons, women statistically continue to outlive men. In our final years, we may or may not have the ability to verbalize specifically what we want for ourselves. And worse, by the time we truly confront what we do want, we may have missed the opportunity to correctly plan for those costs, thus limiting our real choices. Successful retirement planning for women needs to include a detailed focus on the later years --- the years that don't involve as much or maybe any physical and mental mobility. The planning for this time of life should be carved out and viewed separately early on in your planning so that, come what may, you know if your wishes can be met or if you need to change your thinking."
Jeanette Pavini reminds us to not fall victim to the burden of holiday credit card debt. Instead, use cash, use your points and keep an eye on your credit report.
The following are new investments that those saving for or living in retirement might consider for their portfolios. This week: an ETF comprising multiple municipal bond ETFs.
Here are some of the latest reports, surveys, and studies related to retirement, including research into drug prices, reverse mortgages and promoting healthy aging.