In this roundup of the best from Retirement Daily for June 4-8: How financial yoga can help you stretch your retirement assets, why you need to get enough sleep to make good financial decisions, and the annual report from the trustees of Medicare and Social Security. Plus, a whole herd of questions and answers about Social Security claiming strategies.
Retirement Daily guest contributor Andrew Crowell writes that we've all heard about the benefits of stretching for our physical health, particularly as we age. Research shows that regular stretching improves mobility, flexibility, balance and energy. Now that we're living longer, it is also important to point out that stretching our retirement assets can be just as critical for our financial health. A retiree can accomplish this "financial yoga" through careful planning and understanding of all available income streams, all the while balancing cash flow needs with tax sensitivity. Often, this means strategically choosing to take less from retirement accounts that would generate taxable income upon withdrawal in order to allow these sheltered assets to have additional time to compound without the tax impact. Here are smart distribution strategies that can help you make the most of the savings you've worked so hard to accumulate.
Retirement Daily guest contributor Beth Blecker cautions that you may have planned for yourself, but your parents' and your adult children's circumstances could have a big impact on your retirement. It's often called being a part of the "sandwich generation." You're a boomer and you find yourself increasingly obligated to help out your aging parents and possibly your adult children and your grandchildren. Blecker has useful and important ideas on how you can help yourself, the ones you love and keep your family finances (and retirement) intact.
This year's report from the trustees of Social Security and Medicare, released Tuesday, shows Medicare's hospital insurance fund will be depleted in 2026 -- three years earlier than trustees projected last year -- and, as they did last year, federal officials said both the Medicare and Social Security trust funds would be depleted in 2034. For the first time since 1982, Social Security had to dip into its $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits this year. The trustees' report said costs have risen, revenues are down, and an aging population has pressured the program.
Read more about what this really means to the many Americans who depend on these important programs, and learn about the ideas and discussions surrounding ways Medicare and Social Security's finances can be bolstered.
Also in Retirement Daily this week, Robert Powell received -- and found answers for -- many questions about the complexities of Social Security. We keep getting more of these questions every day. And he'll keep hunting down the answers for you. Here are just a few:
A reader, diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, asks if he should reconsider his decision to take Social Security early. Plus, he wants to know about disability and spousal benefits.
A reader asks if she can get spousal benefits while her own benefit builds delayed retirement credits to age 70. She's in for good news. The answer is: "Yes, you can absolutely receive a spousal benefit while your own benefit builds delayed retirement credits to age 70," says Elaine Floyd, director of retirement and life planning at Horsesmouth. "You are eligible to file a restricted application for your spousal benefit because you are over FRA, and you're grandfathered in under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 because you were born before 1954," says Floyd. Floyd also says you should also ask for six months of retroactive benefits, since you reached full retirement age (FRA) more than six months ago.
A reader asks about spousal and survivor benefits from Social Security.
A reader wants to know if her husband will be eligible for Social Security spousal benefits.
More highlights from Retirement Daily this week:
The following are new investments that those saving for or living in retirement might consider for their portfolios: Hartford Funds rolled out an actively managed bond fund that targets dollar-weighted duration of less than three years. The Hartford Short Duration ETF HSRT is managed by Wellington Management Co., which looks to target securities that have attractive yield and total return.
One adviser says there are three key elements to dividend investing: safe dividend payers, dividend growers and high-yield.
Are you getting enough sleep? This week in New Retirement Research, the authors of DEEP Sleep: The Impact of Sleep on Financial Risk Taking write that people who sleep better make better financial decisions. Overall, they write, the results show that there are cognitive deficits in financial decision making by those who have poor sleep habits that can have important consequences.