Based on the emails and comments I receive, there is lots of confusion and uncertainty about how to maximize total Social Security retirement benefits for a married couple. The best strategies allow the couple to leave nothing on the table when collecting benefits now and in the future, including when one spouse dies. I have previously written about the key concepts of Social Security spousal benefits.
Archives for January 2012
I both laughed and cried when I read a recent Forbes article listing five reasons why investing is dead. I laughed at the title but cried when I realized that each of the reasons listed had validity.
Lists are popular with online readers. This is particularly true for those contemplating where to retire. I often link to lists of the best and worst places to retire and comment on them. Often our home state of Tennessee appears on a top 10 “best” list but sometimes on a “worst” list. It depends on how you prioritize retirement criteria. For example, Tennessee is economically favorable for retirement because of its low cost of living and no state income tax.
Now that 2012 has arrived, it’s time to review our retirement planning and financial performance for 2011. Annual performance metrics can be painful to examine when you are in your 60’s because the windows of opportunity are shrinking. If the numbers are bad, the recovery options may be limited to either working longer or accepting a diminished retirement income. So lets look at the data and see where we stand.