I tried something new this week. One of the benefits of a flexible pre-retirement work schedule is the ability to try new and different non-work activities. I feel that I have a handle on the financial side of our retirement plan. I still need to build confidence that can busy and challenged when I am no longer working. So when an opportunity to explore a new activity comes along, I try to take advantage of it.
Archives for March 2012
My experience as a volunteer tax preparer tells me that there is a lot of confusion among retirees about how Social Security benefits are taxed. This is a significant topic and not just for tax planning purposes. Taxation of benefits is also important to the threshold decision on when to claim Social Security retirement benefits. So let’s review some basic Social Security vs. income tax concepts.
We own stocks, stock mutual funds, and stock ETFs in our retirement portfolio. But the degree of equity exposure in our investments has gradually declined since late 2009. And, even though the market indices have rebounded, I am not inclined to change our exposure. I’m not the only one that feels that way. So why are Americans avoiding stocks?
Today I am writing a little about filing a restricted application for Social Security retirement benefits. I turn 62 later this year but have no intention of applying for an early retirement benefit. I have not yet had any personal interactions with a representative of the Social Security Administration. I have heard from others that when a retiree seeks to apply for benefits, they are told what to do and how to do it but generally that is the extent of it.