Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
Seniors who consider filing for Social Security benefits before the end of the year to avoid a hefty increase in Medicare Part B premium next year are advised to drop their plan, according to this article on MarketWatch. It's because Congress may pass legislation that would change the existing law that triggers such a premium increase. Also, the premium increase is temporary and may even be lower than the increase in retirement benefits that seniors will get for delaying the benefits. –MarketWatch
Clients who want to boost their retirement savings can learn a lot from experienced investors, who relied on simple investing principles to be successful, according to this article on Time Money. For example, E.J. Smith said that investors should not view the stock market as a way of making money, adding that "[w]orking is how money is made—saving and investing is how it’s kept." For Warren Buffett, "[t]he goal of the nonprofessional should not be to pick winners—neither he nor his 'helpers' can do that—but should rather be to own a cross section of businesses that in aggregate are bound to do well.” –Time Money
People have to engage in retirement saving to secure their golden years, and their saving strategy may depend on how old they are, according to this article on CNBC. For example, Americans in their 20s have a long time ahead that will allow their money to grow through compounding, so they may start saving a third of what a 35-year-old should be setting aside, according to a study. Those who are in their 30s may take advantage of investing in a Roth account, an expert says. "The money's going to grow tax-free, and that's very powerful for someone with a 30-year timeframe." –CNBC
The number of people applying for Social Security disability benefits has increased, with processing such claims lasting up to 450 days on average, according to Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll Jr. “Even with the implementation of numerous backlog initiatives since 2007, SSA’s pending hearings backlog had increased significantly, and the [average processing time]” had worsened, the report says. –The Washington Post
Although spousal benefits can help couples maximize their Social Security benefits, what people don't realize is that the lower-earning spouse's earnings record is irrelevant in determining the spousal benefit, writes Jim Blankenship, a fee-only financial planner with Blankenship Financial Planning. For instance, if the higher-earning husband gets $2,500, the lower-earning wife will collect an excess spousal benefit that is 50% of the husband's benefit, Blankenship writes. If a wife of another couple gets $2,500 in full retirement benefit, her husband will receive 50% of his wife's retirement benefit even if the husband has not earned enough to meet the 40 quarter-credits requirement. –The Wall Street Journal