Thanks to so many of you as clients, referral sources, colleagues, family members, friends and part of my “inspiration dream team,” Lauber Financial Planning is now 4 years old!
People come to me for ideas, suggestions and alternatives to improve their financial situation or, at the very least, for me to give them a confirmation that they’re doing okay. In that spirit I share with you the following tidbits.
Ms. Carin Marks from the Social Security Administration presented at a recent meeting of the Financial Planning Association of WNY. Here’s what I have to share with you about that presentation:
- The most pressing issue most people have is determining the “right” time to retire and, in relation to that, when to take Social Security benefits. (This message brought to you by Captain Obvious.)
- It is important that you establish your “My Social Security” online account not only to obtain estimates but to prevent hackers from setting up an account in your name (yikes!). To do this, simply go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
You need a valid email address, your Social Security number, and a U.S. mailing address.
Be sure to clear your computer’s cookies before and after setting up your account and visiting the site.
- Social Security benefits are calculated using the figures from your 35 highest income years.
- You can work while receiving Social Security benefits, just know that if you are not yet full retirement age, your benefits are reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $15,480 (2014). The year you reach FRA your benefits are reduced by $1 for every $3 you earn above $41,400 (2014). Once you reach FRA, there are no limits to your earnings; your benefits are not reduced.
- You may take benefits as early as age 62 but delaying the start of your benefits allows your benefit amount to increase by about 8% per year until you are age 70 (there isn’t any benefit to delaying after age 70). As a financial planner, delaying benefits is a tough sell; most people view it as “a bird in hand.” Creating a financial plan may help you better understand your particular financial situation and options so that you can make a confident decision.
- Attention those of you who became parents at an older age, if you are receiving benefits and have a child under the age of 18, s/he receives benefits, too!
Coming This Fall:
Couples’ Retreat for Financial Harmony
I am in the planning stages for a special getaway for you and your beloved to get on the same page financially, learn each other’s values, priorities, goals and fears, and have some fun (and chocolate!). Watch my website under the “Events” tab, my Facebook page and future newsletters and emails.
And if one of the areas you and your beloved conflict is about budgeting, but you find that your grocery and gas bills continue to climb, it’s not just you; 50% of American say they’re paying more for groceries this year versus last year. The “I HATE Budgeting (But I Like Having Money)” support group starts up again Saturday, September, 6th 10:30am. Location TBD (either Lauber Financial Planning or Dog ears Bookstore & Cafe).
The Partnership For Philanthropic Planning reports that “On July 17, 2014, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4719, the America Gives More Act, a package of five tax provisions aimed at increasing charitable giving. Notably, H.R. 4719 includes a retroactive and permanent extension of the current-law IRA Charitable Rollover.”
- This means that if you wish to share some of your assets with a non-profit organization and are at least age 70 1/2, you can directly rollover up to $100,000 from your IRA to a charity of your choice.
- The rollover amount does not get distributed to you as taxable income and you do not take a charitable deduction on your income tax return.
- This strategy might be appropriate for those of you who can no longer itemize your tax deductions, those whose Required Minimum Distributions may cause more of your Social Security benefits to become taxable, and/or if your RMDs are more than you need for your income.
- Please note that the rollover does not count against your current year RMD amount, but your account balance will be reduced by the rollover for the following year’s RMD calculation. Please discuss this with your financial, tax, and legal advisory team.
Summer Reading: For those of you who would like to purchase my book for yourselves or those you love, if you’re in Western New York you can obtain copies from me directly, from Dog Ears Bookstore & Cafe (a wonderful place on Abbott Road in South Buffalo), Talking Leaves Elmwood, and Wegman’s stores. If you’re purchasing online, please go to Barnes & Noble. I also donated a copy to the Our Lady of Charity Summerfest’s Chinese auction July 25th & 26th (even if you don’t win, it’s a really fun time!).
And for those of you who enjoy Parade magazine’s “What People Earn” issue, have a gander at this map of the minimum wage and average earnings for various careers for each state in the United States.
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If you belong to a group who is looking for speakers, please contact me directly via phone (716) 430-1634 or email for scheduling and rates. You may also check out WNY Speakers.