“IMG_0343” by Dylanlspangler licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

For an introduction to social security retirement benefits, please read this article first. This second article on social security describes additional retirement benefits that may be available to married couples.

If you are married, it is possible that the size of your social security benefit may be larger that what you might otherwise receive based on your own individual contributions into the system.

However, various factors including the Government Pension Offset (GPO) can reduce or eliminate the effect of those additional benefits.

Background

In the 1930s, benefits were established to compensate spouses who stayed home to raise a family and were…


“Social Security Card” by 401(K) 2013 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Social Security Administration (SSA) issues a Social Security Benefit Statement that you may receive in the mail or view online at https://secure.ssa.gov.

However, the statement does not tell the whole story.

Americans are fairly bad at retirement planning, saving only 11% of what they need in retirement. So how awful would it be to depend on social security only to receive hundreds less a month than you thought you were going to get?

Some retirees are dismayed when they receive as much as $480 less per month than what the statement says. This is not deception on the part…


“Young Woman Reads Overlooking Santiago de Cuba — Cuba”
“Young Woman Reads Overlooking Santiago de Cuba — Cuba”
Young Woman Reads …” by Adam Jones, Ph.D.License

You only need to do it once a year. And it just takes a few minutes.

Most of us say we only want a modest retirement. But what is modest? What is your annual income now? How much less would you be happy with? Will your expenses be higher or lower in retirement?

Take fifteen minutes and do a quick review.

Write down your age. Write down your approximate annual income. Go look up your total savings (401(k), IRA, savings accounts, etc.). Write the total down. That’s it. Now just read the rest of this article.

So how much does…

Monte Main

A fair and just society under the rule of law. Freedom of speech, press and religion. Democracy.

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