You are now in your late 50’s and getting closer to retirement. As you were working, discussions about Social Security benefits have been prevalent in the mouths of the government, the media, family and friends.
Everyone relies on Social Security, but it is especially important to those that are older. Recently, older Americans have been feeling the pressure from wages not increasing and pensions becoming smaller and smaller. This pressure is only likely to grow in the future. How do you make sure that your plans for the future will be viable?
Understanding Social Security Benefits
The good news is that the long-term outlook for Social Security benefits remains the same as a year ago and is projected to remain payable until 2034. Over 60 million Social Security beneficiaries are estimated to receive a 0.2% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2017. Social Security annually determines whether to give beneficiaries COLA based on the inflation rate during the 3rd quarter of the year, compared to the last year a COLA was awarded.
Unfortunately, in 2016, the inflation rate fell for the third time since 2010 and no COLA was awarded for that year. This means that the projected 0.2% COLA for 2017 could change based on inflation. Social Security will not make any final decision until October 2016 (http://www.aarp.org -6/22/16 article- Social Security COLA Projected for 2017 by Eileen Ambrose and Patricia Barry).
Some say that raising the social security age would fix the system, but many professionals do not think so. Gary Burtless, a Senior Fellow at Brookings Institutions, stated that the one percent would be taken care of because they have more income and better health care options. Unfortunately, people in the lower-income brackets, who do not have access to these privileges, would suffer and might not live long enough to get social security benefits and enjoy their retirement (http://www.philly.com – The Philadelphia Inquirer-August 12th article- Raising Social Security age not a fair fix by Erin E. Arvedlund)
Best Practices for Asset Protection for Seniors
People of all ages working towards retirement need to start planning for their future as soon as possible, so that their future financial outlook and health is secure. This means that elders need to prepare for anything that might affect their health or financial security. Once you are prepared, you need to take steps to ensure that your information is secure.
Some ways to ensure that your Social Security benefits and information are secure are:
- Beware of suspicious email “phishing” schemes. Look out for emails with the subject line, “Review Your Social Security Administration.”
- Don’t provide your Social Security number, bank account numbers, and other personal information like account passwords over the internet or phone, unless you know and trust the person requesting the information.
For questions about your social security, contact your retirement planner, a lawyer, the local Social Security Office or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213. To report fraud or abuse contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
Contact the Senior Financial Protection Experts
To ensure that your future retirement is bright and enjoyable, stay up to date on current issues involving Social Security and retirement planning. Remember to prepare for life as an elder and all that comes with aging, so that you and future generations are happy, secure, and taken care of.