Social Security Spousal Benefits FAQs

Social Security is incredibly complicated and gets even more complex when there are two of you. How and when each of you take benefits can affect your income as a couple by hundreds of dollars a month, yet according to Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 23 percent of workers actually try to maximize their benefits by planning when to claim Social Security.

If you’re one of the 77 percent who haven’t planned ahead,

The 4 Percent Rule and the Protection Game

You may have heard of the 4 percent rule: If you have a diversified portfolio, you should be able to withdraw 4 percent each year during retirement, and still have enough money to last you the rest of your life.

That rule/percentage is generally accepted by the investment community, or at least it was. After Y2K, people began to say it should now be the 2 percent rule, which in essence means you have to have twice as much money.

The Best January Since 1987, But…

The market had an awesome month last month. The S&P and the Dow were partying like it was 1999—or rather, 1987, which was the last time the market hit such highs in January. And 1987 was quite a year. After that spectacular January, the market had a few ups and downs, but the S&P essentially stayed flat until the end of May. Then the Dow plunged in October, and on October 19th, 1987, the Dow fell a record 22 percent in one day.

An Unlimited Upside and a Tolerable Downside

Money Matters’ buy, hold, and sell strategy is designed to enable us to participate in the stock market as long it is going up. We see that as an unlimited upside. The strategy also tells us when the market is trending downward so we can get out hopefully before any major damage is done. It can sometimes predict a bear market that doesn’t happen and there could be a small loss or tax consequences. That’s a tolerable downside,

Why We Operate in Protection Mode (And Why I Think You Should, Too)

I recently received an email from a listener who told me he wants to beat the S&P 500 index.  If you are retired or close to retirement, I don’t think that’s wise. At that stage, I think you should not be looking to grow your investments. I believe you should be in protection mode, where your main goal regarding your investments is the preservation of your standard of living.

At Money Matters, we advise our clients to take only as much risk as is necessary to accomplish their financial goals.