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How to Raise Your Social Security Benefit: What If You’ve Already Filed For Social Security?

Increasing your social security benefits is still possible even if you’ve already started collecting.

How to Raise Your Social Security Benefit: Delay Claiming

When you delay claiming your Social Security benefits, it can increase the amount you receive each month. Here’s a look at how the numbers play out.

How to Raise Your Social Security Benefit: Earn More

One way to increase your Social Security benefits is to earn more before you claim.

How to Raise Your Social Security Benefit: COLA

There are several ways to increase your Social Security benefits, but the simplest is through Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs).

Federal Employees and Social Security

If you have ever worked for the federal government, you know there can be confusion about CSRS, FERS, and something called “CSRS offset.” Let’s see how these federal retirement plans interact with Social Security.

The Cost-of-Living Adjustment and What It Means For You

Each year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces the cost-of-living adjustment for the next year. Whether you are retired or not, you should be aware of what the changes mean.

The Three Biggest Mistakes Financial Advisors Make When Working With Women

Most financial advisors were educated in the male dominated investment industry and were taught how to put together a solid investment portfolio. They would often talk "down" to their female client, particularly if the advisor felt the client was not initiated in the ways of the investment world. Rarely did they take the time to cultivate a relationship — they were too busy managing money.

The successful advisor spends the time to educate their female clients and create unique solutions to fit the particular circumstances for each individual. This entails not only educating the client on the plusses and minuses of each option, but also following through after the decision is made to continue to communicate with the client to make sure there is a complete understanding.

Three Mistakes Women Make With Retirement Planning

Most people find retirement planning to be complex and overwhelming. While that's understandable, unless you have a sound retirement plan in place, you're jeopardizing your long-term financial future. 

As a retirement advisor, I've found that women make three common mistakes that can devastate their retirement plans. Fortunately, by being aware of these mistakes - and taking the necessary action - you can potentially avoid these pitfalls, and increase your chances of a comfortable, worry-free retirement.

Why It's Important to Understand the Four Stages of Retirement

One of the biggest mistakes I find that people make is misunderstanding what retirement is. Many think it is the end goal — in other words, they look at the act of retiring as being the finish line. The reality is that there are distinct phases of retirement and as planners we need to understand them and know how to adjust our planning for them accordingly. 

Most people understand the different phases of our working years - we search for something to do after college, start a business, have kids, do the soccer coaching thing, go on vacation with the family, send them off to college (they may even come back) and then we enjoy our alone time while accelerating our savings for retirement. All of these stages are understood, and as planners we have a sense of the time frames and planning strategies to help our clients achieve their specific goals. 

But how well do we do when it comes to recognizing the different stages of retirement and helping our clients achieve those goals? I find that most people don't know what they don't know about retirement, and it is our role to uncover for them the issues they are facing before it derails them. So, what are these retirement stages? And, how can you plan for them? Let's take a brief look at each one. 

How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren with College Costs

As the cost of a college education continues to climb, many grandparents are stepping in to help. This trend is expected to accelerate as baby boomers, many of whom went to college, become grandparents and start gifting what's predicted to be trillions of dollars over the coming decades.