Social Security COLA for 2019: Sort of Like a Soft Drink

Folks who already claim Social Security retirement benefits heard they would get more in their checks starting in January, 2019. Good news indeed! In fact, the Social Security COLA—cost of living adjustment—was quite large: 2.8%. That is the highest increase since 2011. But in real dollars that will be available for retirees to spend, well, […] more



Social Security Solvency: It Better Be Here to Stay

You may recall last month’s blog post, Social Security Solvency: It’s Here to Stay.  In that post, I shared where you can get the numbers to see how the program is working and what the projections are for its longevity.  This month, I wanted more analysis of Social Security solvency in a way to bring […] more

Social Security Solvency: It’s Here to Stay

There are some 45,000,000 retirees collecting Social Security retirement benefits today.  More than half of these folks decided to claim their benefit before their Full Retirement Age or FRA.  In fact, 52% of men and nearly 59% of women pushed the “grab-and-go” button well before the age that is considered officially “retired” by the Social […] more

Early Retirement Offer:  10 Tasks to Tackle Before Saying “Yes”

If you receive an early retirement offer from your employer next week, are you prepared to make such a big financial and personal decision?  Getting such an offer may be a good thing…or a whopping insult.  The reality is that many employers are using early retirement offers as a way to ease us older folks […] more

Bob Bumstead

Retirement and Estate Planning Talks With Dad: Best Father’s Day Gift Ever

By Guest Contributor: Susan Bumstead Chanley, Principal of Crystal Communications Group, a marketing communications consultancy. June has always been a special month for my family.  It’s the month of my parents’ birthdays (they are deceased now) and, of course, Father’s Day. While I’m not known as the family baker, each year I made my dad red […] more

Is It Too Late For An “Old Guy” To Learn Jazz In Retirement?

Los Angeles is quite a place to visit.  Every time I fly over the  mountains and see the sheer sprawl of the area spilling to the edge of the Pacific Ocean, I can’t help but wonder about this area.  Is it possible to retire out here – and would anyone want to?  It’s congested. How […] more

Social Security: Claiming Categories

Where do you fit in Social Security’s 4 claiming categories? April is Social Security education month.  So, let’s learn more about this crazy-complicated, but oh-so-important program that will become the foundation to your retirement income. To help you get your arms around Social Security, I’ll post “Did You Know” articles periodically.  Did You Know #1 […] more

Early Retirement Offer in Your 50s: To Take or Not to Take? That is the Question.

What would you do if you opened your email today and had a note from Human Resources that you are now eligible for an early retirement package?  Would you jump for joy?  Be paralyzed?  Think this was an incredible insult? Many women are facing this real situation, especially in their 50s.  All of a sudden, […] more

In My Retirement Kitchen: Talking About Market Drops and Yo-Yo Diets

Well, it’s here (again).  That dreaded day when the stock market goes barreling downhill like an Olympic Super-G alpine ski racer.  Typical in the investment industry is hyped-up jargon that leads to hoopla and headlines like:  Market Drop – The Largest in Years!  Bear Market – On My!  The Market Plummets! The End of the […] more

Social Security: It’s a Big Financial Decision

Back in 1935 when Social Security made its debut, the government had to all but force older Americans to claim their benefits. Today, the situation couldn’t be more different.  Baby Boomers reaching retirement age can’t wait to get their hands on this benefit.  It seems that everyone knows the earliest you can claim is age […] more

Next Page »