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What You Don’t Know about Social Security Can Cost You Big Bucks

 If you are 65 or older, most of your income is from Social Security,  52% for the average American. It’s a unique pension: it will last as long as you do, even if you live to be 120 years old. It will keep pace with inflation, the benefit rising each year to match the annual…

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Aging Gets a Bad Rap: Groups Seek Better Public Image

(This story appeared on NextAvenue.org on March 21)   Part of the Transforming Life as We Age Special Report It’s a scary and depressing image of aging: If you are sick or poor and over 65, it’s your own fault because you didn’t do the right things when you were younger. This is a commonly…

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Are you 70 and ready for IRA withdrawals? Take the money this year to avoid a tax trap

You have been fortunate enough to pile up savings in your Individual Retirement Account for all those years at work, and it’s grown to a tidy sum.  At age 70 1/2 , you need to start making withdrawals. Some good advice to avoid tax traps. Remember that you have to make a withdrawal or face…

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Social Security’s Best Strategy for Couples: Max Your Benefits

Social Security is a lot more challenging for married couples than a simple statement to your spouse, “I’m 62 this year and I can get Social Security. Seems like a good idea. I’m tired of working.”

Instead, you need careful planning. The longer you wait, and the better you calculate, and take full advantage of the complex rules, the better you can do for yourself and your spouse. The happy result can be hundreds of thousands of dollars more in your lifetime, especially if you are healthy enough to live into your 90s. Take a 65 year-old married couple. There is a 40% chance that one of them will celebrate a 90th birthday.

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7 Tips to Help You Pick the Best Medicare Advantage Plan

This is open enrollment season, running from October 15 to December 7, when you have a chance to choose  a Medicare Advantage Plan, the type of coverage selected by about 28% of the  50 million people enrolled in Medicare. During open enrollment, you can transfer from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or you…

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