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The Gassman View and You

A day in the life: how thinking about retirement today can help you down the road Thumbnail

A day in the life: how thinking about retirement today can help you down the road

Imagine that you’re playing a game of Charades and you’ve been assigned the task of communicating the process of retirement planning using only a series of gestures. Do you reach for your imaginary calculator and frantically punch numbers into thin air while transmuting the imaginary results onto your imaginary blackboard? Recognizing what a lousy hand that you’ve been dealt, do you secretly wish that you’d have drawn the stroke-victim card instead?

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Budgeting with Purpose: why a budget is important and how to make one Thumbnail

Budgeting with Purpose: why a budget is important and how to make one

Developing a budget may seem a near perfect manifestation of drudgery, which in turn may help explain why so few people expend their time and energy creating one. While budgeting is not an especially creative endeavor (after all, who wants a creative budget?), the effort can pay dividends by placing you more firmly in control of how your money is being allocated.

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Social Security in Four Parts - Part 4: Effective Claiming Strategies Thumbnail

Social Security in Four Parts - Part 4: Effective Claiming Strategies

Social Security benefits serve as a foundation that many Americans will rely heavily on in retirement. Program benefits provide one-third of total income for the elderly population and more than half of the income for a staggering 48% of those over age 65. Yet, despite this heavy reliance, 90% of Americans begin collecting Social Security benefits (at a steep reduction) before attaining their full retirement age.

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Social Security in Four Parts  Part 3: Benefit Categories Thumbnail

Social Security in Four Parts Part 3: Benefit Categories

The Social Security Act of 1935 and its amendments created four categories of benefits, each based on the earnings records of a covered worker, and each designed to provide a basic level of economic security. In the third segment of our four-part series, we’ll focus on retirement benefits that are linked to the earnings of an individual worker. Benefits for disabled workers and the dependents and survivors of a covered worker constitute the remaining categories. These benefits, along with those for unemployed workers, are products of the original Act and serve as important pillars of economic security for millions of Americans.

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Social Security in four parts - Part 2: Eligibility and benefits Thumbnail

Social Security in four parts - Part 2: Eligibility and benefits

In part two of our summary of the Social Security program, we’ll discuss the qualification requirements for retirement benefits, how they are calculated and adjusted, the point at which beneficiaries attain their full retirement age (FRA), and important rules for early or delayed filing. Our final segments will provide a summary of the types of benefits available, and some simple strategies that can help readers maximize their benefits.

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Social Security in Four Parts - Part 1: history and future Thumbnail

Social Security in Four Parts - Part 1: history and future

The Social Security Act was signed into law on August 14, 1935, creating a social insurance program to pay retired workers age 65 and older a stable income after retirement. Enacted in the midst of the Great Depression in response to crushing poverty and a shift from agrarian self-sufficiency to post-industrial urbanization, the original Act sought to provide Americans with protection against the “hazards and vicissitudes of life”. Since its inception, millions of Americans have received benefits from the program, yet despite strong public support, the program has faced a series of funding challenges that continues to threaten its existence.

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Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft Thumbnail

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

While certainly not a new problem, identity theft is a growing concern and consistently ranks as one of the top categories of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission. As our lives become increasingly busy and complex, and more information than ever is stored and transmitted online, it is more important than ever to protect our personal information. Here are some simple and effective ways to do that.

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