DO I OWE TAXES ON SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME?
According to the official Social Security website, you might have to file with the IRS if individual income exceeds $25,000 or joint income with a spouse exceeds $32,000. You might need to check with state or local taxing authorities to find out if they tax benefits, but many don’t. .
HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT THE PROCESSING STATUS OF A SOCIAL SECURITY APPLICATION?
After you apply online, you can also check your filing status online. You might also choose to call 1-800-772-1213 (for TTY, call 1-800-325-0778).
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM INCOME I CAN RECEIVE FROM SOCIAL SECURITY?
The most you can receive from social security depends upon how old you are when you start taking benefits. For instance, you could receive $2,687 for a 2017 retirement at your full retirement age. At 62, you could get $2,153, and if you delayed retirement until 70, you could collect a maximum of $3,538.
WILL MY POST-RETIREMENT INCOME IMPACT MY SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME?
Earnings only affect social security income before you reach full retirement age. Before that, Social Security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $2 earned for any income over $14,640. In the year that you reach full retirement age, Social security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 that you earn over $38,880. These same limits apply to spouses or children who on your record and employed. You can visit this handy Social Security earnings calculator to help you estimate how earnings will impact your benefits.
ARE DIVORCED SPOUSES ENTITLED TO SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS?
If you were married for a minimum of 10 years, you might receive Social Security income based upon your spouse’s earnings. You typically must not currently be married to somebody else, your spouse has to be entitled to retirement or disability benefits, you must be at least 62 years old for retirement benefits, and of course, you should not currently be entitled to a higher benefit on your own record. You might also be able to collect on your spouse’s benefit early and then delay receiving your own benefits until later.
WHEN CAN YOU APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT INCOME?
You can signup for your benefits three months in advance of reaching retirement age. For instance, if you choose early retirement at age 62, you can signup when you are 61 and nine months old. Your retirement age could vary because of your birthday and if you choose early, full-retirement-age, or delayed benefits. You should also enroll in Medicare three months before you turn 65, retired or not.
FIXED INDEX ANNUITIES
IS THERE A GOOD REASON FOR MY CURRENT SECURITIES BROKER TO TALK ME OUT OF FIXED ANNUITIES?
Your broker might be motivated by a desire to keep your business. If you sell assets that you have with the broker to move them to an annuity, he or she won’t get future commissions on those stocks, bonds, or funds.
IS IT SAFER TO DIVERSIFY MY ASSETS?
Diversification may provide some measure of safety, but even NASDAQ says that investments don’t necessarily obey laws of physics. It’s safest to put at least some assets into guaranteed accounts, like fixed index annuities.
HOW CAN I BE CERTAIN THAT FIXED INDEX ANNUITIES ARE SAFE?
You will have a contract with a life insurance company, and that guarantee is backed by the financial strength of that insurer and the insurance regulations in your state. Each state has rules in place that protect an insurance company’s clients.
SOMEONE TOLD ME MY ANNUITY HAS FEES. IS THIS TRUE?
Current advisors will tell you that all annuities have fees. Variable annuities have fees that average 2.5% per year, but Fixed Indexed Annuities do not have any management or contract administration fees. The primary cost to a fixed annuity is committing the money for a period of time. The insurance company pays us and other advisors a commission which does not come from the client’s money; the commission is paid from the earnings of the insurance company. As long as you do not select an income rider or take withdrawals in excess of the penalty-free withdrawal amount, you will own your annuity and not incur any fees.
CAN YOU BRIEFLY DESCRIBE WHAT A FIXED INDEX ANNUITY IS?
A fixed index annuity, or FIA, uses a market index to calculate return rates. The most common examples of these indexes are the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. At the same time, your FIA will have a guarantee that you won’t ever lose your previous gains or your principal if the market index declines during any year. Many annuities even offer a fixed rate of up to three percent for any year that the market declines in value. In this case, you can actually grow your money when the stock market loses money. Basically, you get the chance to earn high returns when the index rises and preserve your asset if the index falls.
IS A FIXED INDEX ANNUITY THE BEST CHOICE FOR ME?
If you would like a safe place to turn your savings into an income, you might consider a fixed index annuity. You can enjoy both safety and decent return rates. Many people who purchase fixed index annuities plan to use them to provide them with retirement income, but some people also use them to help them save for other financial goals. For example, some folks use a deferred annuity to help plan for a child’s education or to take care of a dependent with special needs. You should plan to put money into an annuity that you won’t need in the short-term.
WHO NEEDS TO BUY LIFE INSURANCE?
If anybody depends upon you for income or services, you can use life insurance as a way to ensure they can keep their assets and enjoy a comfortable standard of living. Many people buy life insurance as a way to protect spouses, children, or even dependent parents or siblings. Some life insurance policies also have useful living benefits that can benefit the policy owner before they die. For example, permanent policies may grow a tax-deferred cash value that you can use while you are still alive.
WHY WOULD I NEED LIFE INSURANCE?
There’s an old saying in the insurance industry that no surviving spouse or child ever regretted the fact that their loved one purchased life insurance. You can use this powerful financial tool to ensure the security of your loved ones if you should pass away. Typically, beneficiaries receive the proceeds from their life insurance policy without having to pay any taxes. You can also leverage some kinds of life insurance as a way to enjoy tax-deferred growth and other benefits that you can use while you are still alive. Life insurance can benefit your survivors and your own financial security.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIFE INSURANCE?
The two basic types of policies are permanent and term life insurance. As the name implies, permanent policies don’t expire and will remain in force as long as they are paid for or paid up. Insurance companies usually issue term policies for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, though other terms are available. You might also consider return-of-premium term life insurance, as these policies return all of the premiums you pay if you survive the term. Many people consider both term and permanent policies at different times in their lives.
SHOULD I BUY MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE?
Knowing that your family can stay in your home is a big relief for many people. Lots of people purchase life insurance after they buy a home, have a baby, or get married. These major life events inspire folks to look for ways to plan for the future. Of course, you may want to consider purchasing more coverage than just the amount needed to pay off your mortgage. For instance, you could also purchase enough life insurance to help your family plan for other costs of homeownership, like utility bills, taxes, and insurance.