April 29, 2016 is a new Social Security deadline. Does it apply to you?

A little know congressional act which became law late in 2015 affects some of the most popular Social Security strategies and may directly impact you.   You need to understand whether or not the new rules apply to your situation and whether you need to take action with Social Security by the April 29th deadline. The rule changes to Social Security are the result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was enacted on Dec. 17th, 2015.  This Congressional Act was not focused on Social Security but nevertheless, impacted many individuals and couples because of a few key provisions within the new legislation.  The act changes the rules in two key areas of Social Security benefits strategies. File and Suspend.  (In this strategy the person making the election is not requesting benefits for themselves, but is only activating benefit eligibility for family members who may benefit from that person’s earnings record) The file and suspend option in Social Security (SS) allowed an individual covered by SS to file for and then immediately suspend their own benefit, thereby making other family members Read on! →

Save for Retirement and Tackle your Student Loans

A recent Forbes.com article entitled “Yes, you can save for retirement and pay your student loans” featured advice by Cheryl Sherrard regarding the desired approach for tackling student debt while also saving for the future. An excerpt from the article follows: Fund your emergency savings account. Once you’re doing the basics in terms of retirement savings and student loan payments, start stashing money in an emergency savings account. If an unexpected event occurs, having a rainy day fund will keep you from borrowing from your retirement account or taking on credit card debt. “You’ve got to have a cushion for emergencies,” says Cheryl J. Sherrard, a certified financial planner and director of financial planning and clearview wealth management in Charlotte, N.C. Increase payments strategically. After you’ve got your emergency account squared away, you can start thinking about the best way to direct any additional funds. If you have high-interest, private student loans, using extra cash to pay those off first is a smart move. If your student loans have low interest rates, you may be off better putting money in the Read on! →