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Category: Social Security

Getting the most out of Social Security

July 30th, 2019 by

At Sensible Financial we spend a lot of time thinking about and advising on Social Security. A search on our website yields over a dozen articles. For most Americans, Social Security is their largest asset. (If it is not your largest asset it is still likely to be a very large asset). Choosing when you […]

The Importance of Creating a my Social Security Account

November 14th, 2018 by

For at least a year now, Sensible Financial has been advising its clients to create and then “lock down” their my Social Security Account. This account is located on the Social Security Administration’s web site, Since September 29, 2018, your my Social Security account has been the only way to apply for Social Security and Medicare benefits online. Whether you are creating this account, or logging into an account you previously created, the web site […]

How Much Can I Plan on Social Security?

November 17th, 2017 by
can i plan on social security

In my first article on Social Security, I described how the program works and reviewed the program’s financial standing over the last thirty years. In my second article, I examined the financial future of Social Security and the policy changes necessary to shore up the program’s long-term finances. Here, I outline Sensible Financial’s new projections […]

What it Will Take to Fix Social Security’s $12.5 Trillion Shortfall

September 25th, 2017 by

In my previous article, I describe how the Social Security program works and examine the program’s financial standing over the last thirty years.  Currently, Social Security is running a small annual surplus, paying benefits as scheduled, and trust fund reserves are larger than they’ve been in decades.  At a glance, everything appears A-ok. However, the […]

How Social Security’s Coming Insolvency Will Affect You

August 24th, 2017 by
Social Security Trust fund receipts and expenditures vs year

It is no secret that the Social Security program is financially unsustainable.  Based on current projections, too little cash is coming in to cover future benefit payments.  The first page of your Social Security Statement (the document reporting your lifetime earnings history and estimating your future Social Security benefit) states that “by 2034, the payroll […]

Just How Good is Social Security, Anyway?

August 26th, 2016 by

Axel Börsch-Supan, a German expert on public pensions, spoke at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Retirement Research Consortium in Washington, DC earlier this month.  He offered an implicit framework for how public pension systems should work. He suggested that these systems should: Be operationally transparent Automatically adjust to changes in the supporting economy Not […]

The Other One Percent, Part Three (The Value of Waiting)

March 29th, 2016 by

This Part 3, of a 3-part series, read the other parts here: Part 1, Part 2. In my previous two articles, I talked about both the relatively small number of Americans who delay receiving Social Security until age 70 (the age that would maximize their benefit), here, and how a breakeven analysis of Social Security […]

The Other One Percent – Part II

February 29th, 2016 by

This is Part 2, of a 3-part series, read the other parts here: Part 1, Part 3. In my previous article, I noted the (surprising) fact that although most financial planners recommend people delay filing for Social Security until age 70, when the benefit will be highest, only about 1% of Americans actually do this. […]

The Other One Percent

January 26th, 2016 by

This is Part 1, of  3-part series, read the other parts here: Part 2, Part 3. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about “the one percent.” And while income inequality is an important topic, I want to talk about “the other one percent.” This is not an article about Thomas Piketty or tax policy. […]

How to Fix Social Security (According to the Presidential Candidates)

December 21st, 2015 by

Social Security is not in crisis, but the coming inability of Social Security taxes to cover benefits is close enough (2033-2034) to have prompted most presidential candidates to take a position. Republicans want to close the gap by reducing benefits. Democrats want to close the gap by increasing tax revenues. The enacted solution is likely […]