SocialSecurity

When You Retire Really Matters

As baby boomers start hitting age 65, putting off retirement for a few years has become all the rage. But even if you're pessimistic about your financial prospects, you may not need to wait as long as you might think to retire securely.

Point: Prepare for a Scary Income Gap in Retirement

Generations of Americans are facing threadbare finances in retirement: Judging by what people say they expect to spend versus what they expect to take in, the disparity between income and expenses will be severe.

Who Really Gets the Lion's Share of Entitlements?

Conservative politicians have spent the past few months venting their ire on America's entitlement programs, and the alleged mass of lazy layabouts who make use of them. But a closer look at who actually lands in the social safety net reveals some surprising facts.

Better Inflation Gauge Shows Why Inflation's Much Worse

One of the biggest threats to your financial health is inflation, which destroys the value of your money. Now, according to the Consumer Price Index, inflation is fairly tame. But if that doesn't reflect your economic reality, the people who created the Everyday Price Index think they know why.

Busted Boomers and Beyond: Living with Less Social Security

At the rate things are changing and in the direction they're moving, the early baby boomers will be the last people to receive both full pensions and full Social Security benefits. If that's not you, you have some extra preparing to do. Here's why, and how:

Why Inflation Is Higher Than It Looks

The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, is only as effective as the assumptions it makes -- in this case, about what you buy. If you spend more on certain things than most people, then the CPI will do a terrible job of reflecting the prices you actually pay. In particular, retirees often don't fit the CPI profile well at all.

The Hidden $1,000 Bonus Obama Put in Your Paycheck

While many Americans are hoping the fellows running for president will give them a tax cut, President Obama has already given all of us one that saves the average family about $1,000 extra a year. So how can you put that bonus to the best use?

Social Security's Failing Even Faster Than We Thought

Last year, the Social Security Administration warned that the program's trust fund was likely run out of money in 2036, leading to deep cuts in benefits. Now, the Congressional Budget Office says that projection may have been too optimistic.

Surprise! Your Tax Burden Is Lighter Than You Think

With all the talk about taxes and whether we should lower them, you'd think that the citizens and corporations of the United States face steep tax rates. You'd be wrong, though. When it comes to taxes, things are not as they appear.

What'll You Do When Social Security's Trust Runs Dry?

In 2036, Social Security's Trust Fund is set to run out of money, after which it's anticipated that the program's benefits will be cut by about a quarter. And if you're likely to be around when that happens, you need a plan to make up the difference.

Get Ready to Pay Thousands of Dollars More in Taxes

Lawmakers have gotten in the habit of waiting until the last minute to extend many tax breaks, but last year, they ran out of time. Now, unless Congress acts soon, millions of Americans are face changes that could leave them sending thousands of dollars a year more to the IRS.

Beware of This Retirement Myth: 'You'll Spend Less'

There's a persistent assumption going around about what happens after one retires -- your spending shrinks. Sure, your house may be paid off by then, and you may be able to ditch some work-related expenses. But that's not the full picture.

Retirement at Never: Are You Doomed to Work Til You Die?

Do you really want to work your whole life? An alarming number of workers think they'll have to -- and that number is rising. More than a quarter of workers age 50 and older expect to retire at 70 or later. Even worse, one in six Americans think they'll never be able to retire.

Why Social Security Is Still Falling Apart

Social Security spent $49 billion more in 2010 than it took in as tax collections. By the time 2011 ends, it expects to outspend collections by another $46 billion. At this rate, the program's much-touted "Trust Fund" is expected to be depleted by 2036; without that fund, benefits are expected to fall to about three-quarters of current promised levels.

4 Ways to Get the Most From Social Security

Most people's big worry about Social Security these days is that it won't be there at all when they retire. But what they should be worrying about is how to boost their benefits down the road. Here are four ways to do that:

Surprise! Here's Where Your Tax Dollars Go

Taxes. We resent paying them, yet, for the most part, they fund things we'd rather not do without. But exactly how much of our money is going to each service? The White House has made it easy to answer that question. So here's a receipt for where your tax dollars are spent.

Not Much for Social Security Recipients

Social Security recipients, 55 million strong, will get a 3.6% cost of living increase next year. There has not been a cost of living increase from the fund in three years. This one is so small that it may harm consumer spending. It certainly won't help -- another likely drag on GDP.

Social Security to Hand Out First Raises Since '09

Social Security recipients will get a raise in January -- their first increase in benefits since 2009. It's expected to be about 3.5 percent. Some 55 million beneficiaries will find out for sure Wednesday when a government inflation measure that determines the annual cost-of-living adjustment is released.

Here's the Next Big Threat to Your 401(k)

It's bad enough the stock market has been beating up on most of our 401(k)s lately. Now, legislators and big thinkers are debating a variety of proposals to reduce the tax benefits of saving in 401(k)-type plans. And the results could be bad for America's rich and poor alike.

What's Going On With Next Year's Federal Budget?

It has been a long, confusing summer for the federal budget: The FAA shutdown, the debt ceiling crisis, the Deficit "Supercommittee." But all of that was just prelude to the battles ahead over the 12 major appropriations bills to fund the government's "discretionary" spending.

Social Security Disability Is in Deep Trouble

There's trouble ahead for Social Security disability recipients: A new analysis says the fund will begin to run out of money in 2017 as more and more baby boomers enter retirement.

Dead or Alive: Thousands Mistakenly Declared Deceased

Each year, some 14,000 people are wrongly declared dead by the Social Security Administration, CNNMoney reports. Data-entry errors can lead to major financial turmoil for victims of these mistakes, who they can lose their benefits and credit.