social security benefits

3 Simple Ways to Increase Your Retirement Income

A new report reveals the nation's dire state of retirement readiness -- and also how deflated so many people feel about their prospects. But don't just give up: Here are the three key areas where you can squeeze out more money to cover your retirement living expenses.

GOP Issues New 'Fiscal Cliff' Offer to Obama

House Republicans on Monday proposed a new 10-year, $2.2 trillion blueprint to President Barack Obama that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits.

10 Things You Must Know About Social Security

Many Americans will make Social Security the bedrock of their retirement plan, but there's more to the benefit than having a birthday and signing up to get your checks. Here are 10 essentials you need to know to get all the money you're entitled to out of the Social Security system.

What's Happening to Social Security Next Year?

If you're receiving Social Security benefits, your check will rise by 1.7% in 2013, thanks to that program's most recent annual cost-of-living adjustment. If, on the other hand, you're still working and paying into Social Security, your taxes are going back up next year.

A Radical Solution for the Social Security Crisis: Have More Babies!

In the debate over how to keep Social Security afloat, two proposals dominate: Either raise taxes or cut benefits. Neither is an attractive option, but one there is little-mentioned solution that could fix Social Security almost painlessly: Make more cute little Americans.

Social Security Not the Deal It Once Was for Workers

People retiring today are part of the first generation of workers who have paid more in Social Security taxes during their careers than they will receive in benefits after they retire. It's a historic shift that will only get worse for future retirees.

Point: The Complete Overhaul Social Security Needs to Survive

Ahead of AARP's planned "secret" salon on the future of Social Security, we offer two retirement experts' dramatically different proposals for solving the Social Security crisis. Chuck Saletta's view: You can't fix this with "tweaks" and small measures.

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.

Should the Rich Lose Their Social Security Benefits?

For millions of retired Americans, Social Security benefits barely beat earning the minimum wage, while rich retirees who don't need the money receive much larger checks. With the iconic safety net program in budget trouble, should the wealthy be forced to sacrifice those benefits?

Social Security Benefit Is Barely Minimum Wage

Good news: Retirees will get a 3.6% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2012 -- their first boost since 2009. Bad news: The average benefit is $1,229 a month, about the equivalent of working for minimum wage.

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.

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.

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.

Is Social Security Ripping You Off?

In all the hype and emotion surrounding the debate, it's easy to miss the real point about Social Security -- whether it's worth it for most...