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12 Ways You Can Get More Money In Retirement

12 Ways You Can Get More Money in Retirement

Here's the bad news: The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit was recently $1,365 per month, or about $16,000 per year, with the maximum benefit for those retiring at their full retirement age recently at $2,687 per month -- or about $32,000 annually. That's more than $160,000 extra just for delaying retiring for a few years. If you're willing and able to work a little in your first few years of retirement, you can generate some helpful income. You might even just work part-time for your current employer. Enjoy dividend income You can generate income in retirement by selling off shares of stock from your stock portfolio over time -- but with dividend-paying stocks, you can collect income without having to sell any shares! Here are a few well-regarded stocks with significant dividend yields: Stock Recent Dividend Yield Ford Motor Company 5.4% Verizon Communications 5% Chevron 4.1% Pfizer 3.8% Cisco Systems 3.6% A dividend-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) can be a fine option, too, offering instant diversification. For example, you could spend less by quitting cable TV and just streaming your video entertainment -- that might save $50 you per month or $600 per year. Believe it or not, you might save hundreds of dollars just by spending an hour on the phone calling insurance companies to get the best current deal on your home insurance and car insurance. You can increase or decrease your benefits by starting to collect Social Security earlier or later than your "full" retirement age, which is 66 or 67 for most of us, and you can make some smart moves by coordinating with your spouse when you each start collecting. Clearly, there are lots of ways that you might increase your income in retirement.
6 Things You’ll Encounter When Taking Over A Loved One’s Finances

6 Things You’ll Encounter When Taking Over a Loved One’s Finances

It's relatively easy if the person's assets are in a revocable trust A decade ago, I received a letter from an elderly cousin informing me that she'd met with a lawyer to set up a revocable living trust, and that she wanted to name me the successor trustee. All I needed to do was to provide the banks with a copy of the trust and a signed statement of incapacitation from her physician. A financial power of attorney is helpful, too Having your assets transferred to a trust is a long process. It gives you the power to sign checks and tax returns, collect and deposit Social Security checks, sell real estate — pretty much everything. First, not everyone recognizes a living trust, but pretty much every bank employee is familiar with a POA. If your loved one is expected to live a long time and will need investments to be liquidated, you'll have to do the legwork to get at least your best estimate as to when stocks were purchased and at what price. If your loved one passes away, those stocks can be liquidated without worrying about what they originally cost. You must prepare carefully for financing nursing home care Before I began helping my loved one with her finances, I lived in a fantasy land where Medicaid or Medicare would pay for all U.S. citizens' nursing home care if needed. Once their money and assets run out, then Medicaid takes over. One surprising rule in most states is that the person needing care can't simply give all their money away and expect Medicaid to pay for the nursing home.