IS A 25% CUT IN SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS INEVITABLE?

   By Kathy Nelson on June 10, 2014


In May 2014 the Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Gross warned a Senate panel that social security benefits could be cut by 25% if Congress does not act soon to correct the problem. He noted that the Disability Insurance trust fund reserves are expected to be at zero by the end of 2016, and suggested that funds could be diverted from the Old Age and Survivors fund to the Disability Insurance fund. However, this could result in both funds depleted by 2033. Warnings that social security will be greatly reduced or disappear altogether appear regularly in the news. I've...


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HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

   By Kathy Nelson on June 10, 2014


What is happiness? If you ask several people what makes them happy, you'll get a wide variety of answers. But everyone seems to know what makes them happy and what does not. Researchers have been trying to narrow the definition of happiness for some time. One thing that researchers have appeared to discover is that about 50% of a person's capacity for happiness is genetically predetermined. So, some folks start out with an advantage. But researchers also found that a person's health is one of the strongest predictors of happiness. Moreover, a person's perception of his/her good health affects happiness,...


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SOCIAL HEALTH

   By Kathy Nelson on June 10, 2014


While listening to the news recently, I heard a summary of a study on health and sociability. The study found that people who spent a large percentage of their time with other people had a lower incidence of chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease than people who spent most of their time alone. For me this research finding just underscored the need to continually broaden my circle of friends and associates. It's easy to become more isolated as one ages. Children move away; friends move away; people pass away. It's easy to become isolated later in life....


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IS RETIREMENT FOR EVERYONE FOR FOR JUST THE RICH?

   By Kathy Nelson on June 10, 2014


In the February/March 2014 issue of AARP magazine, Fidelity Insurance estimates that people who are over age 55 and have worked for the past 10 years have a 401K account that is valued at $269,500. That appears to be a sizable nest egg until you read on and see that Fidelity estimates that a 65 years old couple will need about $220,000 just to cover their medical expenses in retirement. So much for that nest egg hatching your dream retirement! That same article had even more dismal news. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College reports that the typical...


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CAN YOU WORK FOR 40 YEARS AND EXPECT TO NOT WORK FOR ANOTHER 30?

   By Kathy Nelson on May 27, 2014


Life expectancy continues to rise. More and more people will continue to live into their 90's and 100's. I know several people who are enjoying life in their 90's with minimal health impairments. Some are still driving cars. Some are living independently. Others have a son or daughter living with them so they can have a family member close in order to assist with daily living or just to be there in case of an emergency. These older adults worked for about 40 years, saved for retirement, paid off their home loan, and live on social security and an annual...


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