Changes are Expected for Social Security and Medicare in 2017
For Mark Roberts’ Use: A few months ago, we blogged about the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2017, which at the time was expected to be nonexistent. Experts were predicting that Social Security would not release a COLA in January, and that benefits checks would remain the same.
Now, it looks like there will be an adjustment, but only a very slight one. The current benefits hike is expected to be 0.2 percent, which is quite a bit less than in most years. These are still projected numbers, based upon inflation during the third quarter of the year. If that figure comes in higher or lower than we expected, then the 0.2 COLA could still be adjusted up or down. The takeaway lesson here is that we don’t expect much variation from that 0.2 percent figure.
On the other hand, some Medicare recipients could see a sharp increase in their premiums. This increase will only affect beneficiaries in the higher income brackets, and those who don’t have their Medicare Part B premiums deducted from their Social Security checks. Everyone else will see a very small increase in premiums, amounting to about $2.70 per month.
As always, these announcements are a good reminder that we should all prepare for the unexpected in retirement. Social Security benefits are often adjusted upward to account for the rising cost of living, but that calculation always depends upon the Consumer Price Index. If inflation is calculated near zero, then benefits checks won’t such much or any increases. This is true even when the cost of medical care, which affects seniors more than any other group, continues to rise.
We can help you plan for a stable retirement income, and show you ways to prepare for unexpected medical expenses as well. Give us a call, and we’ll sit down and talk about your retirement income plan.
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In addition to managing clients’ money and giving investment and diversification advice, Mark offers something that “the other guys” don’t - a unique approach to Retirement Tax Strategies and distribution. Time and time again, Mark meets with new clients who tell him they have a great relationship with their financial advisor but have never been offered information on this kind of approach to securing their financial futures. Mark has taken this feedback to heart and works tirelessly to ensure that his strategies focus on taxes and distribution.
Mark started selling insurance for a major insurance company right out of high school to help put himself through college. After graduating with a degree in finance, he dove into estate planning on the financial side to set himself apart from other financial advisors. However, as changes were made to estate tax laws over time, Mark shifted his focus to income tax strategies.
Mark’s philosophy is “the blue prints are more important than the wall paper or carpet.” The wall paper and carpet represent products like investments and insurance policies, whereas the blue prints represent the strategies. Once strategies that truly fit the client’s needs are put in place, our focus can shift to providing you with the right products. According to Mark, “It doesn’t matter what carpet we use if the walls are not in the right place.”
Our approach to money management is designed to generate the largest alpha (quality) with the lowest standard deviation and beta (risk). By doing this, we help provide clients with the highest return on the lowest risk. Generating income for our retirees is also very important. Because withdrawing money from your portfolio hurts the account rather than helping it, our goal is to design income strategies to harm the portfolio the least making the money last longer.