Fixing Social Security

The Social Security Trust Fund is projected to run out of money by 2035.  It means fixing Social Security is now a hot topic.  We’ll share two proposed ideas on this episode of Monday Morning Money.

Video: Fixing Social Security

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The Plans for Fixing Social Security

Social Security 2100

Social Security Expansion Act

Proposed by Senators Peter DeFazio (NY) and Bernie Saunders (VT)

Larger Benefits

Social Security 2100 changes the calculation of your retirement benefits.  The changes result in an increase of about 2%

The language of the Social Security Expansion Act is vague.  It states benefits will increase.

A Different Cost of Living Adjustment

Both proposals would change the cost of living adjustment. They will use the CPI-E.  This measure better accounts for the rising costs for senior citizens.  It gives more consideration to things like prescriptions and medical care.

Less Income Tax on Your Social Security Benefits

The House Bill will reduce income taxes on your Social Security benefits.  Currently up to 85% of your retirement benefits can be taxed.

The Senate Bill does not address income taxes on Social Security benefits.

A Larger Minimum Benefit

Both proposals would increase the minimum benefit to 125% of the poverty level.

Paying For It

The House Bill would gradually increase Social Security taxes. The tax rate will rise from 12.4% of eligible income to 14.8% over several years.  It would also assess Social Security taxes on earned income over $400,000 per year.

The Senate version would tax all earned income, and remove the earnings cap. It would also tax all forms of income for those who make more than $250,000 per year.  This includes things like dividends and capital gains.

More Videos About Social Security

Financial Planning

Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors  He typically works with people who are planning for retirement.  Fleming Watson is a Registered Investment Advisory firm located in Marietta Ohio.  Our firm primarily serves Marietta, Parkersburg, Williamstown, St. Marys, Belpre, Vienna and the surrounding communities in Washington and Noble Counties in Ohio and Wood and Pleasants county in West Virginia.

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What’s the Worst Month for Stocks?

What’s the worst month for stocks?  The answer may surprise you.  It did me.  We’ll spend the next two minutes talking about it and why it matters.  Here’s a hint, it has to do with the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting.  This is What’s Happening Now.

Podcast: What's Happening Now: What's the Worst Month For Stocks? (2:26)

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The Worst Month for Stocks

If I had to guess the worst month for stocks, I would have said January.  As it turns out, August is the worst month for stocks.

Only two months—August and September—have a negative average return.  The rest are positive.

Click on the graph to enlarge

August Has Been Rough – Sometimes.

August has been a bad month for stocks.  But that doesn’t mean you should make any major decisions.  In the past 25 years,  August produced gains in the stock market 17 times. 

Six of the eight times stocks fell during the month, it was ugly. 

Click on the graph to enlarge.

Why does this matter?  The Federal Reserve meets at the end of July.  Most anticipate an interest rate cut.  But if it doesn’t happen, it could start a sell off in the stock market—starting in August.

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Financial Planning

Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors  He typically works with people who are planning for retirement.  Fleming Watson is a Registered Investment Advisory firm located in Marietta Ohio.  Our firm primarily serves Marietta, Parkersburg, Williamstown, St. Marys, Belpre, Vienna and the surrounding communities in Washington and Noble Counties in Ohio and Wood and Pleasants county in West Virginia.

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