Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Monday, December 05, 2011 4:33 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

A reform of Social Security has to be chief among the considerations that younger workers have as they think about retirement planning. A reform plan outlined a year ago by President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission is attracting more attention since the deficit-reduction “Super Committee” failed to agree. Last year’s bipartisan panel, chaired by Erskine Bowles

Wednesday, November 09, 2011 5:29 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

While the congressional supercommittee fights over ways to cut the deficit, the elephant in the room is Social Security, which is 21 percent of the federal budget, but it’s a key part of almost everyone’s retirement planning. Using Social Security’s own actuarial numbers, the National Center for Policy Analysis, a free market-leaning nonprofit, analyzed four

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:29 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

While Congress proposes to fiddle with Social Security, Jerry Golden, an actuary and widely recognized expert in annuities — which is what Social Security really is — has come up with a plan to save money painlessly. Golden believes that as the population grows and the boomer generation passes on, Social Security’s funding problems will

Thursday, July 21, 2011 2:57 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

Keeping up financially with our retired parents could prove to be an impossible challenge for many Americans, especially as we swallow the reforms that will help the country avoid default. Look at it this way, let’s say your parents have a $40,000 per year pension — not an unusual, or even particularly generous, number for many

Tuesday, July 05, 2011 2:34 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

John Turner, who runs the Pension Policy Center in Washington, D.C., thinks he has the answer to making Social Security solvent and a more useful factor in our retirement planning. Turner, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, turns 62 in a week. He recently wrote a book on the future

Thursday, May 05, 2011 3:05 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

The “Notch Babies” aren’t giving up. Notch Babies are the approximately 4 million people born between 1917 and 1921 — ages 85 to 90. In 1972, Congress linked Social Security to the Consumer Price Index to protect it from inflation. Someone made an error in the formula, so benefits were too high. The error was

Wednesday, May 04, 2011 4:12 pm
By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com

At 88, Merton Bernstein, retired law professor and expert on Social Security, is a vocal and persistent supporter of the program and the benefits it offers people living in retirement. He’s all over the Internet, eloquently setting straight people who want to reduce Social Security benefits or who suggest that delaying eligibility is the right