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The strange reason Social Security’s 2020 COLA could be higher than expected

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The strange reason Social Security's 2020 COLA could be higher than expected
An analyst with the Senior Citizens League says that Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment for next year is projected at 1.7%, the biggest over the last 10 years, according to this article on Yahoo Finance. The Social Security Administration's Board of Trustees expect the COLA to be 1.8%. However, the adjustment could even be bigger than current projections because of tariffs associated with the U.S.-China trade war and the tariffs on imported goods from Mexico.

67% of workers get this basic Social Security fact wrong
A survey by the Nationwide Retirement Institute has found that 67% of workers have no idea when they can collect their full Social Security retirement benefits, according to this article on Motley Fool. Of those who don’t know, 57% think they can get it earlier than their full retirement age, the survey found. Advisors should help clients calculate their projected full retirement age to help enable them to boost their lifetime benefits.

Making sense of bankruptcy and retirement plans
Although Social Security benefits are exempted from bankruptcy-related debt repayment, other retirement and disability benefits should also be eligible in the exclusion list, writes Alicia H. Munnell, director of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. Former Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died in 2009, once said it was Congress’ intent to exclude Social Security from debt repayment to ensure that elders spend their retirement in dignity. In order to achieve that, “the bankruptcy code should allow all public retirement and disability benefits provided under programs comparable to Social Security to be excluded from the calculation of average monthly income,” writes Munnell.

The average employer 401(k) match is at an all-time high
Data from Fidelity shows that the average employer 401(k) match hit a record-high of 4.7% this year, according to this article on CNBC. Workers should not leave free money on the table to help boost their retirement savings. “The match is something that’s considered in your overall compensation, so by not taking advantage of it you’re not getting a full freight of what your employer was expecting to pay you,” says a CFP.

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