Social Security needs more revenue — where should it come from?

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Social Security will need more revenue — where should that money come from?
Instead of raising payroll taxes to fix Social Security's financial woes, the federal government has other options to address the problem, according to this story on MarketWatch by Alicia H. Munnell of Boston College's Center for Retirement Research. "One option is to have the missing interest from the missing trust fund be paid through the income tax —raising the average federal income-tax rate by 2.3 percentage points," writes the expert. That calculation assumes that all the shortfall is covered by an increase in revenues “An alternative is to apply the current combined employee/employer rate to earnings above the cap ($127,200 in 2018), with the tax paid solely by the employer— thereby avoiding the need to provide additional benefits in return for the additional contributions."

Experts analyzed 292 retirement strategies. This one was considered best
Experts say that the best retirement strategy for seniors will entail delaying Social Security benefits until the age of 70, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. This strategy will also allow them to take 3.5% withdrawal from their retirement accounts from age 65 to 70. When they turn 70, retirees should use the required minimum distribution tables to compute their withdrawals from these retirement accounts. They should also continue investing in stocks, particularly a target-date fund or balance fund.

A growing percentage of millennials have absolutely nothing saved
A survey by GOBankingRates has found that millennials aged 18 to 24 had socked less than $1,000 away in their savings account, with nearly 50% of the participants having no savings at all, according to this article on CNBC. A money expert shares a simple formula to determine the amount of savings clients should have a certain age. For example, clients in their 20s should strive to set aside 25% of their gross income. "That 25% is the combination of 401(k) withholdings, matching funds from your employer and any cash savings that you have."

Forget the 4% rule: rethinking common retirement beliefs
The cost of stocks and bonds and the rising longevity of people prompt experts to revisit the commonly-held beliefs about retirement, such as the 4% withdrawal rule, according to this article on The Wall Street Journal. “Retiring now is pretty dangerous,” says a retirement expert with Morningstar. “No one knows what will happen in the future, but among those who make forecasts, there is an expectation for lower returns.”

How to give charitable gifts — and avoid paying tax — in 2018
Although itemizing tax deductions is less valuable under the new tax law, there is still one way for retirees to make charitable donations and get the tax break, according to this article on Forbes. This is possible by donating some IRA funds directly to a charity through a qualified charitable distribution. A QCD is counted towards their required minimum distribution but is excluded from their taxable income, avoiding the tax liability in the process.

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Retirement income Retirement withdrawals Social Security benefits Social Security Alicia Munnell