Is delaying Social Security benefits still smart?

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Is delaying Social Security still smart?
When considering the latest market volatility as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many clients may be asking whether claiming Social Security early to defer withdrawals from their retirement portfolio is a sustainable strategy, an expert discusses in this Morningstar article. Nevertheless, it is still advised to avoid this tactic as gains from stocks are unlikely to outpace the 8% increase that Social Security offers for every year that seniors delay, the expert acknowledges. “Setting aside the recent blow to investor portfolios, many individuals may well be concerned about Social Security itself. Of course, concerns over the program's ability to pay promised benefits have been around for a long while, but they're heightened given the federal spending that has been unleashed to alleviate the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Retiring soon? 4 ways to handle declines in your 401(k)
Clients planning to retire soon can offset their 401(k) losses from the ongoing market crisis by boosting their contributions and pushing back their retirement date, according to this article in Motley Fool. They may also consider downsizing, file for Social Security and take on a part-time job. Pre-retirees should also review their asset allocation and reduce their equities if their stock exposure exceeds their risk tolerance.

7 tips for retirees to help ride out market turmoil
Making the most of Social Security is a strategy that retirees are advised to consider in order to weather the market downturn caused by the coronavirus, according to this article in Kiplinger. Retirees can also secure their finances during this crisis by buying an immediate annuity, rebalancing the investment portfolio, paying off debt and adjusting their views on fixed income based on the current market environment, the article says. Retirees who opt for a Roth conversion and take advantage of the RMD suspension this year can also save on income taxes amidst the market volatility.

Elder financial abuse: 7 step checklist to protect our seniors
There are a few moves that families should consider to protect their elderly loved ones from financial abuse, a Forbes contributor writes. Clients can reduce the odds of fraudsters preying on older members of the family by automating the seniors' bills and deposits, using credit cards to cover their expenses, creating a trust and designating a trusted person to supervise their finances, according to the expert. Clients can also protect their elders by appointing a trust protector, a corporate trustee and a guardian to look after them.

How coronavirus may change clients' financial wellness
Amid all of the anxiety stemming from the pandemic, retirement savers may be more engaged with their wealth.

Turning saving into a game can help clients stash away more money
Making use of the elements of the game can help motivate clients to achieve their savings goals, such as building an emergency fund or maxing out their retirement account contributions, according to this article in CNBC. One way to gamify their savings is to create a "ladder" and reward themselves every time they achieve a goal, an expert explains. “The action of earning a reward — something tangible (and sometimes frivolous) — keeps us engaged and excited about saving money even when our daily lifestyle might seem hyper-frugal.”

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Retirement planning Social Security benefits 401(k) Coronavirus Volatility Elder fraud RMDs
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