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What We're Following July 18, 2019

OK - this is basically a Social Security edition, but once I started going down the rabbit hole I felt there was some good content to share in one place.

Can You Receive Social Security Benefits When Retiring Abroad?

Good article that calls out that you can indeed receive social security benefits while living abroad (since many people have opted to retire somewhere else in order to take advantage of a lower cost of living). However, it is not without some restrictions and things to note. For example, if you live in Cuba or North Korea, you will not receive your benefits, but you can recoup them when you move out of those countries. There may be some other nuance in there as well, so the best thing to do is to contact the Social Security Administration and find out specifically how it works for your situation.

Where Are the Best Cities to Live On A Fixed Social Security Income?

This post on Yahoo! Finance talks about some of the measures to assess the best cities where a Social Security check will last longer in the current economy. They looked at median rent, the livability index, and the cost of living score and more and ranked the top 20. Wichita Falls, TX rose to the top and Texas had 7 of the top 20 cities in the list. Indiana was also well represented, but I didn’t see any cities from Connecticut there…hmmm.

Got Social Security Questions - Here’s a Good Resource

This looks to be a regular column with Laurence Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University, author and more. He receives questions and provides some answers to the best of his abilities. Obviously many of the questions have a lot of specifics that need to be considered, but in the examples in this post on he talks through some social security strategies, particularly for those looking at spousal benefits. Social Security isn’t a huge monthly amount, but it is a significant asset long term depending on how long we live after retirement. With that, strategizing and planning around Social Security elections is an important part of anyone’s financial plan. Enjoy the stories and see if the questions help you answer some of your own.

Social Security Scam

Many of us have heard about this story before, but it’s always worth sharing again to make sure the word is out there enough to help reduce the amount of victims that succumb to these kinds of scams. In this case, a gentleman was convinced that he was speaking with a social security agent who had a warrant for his arrest. That arrest could be resolved if he made his account right and paid them restitution - $7,000 was withdrawn and he sent Macy’s gift cards to get it resolved quickly. Of course we know that the Social Security Administration wouldn’t contact people this way nor would they request payment in the form of gift cards, but when emotions are heightened, we don’t always think clearly. AARP Fraud Watch helps spread this information as well, but there are some other good links included in the article to help report and learn about these scams.

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