from the Desk of Brian Bickett, CFP®
Keeping your eyes up…
This week’s notable motorcycle article points out that one of the mistakes common to new riders is looking down at either the handlebars or just beyond the front wheel. This prevents the rider from looking ahead at potential obstacles and gives them very limited time to react when those obstacles are invariably encountered. The habit of looking down or at what is immediately in front of them stems from a lack of confidence in their motorcycle riding abilities. Fortunately, this habit tends to decrease over time as their skills grow, allowing them to begin to look down the road.
It is fascinating to me the number of parallels between motorcycle riding and personal finance. Focus on the day-to-day actions long enough to be comfortable in your ability to handle them. And then lift your eyes and look beyond the day-to-day noise to see what is truly important.
Enjoy the ride of YOUR life!
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House Democrats have re-introduced legislation (originally introduced in 2017) that would implement an across-the-board benefit increase of about 2% of the average benefit as well as setting a higher minimum benefit. It would also replace the current index used for calculating the annual Cost-of-Living-Adjustment with one more focused on senior living costs. An interesting inclusion is the raising of the income thresholds for calculating the percentage of Social Security benefits that are taxable. This is expected to reduce taxes for an estimated 12 million Social Security recipients.
The act would help pay for the increases in benefits, and decrease in income taxes, by gradually raising the Social Security portion of the FICA that employees and employers pay from 6.2% to 7.4%. While Social Security payroll taxes are not currently applied to wages above $132,900 for 2018, the act would apply it to wages above $400,000.
It will be interesting to see an independent analysis of how these changes would effect the long-term funding issues currently facing the Social Security program.
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Summary of the 2019 Social Security Trustees' Report Article written by Brian Bickett Earlier than in the past, the Social Security Board of Trustees released their annual report at the end of April this year. The report for 2018 spans 270 pages that go...
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