2015 Social Security COLA

The official announcement for 2015 Social Security COLA will come in October. With two out of three Consumer Price Index monthly numbers required for the calculation, I can estimate what it will come out to be. Inflation was still low so far this year, but it was higher than the previous year. According to the government, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in August 2014 was 1.7% higher than the same measure a year ago in August 2013. The annual Social Security cost of living [...]

Retiring Early: Effect On Social Security Benefits

Social Security has a flat 6.2% tax rate, up to the maximum wages covered by Social Security ($117k in 2014). Social Security benefits bear some positive relationship with your covered wages and the amount of taxes you paid on those wages. The higher [...]

2015 401k 403b IRA Contribution Limits

The government released the Consumer Price Index for August 2014. Inflation is higher this year but still low by historical standard. Although we don't have all the necessary numbers yet, because the way rounding works, I'm able to comfortably [...]

Stop Using Vanguard Money Market Fund

The SEC released news rules on money market funds last week. Money market funds for retail investors will still keep the $1 fixed NAV. They can impose fees and restrictions when they face liquidity problems. I don't think Vanguard's money market [...]

Social Security Claiming Strategy Calculators Compared

Financial Engines was founded by Nobel laureate William Sharpe. It offers investment advice primarily through workplace retirement plans. Recently Financial Engines launched a free Social Security planner. I test-drove it with some hypothetical [...]

Bonds Had Good Returns: Wrong In CDs?

Both stocks and bonds did well in the first half of 2014, especially bonds. Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund returned 3.9% in six months ended on June 30 whereas Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund returned 7% in the same period. If we get a [...]