3 Social Security Secrets You Probably Don't Know

Are you in the know about Social Security's least-known facts? Find out here.

Jan 11, 2014 at 8:36AM

Social Security is an essential part of most people's financial planning for retirement. But many people don't know everything they should about the Social Security program.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at three Social Security secrets that few people know. Dan points out that only 70% of the program's 57 million beneficiaries are retired workers, with disabled workers, survivors, and dependents making up the remainder. He also notes that some state and local government workers don't participate in Social Security, instead having their own separate pension plans. Dan concludes with a reminder that divorced spouses can claim benefits under an ex-spouse's work history under certain circumstances, as long as they were married 10 years or more and meet other requirements.

Don't let Social Security keep secrets from you
Find out everything you can about Social Security, and you'll be in the best position to get the most from it when the times comes. In our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder for You," our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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