Social Security: Will Investment Income Reduce Your Monthly Benefits?

Most people know that working during retirement can reduce your Social Security benefits. Does investment income do the same thing?

May 18, 2014 at 2:15PM


One reason people are discouraged from taking Social Security early is because outside income can dramatically reduce their benefits prior to "full retirement" at 66. What's important to keep in mind, however, is that this doesn't apply to investment income.

When the Social Security Administration figures out how much to deduct from your benefits before your 66th birthday, it counts only the wages you earn from a job and/or the net profit if you're self-employed. In other words, it doesn't count pensions, annuities, investment income, interest, or other classes of retirement benefits.

The net result is that if you're thinking about retiring early, then there's no reason to be concerned that your Social Security check will be negatively affected by income from your investment or retirement portfolio. To learn more, check out the following video, in which Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield explains the topic further.

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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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