Many older Americans are hopeful that relief for the retirement crisis might finally be on its way.
Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) recently reintroduced his Social Security 2100 Act.
The bill aims to reform Social Security for lower-income individuals. It also ensures the program will be solvent through at least the year 2100.
Larson’s bill already has 174 co-sponsors. That gives it a reasonable chance of passing in the House.
However, Larson first introduced the bill all the way back in July 2014. He’s spent nearly five years trying desperately to get the House to vote on it.
“Every idea for reforming Social Security, good or bad, has been stifled,” said Larson.
And even if the bill passes the House, it would still have to make it through the Senate. Retirees’ income hasn’t been a top priority there.
For all we know, the bill could sit around in the Senate another five years. And that’s if it comes up for a vote at all.
If you’re like many retirees, you can’t afford to wait for the federal government to fix Social Security. You need help now.
Read on for a few tips on how to save you money or boost your income starting today.
Tip No. 1: Use a budget manager.
Intuit, the company that makes the popular TurboTax software, has a free budgeting website.
Mint.com helps you track and review your daily spending for things like clothes, transportation and dining out. It also organizes your spending into lists and charts.
This website is useful for creating a monthly budget. Perhaps more importantly, it helps you analyze where you’re overspending.
If you’re on a tight budget, then recording every dollar you spend will encourage you to be a little more frugal.
Tip No. 2: Sell or donate your old junk.
Chances are, you have old collectibles, books or other miscellaneous items lying around your house. They might be hiding in a closet or your basement, where you don’t even notice you have them.
Websites like eBay and Craigslist make it easier than ever to earn money while you declutter your home. Simply catalogue your treasures, and find them the best (and most profitable) homes.
Many churches or other groups organize community yard sales. That’s another great (and easy) way to make some cash by getting rid of your junk.
Also, keep in mind that donations to charities such as Goodwill may be tax-deductible.
Just remember to keep records of your donations and get receipts for everything. You’ll need them when you file your tax returns in 2020.
Tip No. 3: Beware of Social Security scammers.
Scammers have a new trick: They pretend to be a representative of the Social Security Administration.
They call or email you threatening to take your benefits away if you don’t give them your private information. They then use that information to steal your monthly checks.
The Office of the Inspector General said there were more than 35,000 Social Security scams reported last year. That’s almost a 1,000% increase from 2017.
If you need to update your information or check the status of your benefits, only do so through channels you know are legitimate.
The Social Security Administration’s phone number is 800-772-1213. Its website is www.ssa.gov.
Advice From a Retirement Expert
If you’d like more retirement tips, financial expert Ted Bauman has 50 of them.
His new book, Endless Income: 50 Secrets to a Happier, Richer Life, shows you how to collect up to $412,000 in extra money each year.
For example, did you know that you can rent out your home for up to 14 days a year without paying any taxes on the income?
Keep up with future editions of Sovereign Investor Daily to learn more about how to have a happier, richer retirement.
Assistant Managing Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing