A piece I read recently on Yahoo Finance boldly declared in its headline that “Social Security Has No Place in Budget Discussions.”

I agree totally with this headline and the legislative language that confirms the same.

Just as in the corporate world, management is not able to tap your pension plan reserves or 401(k) accounts to fund a new line of business, to build a new home office, or to pay the executives. The same limitations must apply to Congress and the president.

Programs like Social Security should be self-supporting. I’ve got my own set of fixes for Social Security, none of which tap other government budgets or programs.


The Motley Fool shared “3 Ways to Score Tax-Free Retirement Income,” an eye-catching title if ever there was one.

While “tax-free” is nice, there are other ways to lower your bill.

As I wrote about in my Financial Literacy blogs, there are also tax-deferred and tax-favored investments.

If you ignore those, you may not be maximizing your spendable (after-tax) income.

This is a smarter goal than simply minimizing your tax.


I’ve recently been seeing a rise in retirement income articles geared toward caregivers, like this one in USNews that provides “4 Important Financial Tips for Caregivers.”

There are both emotional and financial burdens for the caregiver, so it makes sense to see to the planning needs of a caregiver as well as the individual needing care.

As relates to the latter, smarter planning and open conversations between the two generations can lead to a better result.

For example, do you draw upon the equity in your house to fund a third-party caregiver or leave the house unencumbered to your daughter-caregiver?

Or does the parent purchase late-in-retirement income in return for a smaller bequest?

Consider these trade-offs. Or at least talk about them.