The State of Social Security

The State of Social Security

The annual report on Social Security’s financial condition was recently released, and many are worried about the program’s solvency. The annual cost of the program is expected to exceed its income for the next 75 years starting in 2020. And, the trust fund that covers retirement benefits is expected to be depleted by 2034. This seems grim, but it’s unlikely that the program will disappear. Here are 3 important things about Social Security to keep in mind.

This does not spell doomsday for Social Security

The current projections are based on estimated economic growth, tax collections, inflation, and other factors. If these exceed expectations, the trust fund will last longer. And, even when the reserves run out, the program will continue to receive funding from Social Security taxes indefinitely. It is estimated that taxes will be able to pay for 77% of Social Security benefits for the next 75 years.

Future changes to the program might not affect you

Those already receiving benefits are unlikely to be affected by future changes to Social Security. However, high-income retirees might see changes to their benefit in the future. It’s possible that taxpayers with incomes over $250,000 per year could see their benefits reduced, or taxed at a higher rate. Right now up to 85% of your benefit can be taxed. This could mean that it’s even more important for higher-income retirees to strategize when it comes to tax minimization and Social Security benefit maximization.

There are still strategies you can use to maximize your benefit

Even though there are reasons why you can’t rely solely on Social Security in retirement, it can still provide you with reliable income in retirement. This is especially valuable as lifespans increase. Since there may be changes to Social Security in the future, it’s important to have a strategy for maximizing your benefit. You can do this by working for at least 35 years, because your benefit is based on your average monthly earnings during your highest-earning 35 years.

There are good reasons to take Social Security benefits at any age, but don’t take them earlier than you planned just because you think the program is about to run out of money. If you start collecting Social Security at age 62, your benefit will be reduced. You will receive your full benefit between the ages of 65 and 67, depending on the year you were born, and you will receive 8% more than your full benefit for every year after that you delay. If you wait until you are 70, you will receive 132% of your full benefit, but no more than that if you delay longer.

It can be good to reassess your Social Security claiming strategy every few years, or when new laws are passed or reports come out to check your blind spots when planning for retirement. The professionals at Arlington Capital Management can help you with Social Security claiming strategies based on your unique needs and financial situation, by taking a coordinated approach to planning for your overall lifetime retirement income needs. If you don’t have a plan for when to start taking Social Security benefits or have an outdated plan, click here to schedule your no cost, no obligation financial review today.

 

Important Disclosures

Arlington Capital Management, Inc. (“ACM”) utilizes a proactive asset allocation strategy (“PAAS”) in advising its clients. PAAS combines quantitative-based buy, sell and reallocation indicators, with qualitative research, selecting from US and global securities, in seeking to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns over a long-term investment horizon. As with any investment strategy, ACM has in the past, and may in the future, modify the investment approach and portfolio parameters of PAAS in any manner which it believes is consistent with the strategy’s overall investment objective.  In that light, the following material modifications were made to PAAS: in February 2009 (creation of Universe Trend and Cash Comparison Indicators for trend analysis), June 2009 (creation of Long-Term Momentum Indicator for trend analysis), September 2009 (expanded Asset Class Ranking System and started PAAS computerized testing), December 2009 (creation of Global Indicator Set for buy and sell signals), April 2010 (inception of PAAS Computer Model), October 2010 (implementation of Tactical Indicators and Signals for short term risk management), January 2011 (modify Global Sell Signal with additional criteria including pattern determination), June 2011 (close Global Signals with stop loss criteria), September 2011 (inception of PAAS Long Only Model), May 2012 (modify Global Buy Signal wait period to enhance signal timing), October 2012 (first use of PAAS Stock Model), November 2012 (implement ETF replacement criteria), December 2012 (additional historical data for Cash Comparison Indicators), November 2015 (modify Global Buy Signal with additional criteria), June 2016 (modify Tactical Sell signal criteria), May 2018 (expanded Asset Class Ranking System, Tactical Asset Class Selling, Mini-Buy signal implementation); however, none of these changes modified the objectives or overall investment strategy of PAAS. Rather, as noted previously, ACM made these changes to seek to enhance the manner by which it runs PAAS, and thus each change, individually or in the aggregate, might have impacted the performance of PAAS (either positively or negatively, depending upon the efficacy of the changes(s)) after their implementation.  For more information regarding any of these material modifications, please contact ACM at 855-471-5796.

While PAAS currently is ACM’s primary growth focused investment strategy, ACM also offers a proactive income strategy.  Client portfolios are managed with different weights on PAAS and the proactive income strategy based on each client’s desired risk level (e.g., aggressive, moderate, conservative).

The performance returns and investment portfolios shown on this website are those of model portfolios, which are used to illustrate the hypothetical performance of an account managed using PAAS, and do not represent the results of actual trading using client assets. The performance of the model portfolios has been independently examined by Ashland Partners & Company LLP (“Ashland”), a certified public accounting firm, for the following periods:  PAAS Managed Model for the periods from August 1, 2010, to December 31, 2016; PAAS Managed ETF Model for the periods from October 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016; PAAS Managed Stock Model for the periods from October 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016; PAAS Managed Long Only Model for the periods from September 1, 2011, to December 31, 2016.  A copy of Ashland’s opinion letter is available on request.

The performance of the model portfolios shown reflects the assumptions, views and analytical methods utilized by ACM. Hypothetical or model performance results have certain inherent limitations. Unlike actual performance results, model performance results do not represent actual trading and the results may have under- or over-compensated for the impact, if any, of certain market factors, such as market disruptions, lack of liquidity and the effect of interest rates. There can be no assurance that ACM will take positions for client accounts similar to those taken in the model portfolios.  No representation is being made that any client account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those of the model portfolios shown. There frequently are sharp differences between the hypothetical or model performance results and the results subsequently achieved by any particular trading or investment program. ACM clients have had investment results that have been better or worse than the performance results of the model portfolios shown. The performance results of the model portfolios assume a starting value of $500,000 at model inception, and are shown net of fees and expenses (i.e., an assumed annual investment management fee of 1.50% and brokerage commission applied as follows: Prior to January 1, 2013, transaction prices used are net of commissions; after January 1, 2013 gross transaction prices are used and a $10 commission is assessed per portfolio transaction), and reflect the reinvestment of dividends and other earnings. The model fee of 1.5% is ACM’s highest published asset-based fee, and it is charged to clients with a minimum portfolio size of $500,000.  ACM does provide management services to clients with portfolios ranging from $250,000 to $500,000.  These clients are charged a fixed annual fee of $7,500, which ranges between 1.5% and 3% of their managed assets.  Clients with less than $500,000 to invest should be aware that the fees they pay will be greater than those deducted from the model portfolio, and that the performance shown would be less if the fixed fee were to be deducted.  ACM’s standard fee rates are available: (i) upon request; (ii) on ACM’s website; and (iii) in Part 2 of its Form ADV. The model performance results shown reflect the purchase and sale of securities using the price of block trade execution at ACM’s primary custodian. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Any index information presented was included for comparative purposes, to show general market trends during the periods indicated, and is not intended to imply that any model portfolio is similar to the index (or indices) shown either in composition or element of risk.  The MSCI All Country World Total Return Index is a broad index composed of stocks from the US, Developed International and Emerging International markets.  It is shown for comparative purposes because it represents the areas that PAAS considers for inclusion in the model, however, it should be noted that at any given time, the PAAS model will include securities from a narrow subset of these areas.

The information presented should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. There can be no assurance that any securities discussed will remain in model or client portfolios or if sold will not be repurchased.  The securities listed for each model represent all portfolio holdings in that model as of the date shown.  No list itself includes all securities recommended by ACM as of the date indicated or in the preceding 12 months.  Some accounts managed in accordance with a particular ACM strategy may hold different securities than those listed.  This is generally due to client imposed account restrictions, mandates, substitutions, liquidity requirements and/or legacy holdings, among other things.  The listed securities were not selected for inclusion in this report on the basis of performance.  It should not be assumed that any of the securities discussed have been or will be profitable, or that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or will equal the performance of the securities discussed.  The examples of specific investments are included merely to illustrate the PAAS investment process and investment strategy.  Client portfolios may contain a different number of positions than the examples set forth and accordingly the examples are not intended to indicate overall portfolio performance that has been, or may be expected to be, achieved.

No graph, chart, formula or other device can be used to determine which securities to buy or sell, or when to buy or sell them. ACM makes no representation that any graph, chart, formula or other device shown can assist any person in making their own decisions as to which securities to buy or sell or when to buy or sell them.

An investor should consider risk and volatility in addition to performance when making any investment decision. The risk and volatility associated with PAAS may be significantly higher or lower than the risk and volatility of other investment strategies and/or products.

As with any investment strategy, there is potential for profit as well as of loss. All investments involve some level of risk, and PAAS may not be suitable for all investors. This material does not constitute a complete description of ACM’s investment services and is intended solely for informational purposes. This material is in no way a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities. This material and any model portfolios contained herein do not consider specific investment objectives, financial situations or the particular needs of any individual investor who may view this report. Investors should seek advice from their advisors regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or in accordance with any investment strategy.

All information regarding market or other financial information is obtained from sources that ACM believes to be reliable. ACM makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data provided. Individuals that work for ACM and its affiliates may have long or short positions in the securities referenced, or in related investments.

Any projections, market outlooks or estimates presented are forward-looking statements and are based on certain assumptions.  Other events which were not taken into account may occur and may significantly affect the returns or performance of the model portfolios shown.  Any projections, outlooks or estimates should not be construed to be indicative of actual events which will occur.

For additional information, please contact us via phone at (847) 670-4030, or via email at inquiries@arlington-capital.com.

2019-06-10T17:08:18-06:00 June 10th, 2019|Social Security|