Social Security, Healthcare Costs and More.

Did you know that social security beneficiaries can have as many as 150,000 options to consider when making their benefit elections? That’s right, according to Laurence Kotlikoff, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Boston University you might need to consider as many as 150,000 options in order to receive your maximum benefit. Dr. Kotlikoff has co-written a book entitled, Get What’s Yours, The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. He and his team have also authored software designed to help social security beneficiaries maximize their benefits. We have purchased Dr. Kotlikoff’s software and incorporated it into our financial planning process. Our financial planning clients now receive step by step recommendations to consider regarding their social security benefits as part of their financial planning reviews.

Healthcare inflation is less now. Kaiser Permanente is the largest managed care organization in the United States. They have 9.6 million health plan members, 177,445 employees, 17,791 physicians, 49,778 nurses, 38 medical centers, and 620 medical offices, and they have recently completed a study of healthcare cost growth. They determined that the average premium increase for covered workers with family coverage was a bit over 11% per year between 2000 to 2005. However, from 2005 to 2015 the average increase has been a bit less than 4½% per year. Yay! The full report and a Summary of Findings can be found here.

Want a bigger brain? “Conclusion: Our results suggest that lower CV [cardiovascular] fitness and exaggerated exercise BP and HR responses in middle-aged adults are associated with smaller brain volume nearly 2 decades later. Promotion of midlife CV fitness may be an important step towards ensuring healthy brain aging.” This is the conclusion from a recent study published in The Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In other words, don’t neglect your regular exercise. We stay busy with important activities, but we MUST include regular exercise among them.

Can a computer or robot do your job? According to a new report, the answer is probably, “Yes.” “…the risks of job automation to developing countries, estimated to range from 55% in Uzbekistan to 85% in Ethiopia…including China and India (77% and 69% respectively)…nearly half of U.S. jobs could be at risk…” These are some of the conclusions offered by Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions in their report called Technology at Work v2.0. How does this information affect global economic circumstances and asset values? Investors must consider possible answers to this question as we navigate today’s investment waters.

Want to see some impressive new technology? Take a look at this state of the art augmented reality 3D holographic imagery. The whale thing is just amazing!

Coming soon: A look at volatility in the capital markets.

How The Internet Changed My LifeSchwab year end tax documents should be posted soon, probably this week. Our clients can sign into the Schwab Alliance website here. If you should have any difficulty you can call Schwab Alliance at 800.515.2157. This phone number reaches a dedicated service team specifically charged with providing assistance for clients of Schwab Institutional. (That’s us.)


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