Page 12 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - October 2016 - 23-10
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Page 12
Senior Times - October 2016
Battle Creek
Comprehensive skilled nursing & rehabilitation services
Experience Makes a Difference.
200 Roosevelt Avenue E Battle Creek, MI 49037
August 1, 2016, marked the 60th anniversary of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Originally, the program was limited to individuals who were age 50 or older. It also had a six-month waiting period, and there were no benefits payable to spouses or children.
The disability program has under- gone many changes to become the program it is today. Now, people who receive Social Security disability bene- fits can also receive Medicare coverage after 24 months, and their dependents may be eligible to receive benefits on their earnings records. There are also work incentives in place to help people with disabilities go back to work.
As of June 2016, there are more than 10 million disabled workers and dependents receiving a portion of the more than $11 billion that is sent each month in Social Security disability pay- ments. It can happen to anyone: studies show that a 20-year-old worker has a
1-in-4 chance of becoming disabled before reaching their full retirement age.
To meet the challenges of provid- ing benefits to so many, the agency has evolved, using technology to operate more efficiently.
Access to online applications for disability benefits, reconsiderations, and hearings have given applicants more service options when applying for benefits. Our health IT initiative allows Social Security to access electronic medical records, including those from the U.S. Department of Defense, which reduces administrative costs, stream- lines operations, and speeds up service to veterans.
Social Security is committed to securing today and tomorrow for our millions of disabled workers. For more information about the disability pro- gram, please visit www.socialsecurity. gov/disabilityssi.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You
can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49525 or via email at
updates on your
Vonda VanTil, Special to Senior Times
Benefits Counseling
One-on-one counseling helps seniors determine best options for prescriptions and health care.
Calhoun County Office of Sr. Services
Region 3B Area Agency on Aging
269-966-2450 or 866-642-4582 Forks Senior Center - 517-629-3842
315 West Green Street, Marshall, MI 49068 Office: 269-781-0846
Fax: 269-781-0770
Vote for Smart
Investment Moves
The presidential election is little more than a month away. Like all elections, this one has generated con- siderable interest, and, as a citizen, you may well be following it closely. But as an investor, how much should you be concerned about the outcome?
Probably not as much as you might think. Historically, the financial markets have done well – and done poorly – under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Also, many factors affecting investment performance have little or nothing
to do with the occupant of the White House. Consequently, no one can claim, with any certainty, that one candidate is going to be “better for the markets” than another one.
Still, this isn’t to say that any given presidential administration will have no effect at all on investors. For example, a president could propose changes to the laws governing invest- ments, and if Congress passes those laws, investors could be affected.
But in looking at the broader pic- ture, there’s not much evidence that a particular president is going to affect the overall return of your investment portfolio. As mentioned above, many factors – corporate earnings, inter-
est rates, foreign affairs, even natural disasters – can and will influence the financial markets. But in evaluating
a president’s potential effect on your investments, you also need to con- sider something else: Our political system does not readily accommodate radical restructuring of any kind.
So it’s difficult for any president to implement huge policy shifts – and that’s actually good for the financial markets, which, by their nature, dis- like uncertainty, chaos and big chang- es.
The bottom line? From your viewpoint as an investor, don’t worry too much about what hap- pens in November.
Instead, follow these investment strategies:
• Stay invested. If you stop invest- ing when the market is down in an effort to cut your losses, you may miss the opportunity to participate in the next rally – and the early stages of a rally are typically when the biggest gains occur.
• Diversify. By spreading your dol- lars among an array of investments, such as stocks, bonds and other investments, you can help reduce the possibility of your portfolio tak- ing a big hit if a market downturn primarily affected just one type
of financial asset. Keep in mind though, that diversification can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.
• Stay within your risk tolerance.
Investing always involves risk, but you’ll probably be more successful (and less stressed out) if you don’t stray beyond your individual risk tolerance. At the same time, if you invest too conservatively, you might not achieve the growth potential you need to reach your goals. So you will need to strike an appropri- ate balance.
• Forget about chasing “hot” stocks. Many so-called “experts” encourage people to invest in today’s “hot” stocks. But by the time you hear about them, these stocks – if they were ever “hot” to begin with – have probably already cooled off. More importantly, they might not have been suitable for your needs, anyway. In any case, there’s really no “short cut” to investment success.
Elections – and even presidents – come and go. But when you “vote” for solid investment moves, you can help yourself make progress toward your financial goals.
This article was submitted by Brent Fast, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Timing counts when it comes to your social security benefit
Social Security can be one of your most valuable retirement assets. The decision of when you start taking your benefit impacts how much you’ll receive.
Call or visit today, and learn how your decision impacts your overall retirement income strategy.
Final decisions about Social Security filing strategies always rest with you and should always be based on your specific needs and health considerations. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website at
Brent D Fast, AAMS®
Financial Advisor
18 West Michigan Avenue, Suite 1a Battle Creek, MI 49017 269-965-8531 | Member SIPC

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