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Ask Larry: Can Social Security’s Benefit Estimates Be Accurate Without Including 2022 Earnings?

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Today’s Social Security column addresses questions about how accurate SSA’s benefit rate estimates actually can be, the timing of benefit payments each month and taking spousal benefits after retirement benefits. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc.

See more Ask Larry answers here.

Have Social Security questions of your own you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here.


Can Social Security’s Benefit Estimates Be Accurate Without Including 2022 Earnings?

Hi Larry, While using the calculator at ssa.gov, it shows my husband’s estimated full retirement amount. But I see where it is saying there are no recorded wages for 2022, though he worked the entire year.

All the prior years amounts are accurate. It does have an amount they are using, which seems roughly realistic, for future earnings. Is the estimated full retirement amount accurate or is it not because it’s not showing any earnings for 2022? Thanks, Carroll

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Hi Carroll, It’s much too soon to expect anyone’s 2022 earnings to be posted to their Social Security earnings history. The earnings information posted to a person’s Social Security earnings history comes from W-2 forms for wages, and tax returns for self-employment earnings.

So your husband’s 2022 earnings won’t be posted to his Social Security earnings history until sometime after either his W-2 form(s) is issued or his 2022 tax return is received by the IRS.

Social Security generally has prior year wages posted to a person’s earnings history by April or May of the year after the year of earnings, but self-employment earnings can take longer depending on when the person’s files their tax return.

As for whether or not your husband’s benefit estimate is accurate, that depends on his full earnings history. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person’s highest 35 years of Social Security covered wage-indexed earnings, so your husband’s 2022 earnings would only affect his benefit rate is that year was among his highest 35 earnings years.

Also, as you mentioned, Social Security sometimes includes assumed future year earnings amounts when providing estimates, so their benefit estimates are only as accurate as those future year earnings projections turn out to be.

You and your husband may want to consider using my company’s software — Maximize My Social Security or MaxiFi Planner — to ensure your household receives the highest lifetime benefits. Social Security calculators provided by other companies or non-profits may provide proper suggestions if they were built with extreme care. Best, Larry


Do I Need To Contact Social Security About My Payment Date?

Hi Larry, I’m 87 and have been on Social Security for many years. My retirement benefit check has always been deposited on the third of each month but now according to SSA, they will deposit my payment on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Do I need to to contact Social Security? Thanks, Hank

Hi Hank, Only Social Security has access to your records, so if your payment date is changing then you’d need to call them for an explanation. You aren’t allowed to voluntarily change your payment date, however.

What I can tell you is that the rules that determine on what day of the month a person is paid their benefits haven’t changed since 1997. Since that time, the only people who should be receiving their payments on the 3rd day of the month are people who either:

  • People who first filed for benefits before May 1997; or,
  • People who are receiving both Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security payments; or,
  • People who live in a foreign country; or,
  • People whose Medicare premiums are paid by the state where they live.

Everyone else who receives Social Security benefits is paid either on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of the month depending on their day of birth. Best, Larry


Can I Take My Own Retirement Now And Switch To Spousal Benefits When My Husband Retires?

Hi Larry, I was born in 1955 and I want to take my own full retirement this year, until my husband retires at his full retirement age.

Can I take my own retirement now and switch to spousal benefits when my husband retires? I know my spousal benefit will be higher than my retirement benefit but I don’t want to risk any reduction in my spousal benefit. Thanks, Becky

Hi Becky, While you can’t technically switch from collecting your own benefits to drawing spousal benefits instead, you could start collecting your own benefits at full retirement age (FRA) and then apply for an excess spousal benefit when your spouse starts drawing his benefits, and the net effect would be the same.

For example, let’s say Mary files for her Social Security retirement benefits at full retirement age (FRA). Mary’s monthly benefit rate would then be equal to her primary insurance amount (PIA). Several years later, Mary’s husband applies for his benefits, and his PIA significantly larger.

Mary’s excess spousal benefit would then be calculated by subtracting her PIA from 50% of her husband’s PIA. Mary would then be paid her excess spousal amount in addition to her own retirement benefit, making her total benefit equal to a full 50% of her husband’s PIA. Best, Larry


Entrepreneurship

Bitcoin ATM – Learn More About Quick Change Cash to Cryptocurrency

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Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins have become a global currency. They are well-known globally and more popular than traditional money, for example American Dollar.

Bitcoin ATM

This article will tell more about Bitcoin ATMS with zero commissions, how to change crypto to cash in a short time or how to find the most beneficial Bitcoin ATMs.

  1. Bitcoin ATM with 0% commission
  2. Bitcoin ATM can change cash on several cryptocurrencies
  3. How to change cash on cryptocurrency?
  4. Where to learn about bitcoin ATMs?
  5. Is it safe to use Bitcoin ATMs?
  6. What are the Bitcoin ATMs locations?
  7. What are the opening hours of Bitcoin ATMs?
  8. Where can you find some information on exchange rates?
  9. Where can you find some more information on Bitcoin ATMs?

Bitcoin ATM with 0% commission

When you want to buy and sell bitcoin you do not have to pay an additional fee in your area like many different bitcoin ATMs charge (even 8%). Every bitcoin ATM provides transactions with 0% commission. What is more, the clients can get various discounts and enjoy higher exchange rates.

Bitcoin ATM can change cash on several cryptocurrencies

Although Bitcoin is the most recognizable cryptocurrency in the world, there are also other cryptocurrencies worth mentioning. What is more, they are also available in the bitcoin ATM. They are the following: Tether (USDT), Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX) and Ether (ETH). The whole process – it means converting cash to your favourite cryptocurrency lasts a few minutes.

It is very intuitive and every user can change cash to crypto without any problems.

How to change cash on cryptocurrency?

It is very simple to use the Bitcoin ATM. It is similar to withdrawing money from a standard ATM. The first thing you have to do is to insert cash and then scan qr code. Next, you have to select the transaction details (exchange rate and transaction fee) and finally the cryptocurrency is transferred to your wallet.

It is childishly easy to use the bitcoin ATM. As an outcome, it is also popular in Ukraine where the war with Russia takes place.

Where to learn about bitcoin ATMs?

If you want to get some relevant knowledge on bitcoin ATM and how to buy and sell bitcoin and litecoin you should visit the official social media of bitcoin ATM. There is a tutorial for beginners who have never tried the bitcoin ATM and want to know what bitcoin ATMs are.

The popular social media where you can find the information are You tube and Facebook. Furthermore, it is worth watching it regularly to learn more about special offers or unique discounts for anonymous bitcoin buyers and sellers.

Is it safe to use Bitcoin ATMs?

The clients should feel safe during converting cash to cryptocurrency. That is why, the bitcoin ATMs are located in public places, mainly in the shopping malls where the advance monitoring system is provided. What is more, it is also possible to change cash to cryptocurrencies in independent places. However, in those places the doors are locked and the person who is doing the transaction can feel safe.

Bitcoin ATM
photo credit: Sharon Hahn Darlin / Flickr

What are the Bitcoin ATMs locations?

If you need to change cash to cryptocurrency, you have to see the bitcoin ATM map. There you can find all bitcoin ATMs in your area. What is more, you can get some interesting details about the bitcoin ATM. There is provided the name of the city with a detailed address as well as additional information on the bitcoin ATM. Moreover, you can find there also a picture of the bitcoin ATM and available funds to withdraw at the moment.

What are the opening hours of Bitcoin ATMs?

If you are in Madrid, the capital city of Spain you can check the opening hours of Bitcoin ATMs Madrid online. At the same website where you can check the location of a bitcoin ATM, there is some information about opening hours. The majority of bitcoin ATMs are open 24 hours, 7 days a week and they are available in the shopping malls or independent places. However, some of them are available in limited time.

That is why, it is always worth checking the opening hours before you visit the bitcoin ATM.

Where can you find some information on exchange rates?

The exchange rate is the crucial information when it comes to converting cash to cryptocurrencies. However, it is not a problem when you use the bitcoin ATMs. At the website where the detailed address and opening hours are provided you can also find some information about the current exchange rate.

It is worth selecting the place that offers the best exchange rate before you leave your house.

Where can you find some more information on Bitcoin ATMs?

Before you make a transaction at a bitcoin ATM, you should learn more about the bitcoin ATMs. You can do it at the official website of the device or at one of the YouTube channels where the latest information and detailed tutorial are provided.

You should also visit Facebook and Instagram where the latest news is updated and find out that there are more and more bitcoin ATMs in your location.

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Finance

The Future Of Economic And Workforce Development

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Our economic attention currently is fixed on national policy, with growing risks from a debt limit deadlock and debates over inflation versus recession. But economic prosperity also depends on state, regional, and local policy, and now there’s a free guide to some of the best thinking in the field in the newest edition of the Economic Development Quarterly (EDQ).

EDQ is a leading journal overseen by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. It brings together practitioners and scholars through “supporting evidence-based economic development and workforce development policy, programs, and practice in the United States.” (I’m a member of the editorial board, and also a contributor to this new issue.).

The new issue asked experts associated with the journal “what are the key research and policy questions facing economic development and workforce development today?” In order to reach a broad audience, including policy makers, academics, journalists, and the public, the issue is free for a limited time.

There are 15 articles in the issue, and their range and excellence make it impossible to summarize them. Some focus on companies and firms, including how entrepreneurs can be included in economic development, what policies and programs are most effective in supporting businesses and job creation. Other analyze how public economic development and workforce professionals in the field can be most effective in our complex and tangled systems.

Several articles examine changing workforce dynamics. How can policy engage with macro trends like globalization, high housing costs, and changes in commuting and working from home? Can greater inclusion for the workforce be part of an effective economic development strategy? What would economic development look like if it paid more attention to environmental, racial equity, and family and household issues?

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My contribution draws on my new book, Unequal Cities: Overcoming Anti-Urban Bias to Reduce Inequality in the United States. The book outlines how America depends on cities for innovation, growth, and productivity, but also how our political systems—regional, state, and national—are biased against cities.

That pervasive bias holds down both regional and national productivity and growth. And it perpetuates racially stratified inequality in jobs, economic growth, housing, and education.

Wealthy (and predominantly white) suburbs capture the lion’s share of urban economic growth while not paying their fair share of the costs. That ongoing and structural racial bias is perpetuated over time by our public policies and fragmented metropolitan governments. This in turn makes it very hard for cities to address these problems on their own.

I argue that hyper-mathematized models in urban economics divert energy from more empirical engagement on our economic and workforce problems. We need multi-disciplinary analysis of policy, with special attention to how seemingly neutral policies generate racial and other forms of inequality. And we must recognize how our metropolitan fragmentation and segregation hold back shared economic prosperity.

Although there’s a wide range of policy viewpoints in the EDQ issue, all of the authors use research and analysis to help improve the places where we live. That distinguishes this work from much of mainstream urban economics, which is skeptical of place-based policies. Standard urban economics favors individually-based approaches emphasizing education and skills, and encouraging mobility by companies and people.

Of course, education and skill development are essential components of sound policy, and several of the EDQ articles suggest how to improve it. But in the real economy, experts like those at the Economic Policy Institute show our policy bias towards individualized and company-focused approaches hasn’t led to shared prosperity.

Instead, as watchdog analysts like Good Jobs First point out, we far too often see wasted tax subsidies going to firms that don’t need them, without good jobs and other benefits that were promised in return for the tax breaks. Public education mirrors the unequal fragmentation of regional governments, with suburbs creating better education from their higher property tax bases and wealth while core cities struggle to generate adequate educational funding.

So if you’re interested in economic and workforce development, national and regional and city prosperity, and how equity and growth can be combined in public policy, get your free issue of Economic Development Quarterly. I’m proud to be in such distinguished company, and there’s a lot to learn from them.

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Finance

What To Expect From Altria’s Q4?

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Altria (NYSE: MO) is scheduled to report its Q4 2022 results on Thursday, January 26. We expect MO stock to see little movement, with its revenue and earnings aligning with the street expectations. Although the company should continue to see a decline in cigarette volume, given the declining market and higher inflation, pricing growth will likely help offset the revenue loss from volume. While we expect little movement in MO stock based on its Q4 results, it has more room for growth from a valuation perspective, as discussed below. Our interactive dashboard analysis of Altria Earnings Preview has additional details.

(1) Revenues expected to align with the consensus estimates

  • Trefis estimates Altria’s Q4 2022 revenues to be around $5.2 billion, reflecting a low single-digit y-o-y rise and in line with the $5.2 billion consensus estimate.
  • Altria sells its tobacco products in the U.S. Revenue is generated from selling cigarettes, oral tobacco, and smokeless products.
  • While the company is expected to see continued pricing growth, lower volume/mix will likely weigh on its top-line growth.
  • Looking at Q3 2022, the company reported net revenue of $5.4 billion, marking a 2% decline over the prior-year quarter.
  • The decline in revenue can be attributed to lower cigarette volume (down 9%) and the sale of its wine business in October 2021.
  • Our dashboard on Altria Revenues has details on the company’s segments.

(2) EPS likely to be in line with the consensus estimates

  • Altria’s Q4 2022 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) is expected to be $1.17 per Trefis analysis, aligning with the consensus estimate. This compares with the $1.07 figure the company reported in the prior-year quarter.
  • The company’s net income of $2.3 billion in Q3 2022 reflected a modest rise from the $2.3 billion figure seen in the prior-year quarter due to a 90 bps y-o-y rise in operating margin to 58.9%.
  • For the full-year 2023, we expect the adjusted EPS to be higher at $5.11 compared to the EPS of $4.61 in 2021 and an estimated $4.83 in 2022.

(3) MO stock looks like it has some more room for growth

  • We estimate Altria’s Valuation to be around $52 per share, which is 16% above the current market price of $45.
  • At its current levels, MO stock is trading at a little under 9x forward EPS estimate of $5.11 in 2023, compared to the last three-year average of about 10x, implying that it has some room for growth.
  • If the company reports upbeat Q4 results and provides a 2023 outlook better than the street estimates, the P/E multiple will likely be revised upward, resulting in higher levels for MO stock.

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While MO stock looks like it has some room for growth, it is helpful to see how Altria’s Peers fare on metrics that matter. You will find other valuable comparisons for companies across industries at Peer Comparisons.

Furthermore, the Covid-19 crisis has created many pricing discontinuities, which can offer attractive trading opportunities. For example, you’ll be surprised at how counter-intuitive the stock valuation is for Ecolab vs. Philip Morris.

What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Our high-quality portfolio and multi-strategy portfolio have beaten the market consistently since the end of 2016.

Invest with Trefis Market-Beating Portfolios

See all Trefis Price Estimates

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