The best age to collect Social Security for the average American

Bottom Line:  This outcome may surprise you.  After reading yet another story extolling the virtues of waiting until 70 to collect your Social Security I decided to dig in and do the math myself because I had a feeling it wasn’t the right thing to do for the average person.  Yes it’s true that the annual payout is significantly higher by 70 than at 62 or 67 but you clearly will have fewer years you’ll be collecting Social Security.  My father turns 70 this April.  Several years ago I calculated the outcome based on age for his situation and it was clear in his case that 66 was the best age for him to begin to collect.  That’s why I had a suspension that the “conventional wisdom” that waiting until 70 was the best option, wasn’t wise for the average person.  So here are my findings. 


·         The average life expectancy in the US is currently just over 78.8

·         I based payout on an average income of $100,000

So let’s see what this would mean: 


·         The payout at 62 would average $19,300

·         The payout at 67 would average $28,300

·         The payout at 70 would average $35,700

So over the course of the average American’s life (with a life expectancy of 78.8 years):


·         The total received with payment starting at 62 would be:  $324,240

·         The total received with payment starting at 67 would be:  $333,940

·         The total received with payment starting at 70 would be:  $314,160

So you don’t need me at this point to draw your own conclusion.  Waiting until 70 is easily the worst option for the average American for two clear reasons.  You earn less and you don’t have the extra income for the additional years you’re waiting to collect. 


·         So 67 is the best age in sheer dollar terms for the average American however

·         I could argue that the extra 5 years worth of collection may be worth earning about $8500 less

If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


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New Year - same trend - housing recovery extends into chilly 2014:


Bottom Line:  The maturing housing recovery led many to worry about whether the housing market was running out of steam near the end of 2013.  If January is an indication the answer is clearly no.  According to core logic…:

       ·         The average price increase year over year in January was 12%  nationally

·         The average price of non-distressed FL property was 17.2%

·         The nationally housing recovery is now 23 months old

·         The Florida housing recovery is now 2 full years old

So the news continues to be good generally and especially closer to home. 

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Stop doing these things to improve your website:

Bottom Line:  A radio exec once told me that before you try to improve a product by doing new things, you should first improve a product by stopping the bad things.   Sounds simplistic but I’ve found it to be an effectual if not profound statement when applied.  There is a new digital marketing guide called the “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website”.  Part of what’s covered in the new guide is what you should stop doing right now on your website.  Among the edicts:

·         End any auto sound on your website.  Whether it’s a video or just audio the guide calls it “annoying and deadly”.  There is sufficient evidence that it’s not only not desired but most users remember the sites with the annoying auto sound and will stay away


·         Pop-ups:  You don’t like them when you’re surfing and neither do your customers


·         Background images:  Keep a clean simple look.  Background images look cluttered and make it more difficult to navigate


·         Speaking of navigation…  Simply your navigation system and make everything simple to see and click.  This is especially true as more people access your site via mobile

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2014 job market for college grads appears to be the best in 7 years:


Bottom Line:  There finally is better news for college grads entering the workplace.  There are many employers eager to tap into the potential of the 2014 graduates.  According to the annual employment survey by the National Association of Colleges:


·         Employer intend on hiring 7.8% more college grads in 2014 vs. 2013

·         The average income being offered is 4.3% higher than 2013 as well

Now these numbers still will have to translate into actual jobs but if they do, 2014 will be the best year for employment for new college grads since 2007. 


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Now for you 2014 grads…  Have your SAT scores handy when you’re applying for a job…:


Bottom Line:  The debate over the use of SAT and/or ACT scores has waged for years.  Many don’t like placing great importance on any standardized tests.  Some say the tests aren’t fair.  Whatever the perspective may be…  They are important to many applying for significant positions at top firms. 

Duke researchers over the course of time have studied the outcomes of those with outstanding SAT scores in the workforce.  It turns out that they perform better in the workplace than those with similar education otherwise.  For that reason key positions at companies like:

·         Bain Capital

·         Goldman Sachs


Just to name a few… will require one to provide an SAT score.  Fair or not the Duke researchers said that it does demonstrate two key traits:


1.       Given a similar education over a similar period of time – who gained the most out of the experience

2.       Given similar education over a similar period of time – who demonstrated the work ethic to retain as much as possible and potentially significantly more than others

In other words it can demonstrate aptitude and work ethic…Both of which can’t necessarily be measured by a degree alone. 

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