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A Chinese company’s attempt to take over government-backed battery maker A123 raises serious national security concerns, a bipartisan group of lawmakers said this week, adding to growing congressional opposition to the deal. China’s Wanxiang Group Corp is currently competing with U.S.-based Johnson Controls Inc to buy bankrupt A123, which makes lithium ion batteries for electric cars. The government must ensure that any sale of A123’s technology, which has also been used by the military and to support the U.S. electrical grid, does not threaten domestic security, the senators said in letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Energy Secretary Steven Chu […]

Dear Dr. Don, I took a Social Security spousal benefit on my wife’s work record at my full retirement age of 66. I still have a full-time job. I will be 70 March 23, 2013. I realize I can get no further credits past age 70. However, are there any negatives to taking my benefits at 70 in view of my intention to keep working until 75? Do I have to wait until my 70th birthday before filing in order to receive the maximum benefit, or will it be effective Jan. 1 of the year I turn 70. Thank you, […]

Social Security has been a frequent topic of discussion recently with its future financial health in question and many future retirees are wondering if they can count on these benefits to help fund their retirement. According to Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue, Social Security is the largest source of income for most elderly Americans today. But should it be considered a retirement plan? It’s not nearly enough to live on, but the fact that you must wait until you are at least 62 to collect a monthly allotment puts it in that category. However, the benefits are intended to supplement […]

Dear Tax Talk, My husband and I own two rental properties, and we are both involved in managing our properties by doing everything ourselves, including repairs. We have been paying taxes on our rental income for years by filing Schedule E. My primary concern is that I only have a few years’ employment that I can contribute to my Social Security and Medicare. I want to continually do so to get Social Security credits. I found out on the Internal Revenue Service website that I can do it by filing Schedule E as a qualified joint venture. However, it requires […]

It is no surprise that as the baby boom approaches its Social Security years, it is turning the decision about when to start collecting benefits from an automatic move into a major planning and research opportunity. Having intensively looked into car seats and college admissions for their kids and tried to map out careers and 401(k) plans, boomers now will focus attention on squeezing Social Security for all it is worth. “Baby boomers are the first generation that isn’t going to put up with crappy advice,” says William Meyer, chief executive officer of Social Security Solutions Inc (), one of […]

Without question, Social Security benefits play an important role in retirement planning. Experts often cite the three-legged stool as the foundation of a retirement plan, with the legs of the stool consisting of Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement benefits and personal savings. For many people, Social Security benefits make up a large portion of the plan. Knowing how your Social Security benefits are calculated is critical. Calculating these benefits can be complicated, but it’s certainly doable. The first step is to determine whether you are even entitled to retirement benefits in the first place. To be fully insured, you must have […]

On a rooftop terrace blocks from the White House, a collection of former soldiers and intelligence officers, executives and contractors drink to the international private security industry. The past decade – particularly the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – provided rich pickings for firms providing private armed guards, drivers and other services that would once have been performed by uniformed soldiers. But as the conflicts that helped create the modern industry wind down, firms are having to adapt to survive. They must also, industry insiders say, work to banish the controversial image of mercenary “dogs of war” that bedevil […]

Dear Dr. Don, In your recent response to a question from “Karen Choices,” you said: “My recommendation for you is that, at your full retirement age of 66, you claim a spousal benefit based on your ex-husband’s work record, providing that you haven’t remarried. You’ll receive a benefit equal to 50% of what Social Security calls his ‘primary insurance amount,’ the benefit he would receive at his normal retirement age. You’ll earn delayed retirement credits on your work record while receiving the spousal benefit.” My question is: Would this be still true if the wife’s Social Security benefit would be […]

Dear Dr. Don, I’m 65, retired and married. I’m not currently collecting Social Security benefits because my husband and I have considerable yearly income. I’m considering taking Social Security at my full retirement age of 66 — not to spend the money, but to save it. I will receive about $ 2,000 per month, which would be about $ 1,700 after taxes. If I saved this money every month for the four years until I reach 70, I would have more than $ 80,000 in the account. If I then died at age 70, my heirs would receive an additional […]

BOSTON Intel Corp’s McAfee security division is planning to lay off a “small percentage” of its workforce of about 7,100 employees, a company spokesman said on Monday. McAfee spokesman Ian Bain said he could not provide more information about the planned job cuts, which the world’s No. 2 maker of anti-virus software disclosed in response to an inquiry from Reuters. Makers are of security software for personal computers are struggling in the midst of a PC industry slump. They could face increased pressure after October 26, when Microsoft Corp launches its Windows 8 operating software, which will be bundled with […]

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