FINANCIAL ADVISOR INSIGHTS: A big change may soon be coming for same-sex spouses waiting to collect Social Security

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Spousal benefits might be extended to gay couples (Think Advisor)

Think Advisor reports, attorneys for two plaintiffs asking for retroactive Social Security spousal benefits for same-sex couples said the Social Security Administration will soon begin approving those claims. In a statement, Lambda Legal’s director of constitutional legislation, Susan Sommer said the SSA “will soon announce a change to their spousal benefits policy that could right a wrong for hundreds of same-sex spouses … whose claims are still in the administrative process or in litigation because their home states refused to recognise their marriages.” Neither the Justice Department nor the Social Security Administration has verified Lambda Legal’s claim.

The yen hit multi-month highs (Business Insider)

Weakness in global equity markets provoked a scramble for safety early on in Monday’s session. Currency traders dumped dollars in favour of Japanese yen, causing a spike of more than 4% to stronger than 117.00 yen per dollar. The yen hit 116.18, its best since mid-January, before paring its gains. Currently the yen trades higher by 2.5% near 119.00.

What you can do about student loans (Wealth Management)

Paying off student loans present a problem for not just recent graduates, but also older generations as well. Wealth Management says while student loan borrowers aren’t allowed to refinance their loans through the government they can do so through private firms, which are offering variable and fixed rates between 1.90% and 9.00%. However, those who choose to go that route need to be aware they will no longer qualify for the federal government’s income-based repayment plan and other built-in protections. Federal borrowers can consolidate their loans, but should be aware the rate will be determined by a weighted average.

Preparing clients for incapacity (Financial Planning)

Financial Planning says incapacity can strike at any age so there is no better time than now to discuss the subject with your clients. Data from the US Department of Health and Resources shows nursing home costs are averaging $US82,490 per year and are continuing to climb, making it important to start thinking about the issue of incapacity as soon as possible. Anne Tinyo, national manager of Wells Fargo Private Bank’s life management services program, says clients should be prepared to address “wealth and financial needs, but also their medical, legal, physical and psychosocial needs.”

An interview with Nick Murray (Financial Advisor)

Financial Advisor spoke with financial writer and commentator Nick Murray about the current state of the markets. Murray doesn’t think markets aren’t overvalued saying, “At 16 or so times forward 12-month earnings, valuations were just a tad above their 25-year average. I never bought the overvaluation argument.”According to Murray, “If one has cash to be deployed for long-term goals, it should be invested before nightfall. Before noon, if possible.”

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