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GAO Report Reveals Why People Claim Social Security Benefits Early

Why would people choose to claim Social Security retirement benefits at the earliest possible age of 62, rather than waiting until their full retirement age (66 to 67 for anyone born in 1943 or later), when doing so would reduce their monthly benefit by as much as 30%? There are many reasons, according to a recent General Accounting Office report titled, "Challenges for Those Claiming Social Security Benefits Early and New Health Coverage Options," including work-related and demographic factors.

The blue-collar blues

The study compared workers in a variety of positions and industries--farming, construction, sales, professional, and managerial, among others--and found that blue-collar workers were much more likely to claim early retirement benefits than others. This may be due to the fact that blue-collar work is typically more physically demanding, and therefore progressively harder as people age.

Why are you paying more at the pump?

Have you ever stood at the pump wondering why you're paying so much to fill up your vehicle? The answer is ... complicated. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), many factors contribute to the cost of a gallon of gasoline, including the price of crude oil (which accounts for the majority of the cost), refining costs and profits, taxes, and distribution and marketing expenses.

How the Windsor Decision Affects Retirement Plans

Spouses of employer-sponsored retirement plan participants have certain rights when it comes to the plans. Because of this, the legal definition of "spouse" is very important to both plan sponsors and plan participants in understanding how a retirement plan works.

On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Section 3 of DOMA stated that the definition of marriage was limited to the union of one man and one woman. The Windsor decision means that federal law recognizes same-sex couples married under state law; same-sex couples are now able to receive federal benefits and protections that were previously afforded only to opposite-sex married couples. The decision does not, however, require individual states to recognize same-sex marriages.

Retirement Myths and Realities

We all have some preconceived notions about what retirement will be like. But how do those notions compare with the reality of retirement? Here are four common retirement myths to consider.

1. My retirement won't last that long

Tips on Travel While Giving to Charity

Do you plan to donate your services to charity this summer? Will you travel as part of the service? If so, some travel expenses may help lower your taxes when you file your tax return next year. Here are five tax tips you should know if you travel while giving your services to charity.

1. You can’t deduct the value of your services that you give to charity. But you may be able to deduct some out-of-pocket costs you pay to give your services. This can include the cost of travel. All out-of pocket costs must be:

• unreimbursed,

• directly connected with the services,

• expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and

• not personal, living or family expenses.

AT&T Announces More Than 150 Jobs Available in New York

AT&T Announces More Than 150 Jobs  Available in New York

Filled More Than 375 Positions Statewide First Half of 2014

AT&T today announced that the company is seeking applicants for more than 150 jobs in New York.  The new hirings will be primarily focused on technical and retail positions and are a result of AT&T’s continued investment in the network and delivering a first-class sales experience.

“AT&T continues to expand its customer base in New York and invest in our network to ensure we are providing the high level of service customers have come to expect, said Marissa Shorenstein, New York President, AT&T. “As part our commitment to this level of customer service and to support our growth in the Empire State we are pleased to have the opportunity to welcome more than 150 residents to the AT&T family.”

IRS.gov has information about the health care law and its effect on your taxes

There is a lot of information in the news and online about the health care law and its effect on your taxes. For the most current answers to questions you may have, visit IRS.gov/aca. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act-Tax-Provisions-Home

From the individual shared responsibility provision to the definition of minimum essential coverage, the IRS website covers a wide range of health care topics and how they relate to your taxes.