Pension Matters

State Employees Retirement Fund
Most Recent Market Value | Michigan Treasury Bureau of Investments

April 2018

Investment Advisory Committee (IAC) minutes from December, 2017

It was noted in these minutes that “pension performance for the past five and seven years of one of the best rankings against peers.” It was also noted that over the “past three to five years, the plan has the lowest measure of volatility compared to peers, which results in good returns without a lot of risk.”

Copies of the minutes of IAC meetings as well as copies of the quarterly Investment Reports can be found on the Treasury web site at www.michigan.gov/treasury

100 Best Places to Retire in the USA? - Only One in Michigan

U.S. News analyzed date for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US to see how well they meet retirement needs ad expectations. Top criteria included the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and healthcare quality. The only Michigan city listed was Grand Rapids. (Are you listening Lansing?) See the story at https://realestate.usnews.com

Another Pension Fund doing Well

Connecticut’s largest pension funds, the State Employees’ Retirement Fund (SERF) and the Teachers’ Retirement Fund (TRF), recorded investment returns, net of expenses, of 16.51 percent and 16.33 percent for 2017, according to data released by State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier. Read more at https://westfaironline.com

How Tax Changes May Impact Retirees

Tax lawyers, accountants and financial planners are burning the midnight oil trying to figure out all the ins and outs of the new tax law. The men and women of the IRS, given less than two weeks between the day President Trump signed the law and the time most of the new provisions went into effect January 1, are scrambling, too. When Congress approves the most sweeping changes in the tax law in more than three decades, you can bet you’ll be affected. Here are 17 things you need to know about how the new rules affect retirees and retirement planning. Go to www.kiplinger.com

Facebook Fiasco

If you’re not ready to give up on Facebook, you can stop third-party data collection by disconnecting from apps, plug-ins, games, or websites linked to your account.

Keep in mind that those apps and sites may have already gotten data about you, but, you can contact each one individually to request that they remove all your data from their systems. (What a pain.)

You should be leery about any site or app that wants access to you, and your friends’ Facebook data. If they’re asking for data they don’t obviously need, it’s probably a good idea to not give it to them.” I’m not sure they have any reason to ask for data.

To turn off the Facebook Platform, go to Settings, then select Apps from the left column, andclick on the boxtitled Apps, Websites and Plugins.

You can always turn it back on if you change your mind, but you may lose access to the profiles you created using those services once you disconnect them from Facebook. Read more about protecting yourself on Facebook at www.consumerreports.org

Who Needs your SSN?

Not all the people who have been asking for it seems to be the simple answer. According to an article by ByAmy Davis- Reporter/Consumer Expert, here are the places you don’t need to share your number:

  • Doctor’s offices: Your doctor may ask for it on patient forms for billing purposes, but it is not a requirement. Your insurance company bills you by your policy number, so your doctor does not need your Social Security number.
  • School: All children in the US are entitled to attend public school. If proof of identity is required, a birth certificate or passport will do.
  • Applying for a job
  • Purchasing items at a store
  • Purchasing travel

You do need to share your Social Security number in these situations:

  • When applying for state and federal benefits
  • Applying for a driver’s license

If you are in a situation where you are not sure whether you should provide the information, try leaving the line on the form blank. If office staff presses you for it, ask how and why they are using it. Read the complete article at www.click2houston.com

Increasing Price of Medications

Prices for each of the 20 most-prescribed brand-name drugs for seniors have increased dramatically every year for the past five years, according to a new report released by Sen.Claire McCaskill(D-Mo.).

The cost of the drugs, which include brands like Advair, Crestor, Lyrica and Nexium, all increased an average of 12 percent every year for five years nearly 10-times higher than the rate of inflation, the report found. Read more on this issue at http://thehill.com

Stay healthy my friends.

Listen To Your Doctor
Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm. A couple of days later the doctor spoke to Morris and said, “You’re really doing great, aren’t you?” Morris replied, “Just doing what you said, Doc: ’Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.’" The doctor said, “I didn’t say that. I said, ’You’ve got a heart murmur. Be careful.’"..ooh!

Editor’s note: June Morse may be contacted at jmorse10@comcast.net or 517-886-9323.

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