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Maximize Social Security Survivor Benefits

Prior to the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Social Security (SS) benefits were quite generous for married (and even for divorced) couples, particularly for those with dual incomes. Spouses were not only entitled to benefits based on their own earnings, but also based on their spouse’s...



The Middle-Class Has Stopped Shrinking But…

The Pew Research Center just released an interesting report on the state of the American middle-class. In 2016 (the latest data available) about 52% of American adults lived in middle-class households. This represents a turnaround in this important demographic group. Previously its size had been steadily declining since 1971...



Is Active Fund Management Always Bad?

The debate between actively and passively managed equity mutual funds has raged for decades.  My position is that the only way that actively managed stock funds can outperform is either by fund managers picking winning stocks in advance or by timing market ups and downs, which requires the consistent...



Social Security Is Lagging Inflation

Social Security is one of the few retirement pensions whose annual payments increase over time based on actual inflation. Few other private or public pensions provide this valuable benefit. Neither do annuities. Unfortunately, the cost of goods and services that seniors predominantly face has collectively risen faster than the...



How Will Inflation Affect You?

You’re probably at least somewhat familiar with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measure of inflation. Considering that this metric is the fundamental driver of government programs ranging from the setting of short-term interest rates to Social Security’s cost of living increases, its importance...



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Cognizant Wealth Advisors is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of California and in other jurisdictions where exempted.