Financial advisor Ric Edelman is pushing for the federal government to open up Social Security benefits to all citizens 62 years and older without income limitations as part of a broad plan to provide economic relieft during the Covid crisis. 

Edelman also called upon the government to eliminate Medicare’s Part B premium for the remainder of the Covid-19 crisis and allow money in 529 college savings plans and tuition prepayment plans to be withdrawn for purposes other than education free of taxes or penalties.

That is just a small sample of the 36 recommendations that Edelman’s firm has proposed to boost the financial situation for millions of struggling families and the nation’s economy, as a second federal stimulus package remains in limbo.

Edelman, who founded Edelman Financial Engines, one of the nation's largest independent financial planning and investment advisor, said in a statement that millions of Americans continue to struggle to pay for food and medicine as the pandemic rages on. “There are many ways Congress and government agencies can provide relief to families and businesses,” he said.

Edelman acknowledged that some of the recommendations may impact the federal debt, but such concerns must be deferred until the crisis is over, he said in the statement. “When your house is on fire, only one thing matters: Save the house and everyone in it. You can’t fret that firehoses might produce some water damage; deal with that later,” he said.

The policy recommendations, crafted by Edelman’s colleagues, comprising more than 300 financial planners serving about 90,000 clients across the country, covered 10 areas: Social Security, Medicare and health insurance; college, debt, taxes, flexible spending accounts, health spending accounts, investing, IRA and retirement accounts, pensions and first responders and health-care personnel.

In addition to doing away with income limitations for those receiving Social Security benefits from age 62 to their full retirement age, Edelman also called for allowing those 62 and older who have not started receiving their Social Security benefits to be allowed to do so, and then to stop when the crisis is over.

Among the recommendations for debt relief, the proposal calls for mortgage lenders to provide forbearance and the prohibition of evictions through the crisis, and allowing the deferral of payments for student loans, auto loans, business loans, credit cards and utility bills during the crisis, with no interest or penalties assessed against amounts not paid during the freeze.

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