Do you still need your miles?

And more of the week's best financial insight

An airport.
(Image credit: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

A bad year to turn 60

"Anyone turning 60 this year could face a lifelong reduction in Social Security benefits," said Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times. Wage indexing is used to calculate a person's benefits, taking into account average monthly earnings over the course of a career. That then gets adjusted by an economy-wide "average wage index," which helps the government account for inflation. In general, the average wage index has been beneficial to retirees — "wages tend to rise faster than prices by about 1 percent a year." But this year, wages are expected to take as much as a 15 percent hit as a result of the monthslong economic lockdown. Workers who turned 60 in 2009 faced a similar shortfall that "may have come to $100 a month or more." This year's impact could be three times as costly.

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Do you still need your miles?

"It's time to decide what to do with your airline credit cards," said Scott McCartney at The Wall Street Journal. With fewer people traveling, cards from American Express and Chase that were once popular for early-boarding benefits and mileage are now adding "bonuses for spending at grocery stores and restaurants" to keep people invested. But if you're not planning on traveling soon and you're carrying a "basic airline-related credit card — which typically costs about $100 a year" — it's smart to cancel now. "If you wait two years, you can go back to them with big sign-up bonuses." If you do hang tight, American Airlines' co-branded cards have temporarily brought back "a cherished perk" through December: credit-card spending counts toward lifetime elite status.

Little guidance on checks for dead

The federal government sent more than $1.4 billion in stimulus payments to dead people, said Jason Silverstein at CBS News​. The finding came from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the agency that's auditing "the nearly $3 trillion in coronavirus relief approved by Congress in March." By the end of May, the government had sent direct payments of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples to roughly 160 million people. But the Treasury Department and its distribution service "do not have full access to death records maintained by the Social Security Administration and used by the IRS," so nearly 1.1 million payments went "to people who were deceased." The IRS says "these payments have to be returned, but it's not currently planning to notify more recipients on how to do so."

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