Marriage and Social Security

  There is an old saying “when it rains, it pours” I’m not knocking rain we are in dire need of several inches or more.  However, 3 times in the last 2 weeks different issues regarding marriage and Social Security benefits have arisen that merit this month’s newsletter. Case #1 What is a Common Law Marriage and how does it affect Social Security Benefits Last week I was referred to a woman who lost your Common Law husband and wanted to determine if she qualified Continue reading →

Rush Limbaugh & Uncertainty

Last week besides the historic cold front that we experienced, Rush Limbaugh passed away at 70 & 1 month.  Had he delayed claiming Social Security until age 70, he wouldn’t even have collected 1 check before passing away!  One might surmise that he should have claimed as early as possible which would have been 66 since he continued working up until his death.  As I’ve always say “if you tell me your check out date, I’ll tell you when to file for benefits.”  Now since Continue reading →

No Cookie Cutters

Just as no two individuals are the same, so too must advice be tailored to the individual.  When the only Certainty in Life is Uncertainty and when everyone has a different Check out Date, it’s imperative that each recommendation on How and When to Claim Social Security Benefits be specifically tailored to the individual and their unique circumstances!  Recently I’ve had a couple of situations that validated this truth. Case Study #1 – Minor Children Joe is 65 and currently claiming benefits under SSDI of Continue reading →

Happy New Year

Well at least 2020 will not soon be forgotten!  As we start a New Year and a new political party takes over at the White House (maybe) we need to project how the events of 2020 might affect Social Security in 2021 and beyond! Social Security Tax Limit / Withholding Taxes The Good News is the rate stayed the same 6.2% the Bad News is that the Social Security Wage Base goes from $137,700 to $142,800.  Thus, a higher earner in 2021 will pay $8,853.60 Continue reading →

No U Hauls to Heaven

I’ve recently had several consultations where the primary objective of my clients was to maximize the amount their beneficiaries will receive upon their demise, thus wanting to claim Social Security ASAP and leave more money to their heirs!  The question then arises is this the best strategy for not only their heirs but also for themselves?  My personal belief is that you should take care of yourself and your spouse (1st and foremost) and if there is anything left at your death, that can be Continue reading →

An Interesting Calculation

In the last month I’ve had 2 extremely interesting conversations regarding maximizing Social Security benefits and minimizing FICA & Medicare taxes.  Many people are unaware that if you continue working after FRA (Full Retirement Age) and receiving Earned Income from your job, you must continue to pay FICA and Medicare Taxes even if you are on Medicare and receiving Social Security Benefits. Now this creates an interesting dilemma in that your Social Security benefits could increase by doing so, but let’s first take a look Continue reading →

Yes it’s Fair

One of the most confusing and misunderstood issues in receiving Social Security Benefits is the WEP and GPO provisions, that relates to individuals who receive pension benefits from a job where they did not pay FICA taxes!  Who we are talking about is mostly are school teachers, police and fire fighters where either the school districts or cities opted out of paying FICA taxes and withholding taxes from their employees.  Almost all individuals feel that these 2 provisions treat them unfairly, thus they want them Continue reading →

Get What’s Yours

Last week I had an gentleman call me on behalf of his 74 year old mother in law,  her husband had died 12 years ago and he was wondering if she was receiving her maximum allowed Social Security benefits?  Unbeknownst to her, she was still collecting on her own record and never switched to survivorship when her husband passed away, since he had not yet claimed on his record.  The good news is we were able to switch to survivorship benefits and go back 6 Continue reading →

Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? – Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I trust this email finds you well?  As I’ve written about several times over the last several years, the only Certainty in Life is Uncertainty and we are definitely experiencing an Uncertain Environment!   I thank God no one, I personally know has contracted the virus and several people who I’ve spoken with knew people who had it, but thankfully they have all recovered.  However, that is of little or no comfort when many have experienced sickness even deaths of loved ones, lost jobs, been furloughed, Continue reading →

It’s Not Fair

How many of you remember when kids were growing up and they had hissy fit or yell session with you or their sibling and the statement was made “it’s not fair!” Well guess what – Life is not fair!  How can we as a country or as individuals have true fairness when none of us are perfect, nor will we ever be!  It’s an acceptance that we are all flawed and will always be so, while we’re on this earth, that is the price of Continue reading →