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 →

Playing Poker

“Most decisions we make are under Uncertainty—they’re heavily influenced by luck, or by hidden information.  We fool ourselves into thinking that it’s not so Uncertain.  The Coronavirus is so clearly uncertain that people are more open-minded today, and because of that you can actually learn.  We’re always balancing time and uncertainty.”  Barron’s Magazine – Anne Duke, Poker Champion Every month I look for an idea, revelation or tidbit to write about as it relates to Social Security.  Some months are easier than others and ideas Continue reading →

Accepting & Dealing with Black Swans

A Black Swan – The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology It always amazes me the things that I / we take for granted   What a month we’ve just experienced and continue to experience!  Since the pandemic broke out, we are all searching for a return to a sense of normal, but that doesn’t seem likely in the near term.  The desire for a cure, not just medically, but Continue reading →

Coronavirus & Social Security

It was just over a month ago I was speaking on behalf of the Alliance for Lifetime Income in Del Mar, CA to 300 financial advisors.  Right before I spoke, I listened to the head of their Wealth Management Division highlight last years 42% gain in their equity portfolio, he went on to highlight that all signs looked good for a repeat performance in 2020.  Following such an optimistic forecast I mentioned that we were overdue for a correction and it might make sense to Continue reading →

What’s Your Check Out Date?

If I only knew one’s check out date (DOD) it would be so much easier recommending when and how to claim one’s Social Security benefits!  Since that option is not currently available the only thing we can do is make an educated guess based upon life expectancy tables, current health and family history for both spouses.  As you are quite well aware this is definitely not an exact science and entails a great deal of guess work and I’m positive most of you can appreciate Continue reading →