Survivorship and Widows Benefit Options

  Lately I’ve had several cases pertaining to divorce or survivorship benefits, this can be an extremely confusing due to Social Security law changes that took place back in 2015. Divorced Claiming Options Must have been married for at least 10 consecutive years to the same person Must be currently unmarried If you claim benefits prior to FRA (Full Retirement Age) and are still working, you are subject to the Earning Test (lose $1 for every $2 you earn above $17,640 per year) If you Continue reading →

Do You Drag Chips?

A couple of weeks ago I was up in Ruidoso, NM escaping the Texas heat and we decided to go over to Inn of the Mountain Gods for dinner.  While there I took the opportunity to sneak into the casino to play a little Blackjack.  Now when I play Blackjack I have a predetermined amount of money I’m willing to lose, but I also drag chips if I’m on a winning streak.  Dragging chips means I take chips off the table and put them into Continue reading →


A just released study using Government statistics, published by United Income called “The Retirement Solution Hiding in Plain Sight” highlighted the fact that American’s have lost and are losing $3.4 Trillion or $111,000 per household in Social Security benefits by claiming benefits incorrectly!  Claiming benefits too early is the cause of this loss in lifetime benefits! 40% claim benefits at age 62, while only 4% wait until the optimal age of 70. So why is that so many people make this mistake?  It is my Continue reading →

Taxes and Social Security Benefits

A recent reader asked me to write on the taxation of Social Security benefits, so here goes.  Social Security can be non taxed or partially taxed based upon their income in that year.  The IRS calculation is based upon one’s Provisional Income and includes 1) Adjusted gross income (AGI) without the Social Security income, plus 2) one-half of their Social Security income + tax-exempt bond interest. The first step is to see if Social Security income is taxed by comparing Provisional Income to the attached Continue reading →

How Old Are You?

What’s your date of birth is the first question always asked when I run a Social Security analysis, but is it the right question to ask?  Your chronological age is used to determine when is the earliest you claim, your FRA (Full Retirement Age) allows you to claim without worrying about the Earnings Test and if you delay until age 70 you receive maximum benefits.  But is using one’s Birthday the best or most important parameter as to when to claim benefits? What’s your check Continue reading →


#1 The Only Certainty in Life is Uncertainty #2 Life is Not Fair #3 You Must Play the Hand Your Dealt If I only knew ___________!  It is always easy to look back and say if only I had ________.  Since we do not have that luxury, the only way to navigate life is to make decisions and live our daily lives with what we do know today.  To study, to be open minded, to look at the facts and to make rational decisions, but Continue reading →

Life Happens – Things Change

  March 2019 Newsletter Mistakes are being made, opportunities are being lost and ignorance is not bliss!  In the last month I’ve received several phone calls from clients and referrals regarding Social Security claiming, below is a brief synopsis of several calls; Joe will turn 70 in August 2019, he’s planning on postponing benefits until his 70th birthday.  In March of 2018 his wife had passed away.  Joe did not realize that he could have received survivorship benefits (100% of his wife’s benefits) starting last Continue reading →

Proposed Changes to Social Security Benefits

Dear Friends, This is my first newsletter to clients who’ve retained me, to help them determine how and when to claim Social Security benefits. Over the past 5 years I’ve consulted with over 1000 couples and individuals as it relates to claiming Social Security benefits. I’m doing this because of recent calls and emails I’ve received regarding LIFE CHANGES they’ve experienced (Deaths, Divorce, Health Changes, Financial Issues, Etc.) that could possibly change the advice I gave them initially. Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions as to content Continue reading →

Proposed Changes to Social Security Benefits

With the Democrats now in charge of the House, they recently introduced The Social Security 2100 Act.  I thought it would be timely and appropriate to look at their proposed changes and see how it might affect my ongoing consultations and the clients I serve.  The objective of the bill would be to increase benefits while at the same time increasing the solvency of Social Security for the rest of the Century. Positives Provide an across-the-board benefit increase of 2% of the average Social Security Continue reading →

Multiple New Year’s Factoids

  While cleaning up my desk and inbox over the Holiday’s I came across a number of articles, factoids and issues, I thought would warrant sharing as we start a New Year; Maximum Earnings Subject to FICA taxes has increase from $128,400 to $132,900 in 2019 Meaning an individual who owns their own business and maxes out, will pay 12.4% or $16,479 in FICA taxes in 2019 That is a long way from the $14,100 of earnings subject to FICA in 1975, my 1st year Continue reading →