Exploring Options

As we start a New Year, many Americans will make a life altering financial decisions that they will have to live with for possibly several decades.  The decision as to when to claim Social Security benefits is at the forefront of that decision!  Since this is an irrevocable (1 year mulligan) decision it is wise to practice the carpenter’s rule (Measure 3x – Saw once). Case Study Yesterday I met with a couple to discuss Retirement Income Planning, specifically Social Security claiming options and thought Continue reading →

Why Wait?

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve had the distinct honor and pleasure to speak at the TXCPA Society meetings in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.  All three sessions were extremely well attended and the audience was truly engaged in the messaging of WHEN and HOW to claim Social Security benefits.  The one overriding issue is why wait and what is the breakeven period of waiting vs claiming early? One of my slides was titled the 3 Stages of Retirement Go Go Years Slow Go Years Continue reading →

Life Expectancy

Recently I’ve read several articles discussing the falling life expectancy and several clients have asked if that changes my recommendations as it relates to delaying Social Security!  Let’s take a look at Life Expectancy within the USA; From what age is life expectancy measured? Almost every calculation of life expectancy comes from the time of birth!  Now if your 65 years old, Congratulation’s you’ve successfully navigated a lot of the stupid moments and decisions of your youth and avoided a lot of accidents and illnesses Continue reading →

My Advisor Said…..

This past week I went with several friends up to Marble Falls for a couple days of golf, whiskey drinking,  card playing and steak eating camaraderie.  Over one such session, the topic of Social Security arose and two of the guys mentioned that their financial advisors recommended that they wait no longer than Full Retirement Age (67) in their cases to claim Social Security benefits.  When quizzed they both mentioned that they were told it made no sense from a dollar and cents perspective to Continue reading →

Multiple Choice Question is it A – B – C – D

One of the more interesting and challenging questions many WOMEN have is not only when should they claim their own benefits, but what benefits can they claim if they are Divorced – Widowed – Remarried? This applies to men as well, but for this case study I’ll use a recent female client and I’ll call her Alissa; Alissa DOB is 10/16/58 which means she will be 65 next month.  Her PIA (Projected Benefits) is $2918 @ FRA (66 & 8 months).  She thought she was Continue reading →

Everything Matters When it Comes to Claiming Social Security

Over the past 10+ years I’ve had the distinct pleasure to work with several thousand individuals and couples, in helping them determine when and how to claim Social Security benefits.  No two people are alike and thus cookie cutter advice is unacceptable!  According to the Social Security Administration there are over 8,000 claiming strategies available for couples and more than 2,700 separate rules on claiming benefits.  Thus, there is no room for over the counter software, unresearched recommendations or prejudicial decisions when it comes to Continue reading →

Mistakes Made

With the heat outside, many of us are choosing to stay indoors and some are catching up on financial planning issues which of course in some cases includes Social Security decisions.  Two consultations I had are worth exploring and both deal with them receiving bad advice from advisors. Case #1 Mary (not real name) 68 is waiting until 70 to claim her own benefit projected benefit of $3,100 / mo.  Mary was married to Paul for 18 years, but they divorced in 2005.  Paul passed Continue reading →

AI Advice for Claiming Social Security

Last Wednesday while speaking at CPE by the SEA, I was visiting with Kristi Ondracek, CFO TXCPA Houston about how AI will change the accounting field.  In our discussion we wondered what AI would say about when to claim Social Security.  We pulled up ChatGPT and asked when one should claim?  The answer; Deciding when to claim Social Security benefits is a personal decision that depends on several factors. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision: Full Retirement Age (FRA): Your Continue reading →

When should you claim?

Answer:  When is your check out date?  Better Answer:  What’s your joint lives check out date?  If we only knew our check out dates, claiming Social Security would be so easy!  But that begs the question, would we really, really, really want to know?  I’ll error on the side that we wouldn’t want to know, thus we need to look at all the variables before claiming benefits.  This morning I came across article from Think Advisor, as to when you should claim Social Security, these Continue reading →

Why I do what I do!

Over the last 10+ years I’ve been privileged to work with many CPA’s and Financial Advisors in consulting with their clients on Social Security claiming decisions.  I find these consultations extremely enjoyable and rewarding and a great opportunity to use the talents I’ve been entrusted with on my Back 9 Journey.  This last month 2 cases come to mind the really resonate as to why I continue this service. Last summer Freida lost her husband of 47 years, she went to SSA in hopes of Continue reading →