Roy and I just returned from Florida where we presented several Social Security seminars. One of the things that continues to amaze us, are the number of people that have already claimed their benefits, are confused about their choices, and are not really sure why they did what they did. Considering the fact that Social Security, in most cases, is a permanent decision, you would think people would become more informed before making their choices.
Because you are ELIGIBLE for a benefit, does not mean that taking the benefit when eligible is a good decision for you, your family or your situation. Let me give you an example:
Susan’s husband dies quite unexpectedly at age 62 – Susan is 60. She is told by family that one of the first things she needs to do is go to the Social Security office and file for her Survivor Benefit. Yes, Susan is eligible, but…….if she is working she will experience Earning Limitations, she will take a reduction in her benefit amount for life (28.5%) and her benefit will be automatically eliminated. She may need the money, and that often happens. But, if she doesn’t there are strategies that can be utilized to help her through this process and greatly improve upon her income stream, for life.
People tend to forget that Social Security is a benefit that is based on your earnings history. The Social Security offices does not know to whom you are married, who you have divorced, whether your spouse or ex-spouse has died, whether you have young or disabled children, or whether or not you are taking care of dependent parents. So, if you don’t know the questions to ask, you are probably up the creek without a paddle.
Pillars, LLC, will develop a comprehensive review of your situation. Instead of analyzing your benefit individually, we analyze it collectively, looking at all the questions and variables that need to be answered. This is how you are able to maximize your benefit throughout retirement. On many occasions, we have actually written scripts for clients to take with them to the Social Security office for clarity of the situation. In our customized reports, included is a set of instructions for filing that you take with you to the Social Security office.
You have probably heard the saying “Know Before you Go”; this is so true when it comes to filing for your benefit. You may contact us at www.pillarsllc.com or call 601-954-0699 for assistance.