Individually vs. Collectively

It seems impossible that we have been writing these articles for over a year now. So many great comments and questions have come as a result. Diane will be hosting a seminar on June 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Brandon Library, for Ladies Only. The reason for this seminar is that we are seeing many widowed, divorced and single ladies that do not know how to handle their Social Security situation, and we felt a seminar was in order. “For Your Eyes Only” – please register at the Brandon Library as seating is limited.

One of the most important things that we hope our readers have learned is that the Social Security Administration can give you information, but they cannot give you advice. Each person’s Social Security benefit is based on their individual top 35 years of earnings. Just as a side note, you need to check this against your W-2 as mistakes are made and it will affect your Full Retirement Age benefit. If you don’t have your individual Social Security statement, you need to go online at, set up an account and print out your benefit statement.

For couples, to take these two benefit statements, and implement the claiming strategies that are available to you by law, will give you the greatest improvement in your lifetime income stream….hence, individually vs. collectively. We are not talking about a few dollars; the increase could be dramatic. There are over 2,728 rules and regulations that must be applied and this is not an easy task. Sophisticated software is necessary to provide you with the best result. And of great importance is the timing factor…..when you take your benefit, and when your spouse takes their benefit will greatly affect the outcome of your lifetime benefit. Through a customized report, we will show you 5-7 different ways to file, that will best suit your desires, take into consideration your health and the necessary income stream to maintain a good quality of life. There are also many different options for widowed, divorced and single individuals that can be explored. Without the necessary understanding of the rules and regulations, you are leaving yourself at risk of making a choice that may or may not be in your best interest. And remember, in most cases your decision is permanent.

People think if they both wait until 70 to take their benefit, this is best they could ever do….this is actually not true. You can still improve upon your position with the benefit of a claiming strategy such as File and Suspend or Restricted Application.

Comment we are proud of from Roy and Mary Callahan –“Roy and I couldn’t believe how complicated this Social Security stuff becomes when you try to plan for the future. We just kept putting it off for another day. No, it is not time for us to draw our Social Security anytime soon. Thanks to Pillars, LLC seminars and individual attention, we now have a plan for our future! We will get the most for both of us! Thank you Diane C. Thompson and Roy for taking care of this complicated system!”

Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and can be reached at 601-954-0699 or

Posted on by Diane Thompson

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