Roy and I were reflecting about our articles over the last two years, and we had to chuckle….when we first started this business, some put us in the same category as salesmen offering a 32% return on your investment. They just didn’t believe that Social Security claiming strategies were available and that we were pulling the wool over their eyes. Now that our government is taking away what we have been trying to educate our community about, the calls are coming faster than ever.
Some of you still have opportunities to improve your benefit status, but if you miss the deadline this time, I am afraid you will be out of luck. If you will turn 66 prior to April 30, 2016 (Tier 1), please pay attention. If you turn age 62 by December 31, 2015 (Tier 2), please pay attention. Even if you have already filed, there are options to improve upon your benefit.
File and Suspend will still be available for you folks in the first tier. This strategy allows a wage earner who is full retirement age or older to file for Social Security benefits and then immediately suspend them. In the meantime, it enables a spouse or minor dependent child to collect auxiliary benefits (Restricted application) worth up to half of the parent or spouse’s full retirement age benefit amount while the wage earner’s benefits continue to grow by 8% per year up to age 70.
In addition to triggering family benefits, the File and Suspend strategy also allows a wage earner to change his or her mind any time before age 70 and request a lump sum payment of all the suspended benefits instead of collecting the delayed retirement credits. This has been a valuable strategy for unmarried individuals who experience a change in their financial condition or health situation.
All of the above needs calculations as you need to know when to file, and coordinate with your spouse’s benefit amount and age. When one of you is in the first tier, and the other in the second tier, it becomes complicated. Please remember that utilizing these strategies will not only improve your individual benefit, but greatly improve the survivor benefit.
REMEMBER – when you file still matters, the rules are still complicated and voluminous, there are combinations of options available, grandfathering in on these options comes with a new deadline, and we can help.
A seminar on this topic will be held on February 2, 2016 at the Brandon Library at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required as seating will be limited. Call us to reserve a seat at 601-954-0699 or visit our website at www.pillarsllc.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.