Social Security Knowledge Center: People Thought We Were Joking

Roy and I have been educating our communities for over two years now, and many people thought we were joking…..this all sounds too good to be true. Well, with the passage of the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 people are waking up to realize this is not a joke, and that these opportunities are going to go away.

The reason behind these changes was to close a loophole that provided people more income on their Social Security benefits. Congress did allow these changes to be slowly phased out (next 4 years if you qualify). But, the most important deadline is for those turning age 66 by April 30, 2016 (Tier 1). The option to File and Suspend will no longer exist.   If you don’t File and Suspend by April 20, 2016, if you qualify, you will only be allowed to Suspend, which closes the door on many great benefits. This provided you the option of filing for your benefit, immediately suspending it, allowing it to grow at 8% per year until you decide to take your benefits, and also allowing your spouse to collect Spousal Benefits off your benefit amount. This is called the Restricted Application and there are also rules and regulations regarding this option.

The second category is for those that turned age 62 by December 31, 2015. You will still be able to file a Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits if you meet all the qualifications. This is a very beneficial tool for capitalizing your benefits. One party must file for their benefit, but the other party can still file a Restricted Application and allow their benefit to accumulate Delayed Retirement Credits worth 8% per year.

This information is not available at the Social Security offices. By law, they can give you information on your individual benefit, but not on claiming strategies, combination strategies or other options. It is a shame they can’t give you this information, but on the other hand, don’t blame them for something they are not allowed to do. Blame yourself, for not realizing that these opportunities are available to you, and there are professionals that can help you get the maximum benefit available to you.

We are very blessed with so many seminar requests in the upcoming months. Some are private and some are public….call us at 601-954-0699 to reserve your seat. Or if you just want an individual consultation, we can assist with that.

Those that are Tier 2 (turned age 62 by December 31, 2015) need to consider reviewing what options they will have. It makes sense to PLAN out this decision, because the best end result will come with the proper timing of your benefit, understanding the rules and regulations that apply to your situation, and combining your lifetime Social Security benefit with other assets for your best draw down options. Your lifetime benefit will not fluctuate drastically in 4 years….if you continue working it will only get larger, so it is never too early to PLAN and ANALYZE.

Next public seminar is February 2, 2016 at the Brandon Library, 6:00 p.m. Reservations required. Then we are headed to Florida on February 24th and 25th for seminars in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.

Posted on by Diane Thompson

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