With the passage of the Bi-Partisan Budget Act on November 2, 2015, age became a determining factor concerning options in the Social Security world.
Congress, to close loopholes they had created, (we call them claiming strategies) placed beneficiaries into categories we call TIERS. This is the breakdown on Tiers:
Tier 1 – if you turned age 66 by April 30, 2016, you could utilize the claiming strategies File and Suspend and/or Restricted Application. File and Suspend is a choice of the past and no longer available to Tier 1 individuals.
Tier 2 – if you turned age 62 by January 1, 2016, you are eligible to file the claiming strategy Restricted Application. If you are in Tier 1 and missed out on File and Suspend, you are eligible for this option as well.
Tier 3 – everyone else.
How does this affect me and my filing options? In many, many ways. Clients that are age 62 by January 1, 2016 and older can greatly improve their position on Social Security with the knowledge of the Rules and Regulations (2,728 rules) that encompass this claiming strategy. You as a couple, or as a divorced individual, have filing options that others cannot capitalize on. Also, in the Bi-Partisan Budget Act they did not change the rules affecting Survivor Benefits. This is an area where we see many poor choices about the options available.
What if I am in Tier 1 and my spouse is in Tier 2? Good question as this situation needs professional review. Different rules for different TIERS so professional advice is strongly recommended.
If you file early, you will reduce and many times eliminate your options. Your benefit is not the only benefit that needs to be reviewed – Pillars LLC reviews your situation collectively for optimal income stream. Many people do not realize that if divorced, you can possibly file for a divorced spousal benefit off the other party. If you meet the rules and regulations, the other party’s benefit will not be affected, nor will they even know that you have filed off their benefit (this applies to both men and women).
We see middle America earners, all day long, with a combined Social Security benefit for their life expectancy in excess of over a million dollars. Social Security is an asset that should not be left to guess work.
Professional advice is simply a phone call away at 601-954-0699 or email us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.pillarsllc.com. Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of 40 years. We are Corinth, MS residents, but we service clients nationwide.