We receive many phone calls from people that want to know if they made a mistake when they filed for Social Security. They either read an article, or someone told them another about a way to file and they start questioning their decision. These phone calls are sometimes very hard because unfortunately some of them did have better options. And, for them to get out of the snare they have elected is a tough and costly remedy. There is a one-year Do-Over period, but all the benefit monies received by you and others (yours, spousal, and family) must be paid back.
Thought we would share an actual client example of a positive Do-Over:
- Husband was born in 1950 and had not started drawing his benefit. His Full Retirement benefit amount at age 66 was $2600 per month.
- Wife was born in 1952 and had started drawing her benefit at age 63 at $220 per month.
- He wanted to start benefits at age 67 and wanted us to provide him with options.
- As it turned out, the wife had only been receiving her benefit for 5 months so she would have to pay back $1265.00 to start her filing process over. Remember, this was because she was within the one year window for D0-Over.
- We discussed many other options, but they wanted to proceed with the Do-Over.
- So, wife filed the necessary forms, (SS Form 521) and paid back her $1265.00.
- Husband filed for his benefit at age 67 in the amount of $2684.00 like he had originally planned.
- Wife filed a Restricted application for Spousal Benefits at age 66 in the amount of $1,290.00. An increase of $1,070.00 per month over her original filing.
- This was a total increase in their benefits through life expectancy of $201,249.00.
- So instead of their monthly income being $2904.00 it increased to $3974.00. Quite the difference!
This does not happen every day, but the point is that due to the lack of knowledge about the rules and regulations, this couple was headed down a path that severely shortchanged their retirement income.
Social Security is complicated folks, and you need to know the rules and regulations before you file, or better yet, have an analysis prepared that will show you all available options. Then you take the option summary you choose to the Social Security office and file. Had they contacted us several months later, this would not have been an option for them.
Call Pillars LLC at 601-954-0699 and Roy and Diane will help you with these decisions and show you how to maximize your benefit and accomplish your personal goals. They are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of 40+ years. We are in Corinth but service all 50 states. www.pillarsllc.com