Don’t Assume – Part 2

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Funny thing happened about a month ago – one of our clients was going to file for her Social Security benefit and I told her to take her marriage certificate in case they asked for it – sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  Anyway, in the process of trying to locate this document, she found $1,000 in her home safety box she had forgotten about.  Moral of this story – your Social Security Advisors can be VERY profitable!!

Now to continue with our series we started on ASSUMPTIONS:

1. Delayed Retirement Credits do not increase spousal and children’s benefits. 

Child benefits, spousal benefits including child-in-care and divorced benefits will not rise if you suspend your benefit to start at a later date to collect more delayed retirement credits.  These auxiliary benefits are based on your Primary Insurance Amount, not your actual retirement benefit amount.

2.Your birthday and Social Security are important

Social Security treats you as if you have attained a given age the day before your birthday.  This is very important when working on filing strategies and Earnings Limitations problems for clients.

3.Disabled widowers have different rules

There is a separate and more generous formula standard for disabled workers.  Widows(ers) can draw their benefits as early as age 50 with no greater reduction than if they were to have filed at age 60.  But remember that there is still a reduction applied for taking prior to Full Retirement Age.

4.Waiting until 70 to draw your benefit may or may not be your best option. 

Depending on your spouse’s benefit amount, your ages and your ability to be flexible, drawing between ages 66/67-70 for one of the spouses may be a better option.  Numbers don’t lie, so needs to be reviewed.

5.Drawing your Social Security benefit early will hurt your Survivor.  

Widow or widower benefits are normally equal to the deceased worker’s (assume this is the husband) benefit at Full Retirement Age, or if he dies at a later age, his benefit including Delayed Retirement Credits.  However, if you file early, this is not the case; you will receive a reduced benefit based on a complicated formula because of filing prior to Full Retirement Age.  

Again, these are just some of the rules you may or may not have been aware of.  There are 2,728 rules so it is a daily, cumbersome, ordeal to navigate this program.  Watch out as what you don’t know, could certainly hurt you and your family’s pocketbook!

Pillars LLC is in the Corinth, MS area but service all 50 states.  Roy and Diane are both National Social Security Advisors and Roy is a former CPA of over 40 years.  You may contact them at, on their website at or call at 601-954-0699.  KNOW before you GO!!