Month: June 2017

Social Security Experts

Social Security Benefit Planners (SSBP) can help you answer that question. With over 2,700 regulations governing Social Security, it’s not surprising that few people know they qualify for so much more. Our team of financial experts and researchers look at your individual life circumstances to create a report detailing your options, and help you create a strategic plan to make the most of those options. Ready to discover what you actually qualify for?

Who Needs Social Security Planning?

Anyone who qualifies to receive Social Security benefits and either hasn’t yet elected to receive their benefits or is within the first 11 months of receiving them can benefit from a detailed analysis and plan, including:

  • Married couples who want to understand which options will benefit them the most
  • Business owners who pay themselves little and put all or most of their money back into their business
  • Immigrants who want to learn what they need to do in order to qualify for benefits
  • Retirees who provide full time care for their minor children or grandchildren
  • Widows and widowers with minor children
  • Widows and widowers age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled)
  • Recently married same-sex couples who want to know more about their newly qualified benefits
  • Divorcees close to retirement
  • Disabled persons who are unable to work
  • People with unique situations who want to learn the best strategy for maximizing their benefits

We Help More Than Just Retirees

Many different circumstances could qualify you and your family for Social Security benefits. Here are just a few examples of those we’ve assisted:

  • A woman whose older ex-husband had been collecting Social Security was able to file for benefits for their mutual biological minor child – delivering almost $150k of support over the next nine years.
  • A recently married couple in their 60s was able to draw spousal benefits that increased their current income by nearly $13k per year, while still delaying filing for the wife’s benefits until age 70, when they will be at their highest level.
  • A woman who was able to pull an extra $300 per month in benefits based on her deceased ex-spouse’s Social Security record, which she did not know she was entitled to draw on.
  • A grandfather who is the full-time caregiver for his 3 minor grandchildren was able to get almost $44K per year in family benefits, which helped keep the family intact.

Read our Client Stories and see how we have helped people maximize their Social Security.  Let’s see if we can help you also.

How to maximize your Social Security

Social Security Planners

Deciding when and how to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions that most retirees will ever make. Despite changes to two key claiming rules that took effect last year, there are still enormous opportunities to maximize lifetime benefits for married couples, divorced spouses, survivors and dependents.

Individuals who were at least 66 years old and who filed and suspended their benefits by the April 29, 2016, deadline are grandfathered under the old rules. The action triggered benefits for a spouse or dependent child, even if the family members become eligible for benefits after the deadline. Meanwhile, the worker’s own retirement benefit continues to grow by 8% per year up to age 70.

The one date you need to know about the new rules for married couples and divorced spouses: Jan. 1, 1954. Eligible individuals who were born on or before that date can still claim only spousal benefits when they turn 66 and collect half of their mate or ex-mate’s full retirement age benefit while their own retirement benefit grows by 8% per year. At 70, when the delayed retirement credits end, they can switch to their own maximum benefit.

Ex-spouses who were married at least 10 years, divorced and currently single can collect on their ex’s Social Security record as if they were still married. Divorced spouses born on or before Jan. 1, 1954, can claim only spousal benefits — even if their ex has not yet claimed benefits — if both former spouses are at least 62 years old and they have been divorced at least two years. Ex-spouses born after that date must file for their highest benefits based on their age at time of claim.

Social Security beneficiaries can change their mind and withdraw their application for benefits within the first 12 months of claiming them. But there’s a catch. They must repay all the benefits they have received and any family benefits collected on their earnings record. Later, they can restart their benefits at a higher amount based on their new claiming age.

If they miss that 12-month window, they can voluntarily suspend benefits — but not repay — to earn delayed retirement credits of 8% per year up to age 70. They cannot collect any benefits during the suspension period nor can anyone collect benefits on their record during that period.

There are more…If you want to maximize your Social Security Benefits, have Social Security Benefit Planners set up a strategy for you. Select a plan and let’s get to work.

Social Security for LGBT Americans

There has been some confusion in the LGBT Community as to exactly how Social Security works for same sex couples. As Social Security Benefit Planners we have LGBT clients who regularly call us and ask these very important questions. Here is the low down. Social Security recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages in all states, and some non-marital legal relationships (such as some civil unions and domestic partnerships), for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits, Medicare entitlement, and eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Five pieces of information same-sex couples should know:

  1. Marital status is important — same-sex couple can receive Social Security benefits when a worker retires, becomes disabled, or dies. We also consider marital status when we determine eligibility and payment amount for Supplemental Security Income.
  2. What type of benefits can you receive — Social Security taxes pay for three kinds of benefits: retirement, disability, and survivors. If you‘re entitled to benefits, your spouse and eligible family members might receive benefits, too.
  3. Children may receive benefits — your children or stepchildren could also be entitled to benefits.
  4. When you apply for benefits is important — if you’re married or have entered a non-marital legal relationship, we encourage you to apply right away, even if you’re not sure you’re eligible. Applying now will protect you against the loss of any potential benefits.
  5. Report life changes right away — you should let us know immediately if you move, marry, separate, divorce, or become the parent of a child. Don’t wait until we review your benefits to tell us about any changes. You should report changes right away so benefits are paid correctly.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states and have their marriage recognized by other states. This decision made it possible for more same-sex couples and their families to benefit from our programs.

It’s important to have Social Security Benefit Planners look at how to maximize your social security. Don’t leave your money on the table! Most people don’t realize they qualify for more than the standard payout, or that delaying when they start their benefits can actually result in more income in the long run. Select the service plan that best fits your needs and let’s secure the Social Security benefits you qualify for.