April, 2021

Social Security April Newsletter

Social Security Spotlight: Applying For Retirement Benefits
RSSA | Social Security Newsletter | April 2021

April 2021 Newsletter

Top Stories

Retirees still have to pay ‘hidden’ taxes on Social Security, expert says

Source: Yahoo Money

“When retirement planning and saving, Americans earmark their nest eggs for living expenses, travel, hobbies, or other expenses. But not all do so for taxes, which can apply to other retirement income aside from Social Security…”


How To Minimize Taxes When Social Security, RMDs Kick In

Source: ThinkAdvisor

“For retirees hoping to start collecting Social Security at full retirement age or later, drawing down fully taxable retirement account balances prior to age 72 can be used to bridge the income gap in the intervening years…”


How The Social Security Administration Adapted To The Pandemic

Source: RSSA

“A silver lining to the closure of the physical offices is that the SSA has learned that many of the tele-services they now provide are efficient and effective and the SSA may continue these services even when local offices reopen…”


Fact check: No changes planned to Social Security benefits for immigrant workers

Source: USA Today


“Far from draining Americans’ Social Security resources, immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally contribute much more to the program than they claim each year. Though there are ways they can claim benefits through illegitimate or expired Social Security numbers, that practice is not widespread…”

RSSA In The News
Read about the RSSA credential and hear what two analysts have to say about the program and how it has impacted their work with clients.
Social Security expert and financial journalist, Mary Beth Franklin sheds light on the RSSA education and training program and how it distinguishes itself from other Social Security programs.
Ask Martha
This month’s featured question: I am divorced. I was married for over 10 years and did not remarry. Can my ex-wife claim at 62 then suspend so I can collect an ex-spousal benefit based on her earnings record?
Martha’s response: The ability to file (claim) and suspend Social Security retirement benefits was phased out for couples and divorced individuals in 2016, but you may still be able to collect ex-spousal benefits if you meet the criteria. If you were married for at least 10 years, are currently single and age 62 or older, and your ex-spouse is collecting retirement benefits, you are eligible to collect ex-spousal benefits based on her earnings record. If you are also entitled to your own Social Security retirement benefit, you will only collect…
Social Security Spotlight: Applying For Retirement Benefits

When can I apply for benefits? It depends on what type of benefits (retirement, ex-spousal, disability, etc.) you are applying for. The earliest you can collect Social Security retirement benefits is age 62 and you can complete the application process when you are 61 years and 9 months of age. It is recommended that whatever age you plan on filing for Social Security benefits, you should apply 3 months in advance.


How do I apply for retirement benefits? The simplest way to apply for benefits is by using the Social Security Administration’s online application. You can also apply by phone or by an appointment at your local Social Security office. Keep in mind that many offices are closed due to Covid-19.


How can I prepare for the application process? It is suggested that you determine your exact Social Security claiming strategy before starting the application. A Registered Social Security Analyst (RSSA) can help you find the optimal time to claim benefits. Then gather all of the information you need to complete your application. This includes your Social Security number, dates of current and previous marriages, employer names, and bank account information.


What documents are needed to apply? When completing the application online, you will be informed of which documents you need. These include your original birth certificate, proof of citizenship or lawful alien status, and a copy of your W-2.


How will I know if my application has been approved? The SSA will review your application. If they need more information, they will contact you. You will then receive a decision letter in the mail.


Learn more about applying for retirement benefits here.


Medicare News

Source: Forbes
“The account gives you secure access to information based on your earnings history. You can check your Social Security statement, estimate future benefits, change your address, and more…”
Case Study of the Month
During a recent phone conversation, an RSSA learned that a doctor and his wife missed out on 23 months and over $27,000 of Social Security benefits because they didn’t know the wife was entitled to a spousal benefit
As the primary earner, the 74-year-old doctor began collecting benefits at age 67. His wife’s earnings were significantly less than his. As they had planned, she filed in January at age 68 ½ for her retirement benefit. What they didn’t know was that she had been entitled to collect a spousal benefit since she turned age 66. Unlike a retirement benefit, a spousal benefit doesn’t increase after you reach your Full Retirement Age.
The Social Security Administration provided 6 months of retroactive payments for a benefit she had been entitled to, but their failure to consult with an expert to maximize their Social Security benefits left over $27,000 uncollected.
If you’re 55 and over, speak to a Registered Social Security Analyst today. RSSAs help people understand their options and optimize their Social Security benefit during retirement!
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Consult With An RSSA & Maximize Your Benefits
Most people don’t make optimal filing decisions and therefore, lose out on money they are entitled to. An RSSA® can help you maximize your Social Security benefits and support you in making the best decisions for your particular situation. An RSSA® can work with you in-person, on the phone, or via video. Request a consultation today. Get help now.

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