August, 2023

August Update: How to Plan for Social Security Benefit Cuts in 10 Years

Social Security Spotlight: History of the Program
RSSA | Social Security Newsletter | August 2023
August 2023 Newsletter


Hi there. Please enjoy reading our newsletter filled with news and information on Social Security, retirement, and Medicare. Please reach out at with any feedback on our newsletters. We are always happy to hear from you!


RSSA Announcements  


This summer, the RSSA team has enjoyed going to many events! We have attended the Ms. Medicare conference in Cleveland, FPA’s Nine and Dine Event on Long Island, WSB’s G23 event in Texas, and Insight 2024 in Pittsburgh. This week we are attending Senior Summit in Los Angeles. We are thrilled to be meeting so many new people and sharing what RSSA is all about. Please say hi to us if you attend!


Check out our upcoming events here


And don’t forget to check out photos from all of these events on our Instagram and LinkedIn pages. 



Top Stories  

Source: U.S. News & World Report
Writer Rachel Hartman explains the impact that Social Security cuts would have on future beneficiaries and their retirement income. However, Martha Shedden shares with her the many types of small changes that could be made and enacted by congress in order to protect the solvency of the Social Security program. Read more.
Source: Barron’s
Barron’s writer, Elizabeth O’Brien speaks to experts regarding the potential for Social Security cuts in the future and how to prepare. Whether or not Social Security faces cuts in 10 years, it is important to plan. Martha Shedden reminds us “not to panic and make an emotional decision.” Read the full story.
Source: Yahoo
Martha Shedden explains to reporter James Holbach why Social Security can’t ‘run out of money’. She says, “Payments estimated at 75% to 80% of promised benefits would only happen if absolutely no changes are made to increase the income and/or decrease the spending from the trust funds.” Read the whole story.
The Birthdays That Impact Your Retirement Income
Source: RSSA

The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935 which means Social Security just celebrated its 88th birthday. What birthday will you be celebrating next? Are you approaching retirement? Do you plan on collecting Social Security in the near future? Here are the most important birthdays to keep in mind as they can have a direct impact on your retirement and Social Security income. Read now.

Source: ThinkAdvisor
John Manganaro shares the different reasons why someone might need to temporarily pause their benefits. And he uses RSSA’s VP of Operations Norm Haug’s latest article as the foundation of his story. Read the ThinkAdvisor piece. 


Ask Martha  

Question: I have plans to retire January 2024. I am only 64 and want to claim survivors benefits because my husband died in 2006. I want to switch to my Social Security when I reach the age. Do I have to wait until I retire to start receiving these benefits or can I start now? Also would the payments retro to the time he passed.
Martha’s response: Thank you for your question about survivor benefits. You may start to claim benefits before you retire, however since you are not yet Full Retirement Age, still working, and collecting Social Security benefits you will be subject to the earnings test. You may claim survivor benefits and later switch to your own retirement benefits if they become larger. Survivor benefits are not retroactive to the time your husband passed. They are dependent on the amount he was entitled to collect and the age you collect them…Read Martha’s full response or Ask Martha your own question.


Listen up: Social Security Podcast   


In this episode, Martha sits down with Elliot Raphaelson and he shares some very useful information about Social Security benefits, and how one can take advantage of them in ways many people are unaware of.
You can listen to Social Security Answers from the Experts on Spotify, Google, Apple or anywhere you listen to podcasts. You can even watch the live recordings on our YouTube channel. Listen here or watch on YouTube.


Social Security Spotlight: History of the Program  

When was Social Security established and what was its primary purpose?
Social Security was established on August 14, 1935, with the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Happy Belated Birthday Social Security!) Its primary purpose was to provide a safety net for elderly, disabled, and unemployed individuals by offering financial support through retirement benefits, disability benefits, and survivor benefits.
What impact did the Social Security Act have on the Great Depression?
The Social Security Act of 1935 was enacted in response to the economic hardships of the Great Depression. It aimed to alleviate poverty among the elderly, disabled, and unemployed individuals, providing a safety net during times of economic instability. By establishing retirement benefits and other forms of assistance, the Social Security Act helped reduce poverty rates among older Americans and provided a foundation for financial security in times of economic uncertainty.
How has Social Security evolved over the years?
Social Security has evolved significantly since its inception. In the beginning, it primarily provided retirement benefits to workers. Over the years, amendments and expansions were made to include benefits for disabled workers (1956), Medicare health coverage (1965), cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to counter inflation (1972), and adjustments for taxation of benefits (1983). The program has also seen changes in retirement age requirements and the inclusion of spousal and dependent benefits.
Who was the first person to receive Social Security?
The first person to receive Social Security benefits was Ida May Fuller. She received her first Social Security payment on January 31, 1940 and her first monthly benefit check was for $22.54. Ida May Fuller lived to be 100 years old and received Social Security benefits for 35 years until her death in 1975. 


Case Study of the Month  

Edna, turning 60 this year, lost her husband 5 years ago when he was 60. They both had significant earnings, though her primary insurance amount (PIA) is slightly higher. She plans to continue working until she’s 64.

Without more information, what plan should Edna follow? What will the benefit amounts be?
She should file first for the smaller of the benefits, then file for the greater when it reaches the maximum. Edna should file for survivor first, at age 64. The age-based reduction means she will receive 87.8% of her husband’s PIA. Then, at age 70, switch to her retirement benefit, which will be 124% of her own PIA.

What if she stops work sooner (or later)?
Because survivor benefits are available as early as age 60, Edna may even file this year if she stops working at that time (or reduces her earnings). There is no earnings limit after FRA, so there is no reason to delay survivor benefits past this time, even if she is still working.


Medicare & Insurance Agents


The unequivocal close relationship between Medicare & Social Security cannot be denied, and Social Security optimization is the cornerstone to retirement planning. Education, empathy, and a compassionate understanding of where a client is on their life journey, and addressing what they’re worried about is essential in today’s world. It requires a holistic approach that communicates to clients that you understand what is in their best interest.

Jumping the market and being able to speak with your target demographic before they reach Medicare age outside of Medicare marketing guidelines will create a sales funnel of those who are going to be claiming Social Security and Medicare for the next 15 years.

Turn Social Security prospects into Medicare clients using the RSSA® Program. The RSSA® Program is a turn-key Social Security education, technology, marketing, and support program to help your organization build a sales funnel, fill seats at events, and open the door to organic Medicare, Insurance, and Wealth Management sales opportunities.

Learn More about the RSSA® Program.

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