“Social Security and its rules are complex and tricky to navigate so it isn’t surprising to learn that there are many misconceptions and myths regarding the program. We are here to bust those myths for you and let you know the truths…”
“To make the most of your spousal Social Security benefit, it can be helpful to be aware of the amount you might be eligible for, as well as how the timing of your claim can impact how much you receive…”
“Between loss of income, dropping 401(k) values and general uncertainty, it’s been a hard time to plan a stable financial future. Yet, there are some green shoots among all the difficulty, and with some preparation, you may be able to take advantage of the pandemic upheaval…”
“The financial problems for older women have steadily worsened over time as life expectancies have increased and medical expenses have soared. Women receive smaller Social Security benefits than men because women still tend to earn less, and this lower wage base is factored into their benefits…”
Check out this story on how CPAs can earn continuing education credits while learning a valuable skill that will benefit their clients and their business.
Martha Shedden is the Executive Director &
Co-Founder of RSSA.
This month’s featured question: I think I made a mistake by claiming Social Security at age 62. Can I change my mind?
Martha’s response: Yes, you can change your mind, and this is known as withdrawing your application. You can reapply later. If you change your mind about starting your benefits, you can cancel your application for up to 12 months…
What is a representative payee? A representative payee is an individual who manages the payments and benefits on behalf of a beneficiary (Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary).
Why would someone need a payee? There are many reasons why a beneficiary would need a payee to manage their benefits such as being a minor or suffering from dementia. The Social Security Administration does not recognize Power of Attorneys (POA) and therefore the designated payee takes on the responsibility of managing this individual’s benefits.
How is one appointed as a payee? The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides beneficiaries with the ability to choose up to 3 designated payees in advance. The beneficiary will need to rank these 3 designated payees in order. If the first payee is unable to act as payee, the next payee on the list will be asked and so on. If a beneficiary needs a representative payee and is unable to choose one, the SSA will appoint someone. The SSA usually appoints a family member or friend as payee but if that option is unavailable, a qualified organization may be appointed.
What are payees responsible for? Payees are responsible for managing the payments on behalf of the beneficiary. Payees are responsible for keeping track of payments and how the payments are spent and/or saved. Payees may use the benefits to pay for essential items and services as well as personal items for the beneficiary. The payee may not use or spend the beneficiary’s payments for his/her own benefit in any way. Representative Payee Reports are no longer required to be submitted annually. However, payees should keep records as the SSA may request this information at any given time.
Our good friend had worked with an RSSA and recommended that we work with the same one. My wife and I are both 58 years old and Social Security was not even on our radar, but it should have been. Our analyst was able to show us a detailed report of possible strategies as to when to file for Social Security. Some strategies had my wife filing for Social Security earlier than we thought she would. We were able to compare the amount of money we would receive over our lifetime with and without her filing early. We originally thought that we both would wait as long as possible to collect our benefits, but that actually would not be the best decision for us.
*Identifying details have been changed or omitted.
Medicare’s open enrollment period ended December 7, 2020. However, those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan have until March 31, 2021 to make certain changes such as switching to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or reverting back to Original Medicare and joining a separate Medicare drug plan.
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.
Our mission is to help Americans get the maximum Social Security income they are entitled to, enabling them to enjoy their lives more fully.
RSSA is administered by NARSSA, the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts. NARSSA provides a comprehensive online platform for professionals to gain Social Security knowledge and earn the RSSA credential.