February, 2022

Social Security Spotlight: Recent Changes
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | February 2022
February 2022 Newsletter


NARSSA Announcements  

Events & Conferences: The RSSA leadership team recently attended the World System Builder’s Launch22 Live events in New Orleans and Fresno as well as the Financial Service Institute’s OneVoice 2022 conference. Our team enjoyed connecting with all of the other sponsors and attendees. Check out photos from these events on our Instagram page and be sure to follow our account. 
Partnerships: NARSSA has established a new partnership with the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). We look forward to working with the nation’s leading community for tax practitioners.
RSSA On The Radio: The RSSA® credential is now being promoted on WABC Radio in New York City and the tri-state area. Be sure to tune in to hear us during WABC radio shows including Rita Cosby, Bill O’Reilly, Larry Kudlow and more. And don’t miss the ‘RSSA.com Social Security Minute’ by Devin Carroll each Thursday. Listen here.


Catch up with Devin  

Some mistakes that you make are fairly easy to recover from, but there are others that can cause long-lasting and near-permanent damage. And that’s the way it is with Social Security. Devin Carroll, RSSA shares the five most common mistakes that he sees individuals making. And some of these can have devastating results. Watch now.


Top Stories  

Source: RSSA
You can collect Social Security while continuing to work. However, your benefit may be reduced depending on your age and income. Read everything you need to know about working while collecting Social Security.
Source: TheStreet
In the fourth of an ongoing webinar series, Martha Shedden discusses a number of Social Security case studies for single, married, divorced and survivor beneficiaries. Watch the webinar.
Source: The New York Times
“The Social Security Administration now allows gay men and lesbians to receive survivor’s benefits if they can show that they were in a committed relationship and would have married had that been possible.” Read the story of Helen Thornton who initiated this big change and learn how this policy came to be.


Black History Month

Source: NAACP
Our current Social Security program provides American families and workers of all races, origins, and work categories, including Black families and workers, with critical income for retirement, disability, and death. However, this was not always the case. Due to certain original worker exclusions, the Social Security Act of 1935 disproportionately excluded Black individuals. This op-ed, published in August 2020, provides important information regarding the racial history of Social Security as well as the critical importance of the program for Black families today. Read the story.


Ask Martha  

Question: My wife turned 62 in Jan 2022 and is entitled to receive $644 if we elect to start then. Under Spousal benefits, she would receive $1,008 if I were receiving my benefits. I am turning 65 this July 2022 and haven’t filed to collect yet, waiting to at least my full retirement age of 66 and 6 months if possible. My question is, if we file to start my wife’s benefits in Feb 2022 for the $644, will we be able to have her benefit increased for the additional spousal benefit when I file for my benefit, or does she lose that? I understand she can’t get the spousal benefit until I collect.
Martha’s response: Your understanding is correct. Anyone who is eligible to collect multiple benefits – their own retirement and a spousal or survivor – will only receive the higher of the two amounts when they apply. Your wife can begin collecting her retirement benefits starting at age 62. Then, once you start collecting your retirement benefits, she will be eligible for a “bump up” amount if the spousal benefit is higher than her own retirement benefit. If she begins collecting her retirement benefits early, prior to her FRA, the spousal increase will not be up to the full 50% of your PIA….Read the full response or Ask Martha your own question.


Social Security Spotlight: Recent Changes  


What changes to Social Security were made in 2022? Beginning last month there were many changes to the Social Security program. Some of these changes include but are not limited to an increase in benefits due to the COLA, an increase in the maximum monthly benefit, and an increase in the amount of earnings subject to the payroll tax.

What is the average monthly benefit in 2022? The average monthly Social Security benefit for 2021 was $1,565. With a 5.9 percent Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase, the average monthly Social Security benefit for 2022 is now $1,657.

Were there any changes to Medicare? Yes. The Medicare Part B premium increased. In 2021 it was $148.50 and in 2022 the premium is now $170.10. And there was an increase in the annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries. In 2021 it was $203 and the deductible for 2022 is now $233.

Are there any future changes coming? Potentially. The Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act was recently reintroduced to the House of Representatives. If this bill is passed, it has the potential to increase benefits and strengthen the trust fund. Keep an eye on this piece of legislation and the changes it may make to the program.

Learn more about other recent Social Security changes.


Case Study of the Month  

Last month, I worked with a client who lost his wife a few years ago. He was completely unaware that he was eligible for survivor benefits based on her record – and this is quite common! Survivor benefits are the least utilized benefit in the Social Security system. As he was the primary earner, it would be in his best interest to allow his own benefit to mature until age 70. We determined he should file for survivor benefits now, receiving 91.9 percent of the benefit because he is not yet at his Survivor Full Retirement Age of 67. He is currently 65 and planning to continue working for several more years. Even after the earnings deduction, he will net a benefit during the next two years and then he will receive the full amount upon turning his FRA. Once he turns 70, he will file for his own (higher) retirement benefit and will no longer receive the survivor benefit.


Listen up: Podcasts by the RSSA Team  

Social Security: Answers From The Experts

Each week, Martha Shedden meets with financial experts to discuss important issues on Social Security and retirement planning. The most recent episode features Behavioral Financial Advisor, Kristopher Flammang. Listen now.


The Devin Carroll Show

This is a caller-driven show that helps you simplify the complicated Social Security rules so you can get every dollar in benefits you deserve. In the most recent episode, caller Jonna wants to know if she should file at age 62. Listen now.


Consult with an RSSA to optimize your benefits  

Most people make a sub-optimal filing decision, losing out on money they are entitled to. An RSSA can help you optimize your Social Security benefits and support you in making the best decisions for your personal situation. Get help now.

Train to become a Social Security expert  

Are you a financial or state-licensed professional? Download our free white paper and discover the benefits of becoming a Social Security expert and offering Social Security advisory services to your clients. Ready to get started with our self-study program? Sign up now.

Advisor Support Program

Are you a financial advisor, CPA, lawyer or NARSSA member with clients that need help with Social Security? Join our Advisor Support Program. We can help your clients take advantage of strategies that may yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional lifetime benefits. It’s simple. Enter your client’s information into the secure portal and we’ll provide you with a percentage of the invoice. Learn more.

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