February, 2023

What is your Full Retirement Age?

Social Security Spotlight: Full Retirement Age
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | February 2023
February 2023 Newsletter


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


NARSSA Announcements  


Martha Shedden recently presented at the 2023 FSP Institute in Scottsdale hosted by the Society of Financial Service Professionals. Visit RSSA’s Instagram to view photos from this event and past events. And be sure to follow our Instagram account for the latest updates!


Top Stories  

Source: ThinkAdvisor
John Manganaro interviews Martha Shedden, who has been recently accepted into the National Academy of Social Insurance. Martha is eager to continue to focus on improving politicians’ and the public’s understanding of Social Security. According to the article, “Shedden says the data is clear, and that the vast majority of Americans agree that it is critical to preserve Social Security benefits for future generations, even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by working Americans.” 
Source: MarketWatch
Mark Hulbert addresses some misunderstandings about Social Security. He asks Martha Shedden to share her thoughts as well. Martha explains that even if benefits are reduced (if congress makes no changes), Social Security will still be the primary income for most retirees.
Source: RSSA
“Nearly all Americans will qualify for Social Security benefits, if not on their own work record, on the record of a family member such as a spouse or parent of a dependent. So, why is Social Security planning disregarded of its importance?” Read the article for more.


Catch up with Devin  

If you have a prior marriage, you can get a spousal benefit from your ex-spouse if you meet the qualifications. In this video, Devin Carroll, RSSA covers these qualifications and answers the top questions on this topic. Watch the video.


Ask Martha  

Question: My brother-in-law was collecting Social Security for himself and two minor children. He has since passed away and my sister-in-law is collecting money for the two children. She is 59 and is being denied benefits for herself because she is not age 60. Is she eligible to collect for herself since one of the children is 13 (younger than age 16)? She has been denied twice because she is not age 60!
Martha’s response: Yes, survivor benefits may be collected for minor children under age 18, or 19 if still in high school. Surviving spouses of any age may also be able to collect if they are caring for a child under the age of 16. However, there may be other reasons she may not be getting this benefit…Read Martha’s full response or Ask Martha your own question.


Social Security Spotlight: Full Retirement Age  

What is Full Retirement Age (FRA)? Full Retirement Age (FRA) is the age at which an individual is eligible to receive their full retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration. FRA is determined by birth year. Individuals born between 1943 and 1954 have an FRA of 66. For those born between 1955 to 1960, FRA gradually increases up to 67. And for those born in 1960 or later, FRA is age 67. 
How does FRA affect the amount of benefits received? If an individual chooses to start receiving benefits at their Full Retirement Age, they will receive the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled. If they choose to start receiving benefits before their FRA, the amount of benefits will be reduced. And if they choose to delay receiving their benefits (the latest, age 70), their benefit will be increased.
When is the earliest I can receive Social Security benefits? Social Security retirement beneficiaries and their spouses can qualify for benefits at age 62. However, there are other Social Security benefits with their own rules. Widow(er)s may qualify for survivor benefits as early as age 60 or potentially 50 if they are disabled. Financially dependent parents may qualify for survivor benefits at age 62. Disabled workers may qualify for benefits at any age. And children may qualify for benefits at any age as well. Keep in mind, while you may qualify to collect these benefits early, it may reduce your benefit depending on your FRA.
Will Full Retirement Age be increased? The Full Retirement Age has been increased over time as a result of new legislation. And it may continue to go up. Increasing FRA is a potential solution to help protect the solvency of the Social Security program. 


Listen up: Social Security Podcast   

In this episode, Martha sits down with Dave Freitag and they discuss his educated views on all sorts of retirement and Social Security issues, and expose many options that people have available to them unknowingly.
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.


Case Study of the Month  

Some workers qualify for Social Security in the U.S. while also qualifying for another country’s similar program. The rules around this vary by totalization agreement, but at a basic level, it’s important to know that the foreign pension may enact the WEP and potentially decrease the US retirement benefit.

For a couple, it’s helpful to know that the GPO does not apply for foreign pensions. A couple recently came for help who are both fully qualified for benefits in the U.S. and another country. The higher earner wife has 32 years of substantial earnings in the U.S., so the WEP due to the foreign pension does not decrease her benefit. The husband only has 15 years in the U.S., so his retirement benefit sees the maximum WEP reduction. However, because the GPO does not apply for foreign pensions, we determined that he should file at his FRA to receive the maximum (unreduced by the foreign pension) spousal benefit.


Thinking about signing up for the RSSA® eLearning program?

Don’t miss this webinar.

Learn how to market a specialized designation and get an inside look at a new optimization software.  Hosted by Martha Shedden, President and Co-Founder of NARSSA, and Melissa Warren, Senior RSSA Analyst and Director of Strategic Partnerships. Register 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.


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