March, 2022

March Social Security Newsletter

Social Security Spotlight: Working & Social Security
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | March 2022
March 2022 Newsletter

Hi P. Please enjoy reading our March 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!


Top Stories  


Four Obstacles Women Face When Planning for Retirement

Source: RSSA


When it comes to financial security in retirement, women tend to face more hardships than men. These obstacles include less time in the workforce and a longer life expectancy. Read about these challenges and the steps women can take to overcome them.


Protect Yourself from Social Security and Other Government Imposter Scams

Source: RSSA


Scams are common. According to the FTC, there were 396,302 reports of scams in 2021 alone. Close to 40,000 of those reports were associated with Social Security Administration scams. Learn what to look out for and the ways to protect yourself from these scams.


Your Social Security Benefit and Income Taxes

Source: TheStreet


In part five of a six-part primer on Social Security, Martha Shedden explains when beneficiaries have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits.



Medicare Update  


A chance to switch or ditch your Medicare Advantage Plan ends soon. What to know

Source: CNBC


The window to make a change to your Medicare Advantage Plan ends on March 31st. Read to find out what you need to know in order to make any necessary changes in the next couple of weeks.


Catch up with Devin  

The Russia/Ukraine conflict could have far-reaching effects that have the potential to adversely impact retirees through the health and longevity of the Social Security system. Watch this video as Devin Carroll, RSSA, explains it all. Watch now.


Ask Martha  

Question: I retired at age 60 and I am not yet collecting Social Security. Since I am no longer working, will my benefit amount go down for the years not worked before I start collecting Social Security?
Martha’s Response: Your benefit amount is calculated based on your highest 35 years of earnings both indexed and face value. If you worked less than 35 years, the Social Security Administration will include zeros for years with no earnings…Read Martha’s full response or ask Martha your own question.


Social Security Spotlight: Working & Social Security


Can you work while collecting Social Security? Yes, you can work and earn income while collecting Social Security benefits. However, your benefit may be reduced depending on your age and income.

How will working impact my Social Security benefits? If you are working while collecting, and are between the ages of 62 and Full Retirement Age (FRA), you will be subject to the Retirement Earnings Test. During this time, if you earn more than the earnings limit for that year, your Social Security benefit will be reduced. While your benefit will be reduced during that time, the money is not truly lost. Your benefit will increase at your Full Retirement Age to account for benefits withheld during that time.

How does the Retirement Earnings Test Work? There are two earnings limit thresholds. In 2022, the lower earnings limit is $19,560. The lower threshold applies to those who are age 62 up to the year they reach FRA. The reduction is $1 in benefits for every $2 you earn exceeding the lower limit. In 2022, the upper earnings limit is $51,960. The upper threshold applies to earnings in the year you turn your FRA. The reduction is $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn exceeding the upper limit. The earnings limit no longer applies starting the month you turn your FRA. This means you can collect Social Security benefits and work without having a reduction in benefits.

What are considered as earnings? If you are employed, your wages you make from your job are considered your earnings. If you are self-employed, your net earnings count as your earnings. Bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay are included as earnings, while pensions, annuities, and investment income are not.

Is there a financial benefit to working while collecting? Working while collecting benefits has the potential to increase your benefits. Your retirement benefits are calculated using the highest 35 years of your earnings. The Social Security Administration reviews the earnings records of all Social Security beneficiaries with reported wages from the previous year. If the previous year of earnings is one of your highest 35 years, the SSA will replace your lowest earnings with the new earnings and recalculate your benefit. The SSA will then retroactively pay you any increase you are due.

Learn more about working and Social Security.


Case Study of the Month  


This past month I worked with a couple who was very interested in understanding the tax burden on their annual benefit of $35k. The basic formula for their combined income was used to determine the taxation. Their combined income was then $57.5k, which is over the $44k threshold for up to 85% taxation. They believed that 85% of their benefit was going to be withheld in taxes! Fortunately, they chose to work with an RSSA. After running the 3-part taxation test, it was found that only 50% of their benefit was subject to taxation. This was the third test, and the lowest of the three. Additionally, this benefit is taxed at their normal income tax rate, which was 12% in this case. They will only pay an estimated $2,097 in federal taxes on the $35k – much lower than they had expected!


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 Brian Keith Moon, an accomplished RSSA qualified financial advisor. Listen now.


The Devin Carroll Show

The Devin Carroll Show sponsored by NARSSA is a caller-driven show that helps you simplify the complicated Social Security rules so you can get every dollar in benefits you deserve. 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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