May, 2022

Social Security May Newsletter

Social Security Spotlight: Representative Payees
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | May 2022
May 2022 Newsletter


NARSSA Announcements  


The RSSA leadership team recently attended NAPFA’s Spring 2022 National Conference in Atlanta. Our President & Co-founder Martha Shedden presented at the conference as well. Our team enjoyed connecting with all of the other sponsors and attendees. Check out photos from this event and past events on our Instagram page and be sure to follow our account.


Catch up with Devin  


The Social Security Administration has announced they will be releasing a brand new mySocialSecurity website later this year. In this video, Devin Carroll, RSSA gives you a glimpse of what the new site will look like. Watch now.


Top Stories  


When is the best time to claim Social Security retirement benefits — sooner or later?

Source: MarketWatch


When to claim Social Security is a critical question to ask and a lot of money is at stake. NARSSA’s President and Co-founder Martha Shedden helps MarketWatch reporter, Leslie Albrecht weigh in on this financial decision. 


A majority of workers have confidence in Social Security. Should you?

Source: MarketWatch


According to surveys, the majority of American workers are confident in the Social Security system and that they believe they will receive their future benefits. MarketWatch reporter, Mark Hulbert dives into this and determines if this confidence in Social Security is justified.


The Elements of Retirement Planning

Source: TheStreet


In part six of a six-part series, Martha Shedden provides an overview of the elements of retirement planning, including income streams in retirement, essential and discretionary expenses, optimal cash flow for portfolio longevity, retirement planning decisions, and managing asset allocation.


Ask Martha  

Question: Can my spouse collect spousal benefits if I am collecting a non-covered foreign pension and U.S. Social Security?
Martha’s response: A non-covered pension will only affect those who have earned the pension. In this case, since the pension is yours and not your spouse’s, it will have no bearing on her spousal benefit…Read Martha’s full response or Ask Martha your own Social Security question.


Social Security Spotlight: Representative Payees  


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.

Learn more about representative payees here.


Case Study of the Month  


Many people look online for Social Security advice and find that it is “always best to wait until 70” to maximize their benefits. For some, this can be the opposite of the truth. An RSSA can determine the best time for you to collect benefits. In a client case this month, a couple with a 10-year age gap was trying to determine when each should collect. The husband is 65, expects to live until 80, and has a PIA of $3,000. The wife is 55, expects to live until 90, and has a PIA of $500. They thought it would be best for both of them to wait until their benefit amounts reach the maximum value, at 70 and full retirement age, respectively. However, through an analysis, I found that the wife should file at 62! She will collect $93,600 in spousal benefits, as opposed to $54,000 if she waited until 67, before they expect her to switch to a survivor benefit. Their original plan would have caused them to miss out on nearly $40,000 in benefits!


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. Her guests include Mary Beth Franklin, Larry Kotlikoff, and more. 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.

Back to Newsletter Archive