November, 2023

Thanksgiving Update: Social Security Stuff-ing

Spotlight: Medicare Open Enrollment
RSSA | Monthly Newsletter | November 2023
November 2023 Newsletter



Hi there. The RSSA team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for our RSSA members, clients, partners and community. Please enjoy reading this month’s newsletter.


RSSA Announcements  


We have officially launched RSSA Roadmap™, a game-changing fintech platform set to provide millions of Americans and retirement professionals with the technology and support needed to optimize Social Security benefits. Learn more here.


Top Stories  

Source: The Wall Street Journal
In response to a potential government shutdown, Martha Shedden shares helpful Social Security information with journalist Aly J. Yale. Shedden says, “The Social Security Administration is considered an essential service, so there won’t be a delay in [Social Security] checks…” Read the full story.
Source: ThinkAdvisor
Many Americans believe Social Security is going to disappear. “However, as stressed by Social Security experts including Marcia Mantell and Martha Shedden, there are also reasons for a measure of tranquility, including the realization that the Social Security program isn’t actually going “bankrupt,” as media reports and pundits commonly suggest.”  Read now.




Ask Martha  

Question: I’m past full retirement age and still working full time. I’m turning 69 next spring. Will I get the COLA increase from last year?
Martha’s response: When you turned 62 you started having the COLA applied to your benefit, regardless of if you were collecting or not. So yes, you will continue having the annual COLA applied to your benefit each year…Read the full response.
Question: I’m a 62 year old woman married for 25 years and divorced a little over 10 years ago. Ex-husband is 80, retired at full retirement age with max benefits. Neither of us remarried. His earnings much higher than mine. Should I apply for my own benefits now and then switch to (ex)spousal benefits at FRA?
Martha’s response: No, you are not able to apply and start collecting your own retirement benefits now and then switch to the spousal later. You are eligible for ex-spousal benefits now that you are 62 years old, but the amount you receive will be reduced if you collect those prior to your FRA…Read the full response.


Listen up: Social Security Podcast   

In this episode, Martha speaks with Edward Guldi, Attorney at The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C. and a distinguished New York lawyer who concentrates his practice on all aspects of workers’ compensation and social security disability law for claimants.
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.


Spotlight: Medicare Open Enrollment  

When is Medicare open enrollment? Now! Medicare’s open enrollment period began October 15, 2023 and ends on December 7, 2023.
Where can I learn about my options? Learn everything you need to know about 2024 Medicare including important dates, the different “Parts” of Medicare, coverage, and more with the 2024 Medicare & You handbook. Access the handbook here. You can also compare plan options to determine if changes need to be made in order to meet your needs in 2024. You can compare different plans and coverage options here.
Is there anything else I can do? Check your mail. If you are already enrolled in Medicare then you should have received the Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) in the mail by now. Each fall, your Medicare plan sends you a notice with changes for the upcoming year. Read this notice carefully as it may help you determine whether or not you need to make changes to your current plan, coverage, and selections. Learn more about ANOC here.
How do I make changes? Be sure to make any necessary changes by the December 7th deadline. Make your selections by visiting
When do changes take effect? Any changes along with associated costs will take effect January 1, 2024.


Case Study of the Month  

Robert just filed at 70 earlier this year, and is receiving $3,960 monthly. His full retirement age (FRA) is 66. His wife, Jenna, has an FRA of 67, and is currently 63. She called the SSA to file for half of Robert’s benefit, and they told her she’s not eligible for a spousal benefit and is confused. Her PIA is $1,600.

Why is she not able to receive a spousal benefit?
It is important to distinguish between the benefit and the PIA. She is eligible for up to half of his PIA, the maximum available if she files at age 67. His PIA is $3,000 (he’s receiving 132% due to delayed retirement credits), so she is eligible for up to $1,500. Her own PIA is greater than this amount, so she would receive no spousal top-up benefit.

Can Jenna file for the spousal benefit now, then switch to her retirement at 70?
No, this option was phased out and is no longer available. It was available for anyone born January 1, 1954 or earlier. Now, when a person files for either retirement or spousal, they are “deemed” to file for both benefits if available. The strategy is still allowed for a person eligible for both retirement and survivor benefits.


Medicare & Insurance Agents

The unequivocal close relationship between Medicare & Social Security cannot be denied, and Social Security optimization is the cornerstone to retirement planning. Education, empathy, and a compassionate understanding of where a client is on their life journey, and addressing what they’re worried about is essential in today’s world. It requires a holistic approach that communicates to clients that you understand what is in their best interest.

Jumping the market and being able to speak with your target demographic before they reach Medicare age outside of Medicare marketing guidelines will create a sales funnel of those who are going to be claiming Social Security and Medicare for the next 15 years.

Turn Social Security prospects into Medicare clients using the RSSA® Program. The RSSA® Program is a turn-key Social Security education, technology, marketing, and support program to help your organization build a sales funnel, fill seats at events, and open the door to organic Medicare, Insurance, and Wealth Management sales opportunities.

Learn More about the RSSA® Program.

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