October, 2020

Social Security October Newsletter

This month’s Social Security Spotlight focuses on spousal benefits.
RSSA | Social Security Newsletter | October 2020

October 2020 Newsletter

Thanks for reading our October newsletter. It is jam-packed with Social Security, Medicare, and retirement news and information. Scroll down to see what’s included.
Top Stories

Your Social Security Income May Be Taxed If You Live In One Of These States

Source: RSSA

“If you live in one of these states, this is just another factor to consider when retiring and filing for Social Security. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should pack up and move to a different state, but it is important to keep in mind…”

The 2021 Social Security Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) Is 1.3 Percent

Source: RSSA

“The Social Security Administration just announced the 2021 Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and it is a modest 1.3%. Beginning January 2021, more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 1.3% increase in their Social Security benefits…”

The retirement earnings test isn’t a Social Security tax, here’s how it works
Source: USA Today

“For many older Americans, working in retirement is desirable either to provide extra income or to fill time with an enjoyable career. But far too many seniors are afraid to hold a job because of something called the retirement earnings test…”

Studies Confirm That Half Of Americans Struggle With Retirement

Source: Forbes

“Approximately 50% of Americans have consistently reported that they will struggle, or are currently struggling, with their retirement finances. With approximately 10,000 people turning 65 each day for the next two decades, that represents an avalanche of gray-haired unease…”

Planning to Claim Social Security at 65? You May Need to Rethink That

Source: The Motley Fool

“When it comes to claiming Social Security, we all have options, but don’t assume that filing for benefits at 65 is the best one for you. Carefully assess the pros and cons before you make your plans…”

Martha Shedden is the President &
Co-Founder of RSSA.
Ask Martha
This month’s featured question: What would my family receive in Social Security benefits if I start collecting now at age 63 vs. waiting to collect at my FRA?
Martha’s response: If you were to file and claim retirement benefits now, your dependents, including your wife and both children, would be eligible to collect benefits based on your earnings record…
Social Security Spotlight: Spousal Benefits
What are the eligibility requirements for spousal benefits? When one files for Social Security retirement benefits, his/her spouse may also qualify to receive a spousal benefit based on his/her earnings. To qualify for spousal benefits, your own retirement benefit must be less than the amount of the spousal benefit and you must be at least 62 years old or be caring for a qualifying child (under 16 or disabled).
What is the spousal benefit amount? One may earn up to one-half the amount of their spouse’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). PIA is the full benefit one receives if he/she begins collecting Social Security at his/her Full Retirement Age (FRA). Just like one’s own retirement benefit is reduced if one files for Social Security benefits prior to his/her FRA, the spousal benefit will also be reduced if one files for spousal benefits prior to his/her own FRA. However, unlike retirement benefits, the spousal benefit will never be greater than one-half the amount of their spouse’s PIA, even if they wait to collect it after their own FRA.
What are the marriage and divorced eligibility requirements for collecting Social Security benefits? In order to be eligible to receive spousal benefits, you must be married for one year or you must be the parent of your spouse’s child. If you are divorced, but you were married for more than 10 years, then you may also be eligible to receive ex-spousal benefits.
If one ex-spouse gets remarried, what is the impact on the other ex-spouses eligibility? In order to be eligible to receive ex-spousal benefits, you must be unmarried. However, if your ex-spouse gets remarried, you are still eligible to receive benefits based on his/her earning records if you meet all the other criteria for ex-spousal eligibility.
Are survivor benefits the same as spousal benefits? No. Spousal benefits are based on a living spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) benefit and survivor benefits are based on a deceased spouse’s (or ex-spouse’s) benefit. The maximum spousal benefit one may be eligible to receive is 50% of the spouse’s PIA and the maximum survivor benefit one may be eligible to receive is 100% of what the deceased spouse was collecting.
Prepare For Medicare’s Open Enrollment Which Begins October 15
1. Access and review the 2021 Medicare Handbook for key dates and Social Security information
2. Check your mail for the Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) and read this notice to learn about any changes to your plan
3. Take your time and determine whether or not you need to make changes to your coverage in order to meet your needs in 2021
Webinar For Finance & Tax Professionals
Learn how to add client value and a new revenue stream to your practice by becoming a Social Security Expert.
RSSA founders, Michael Rosedale and Martha Shedden, will be speaking at this year’s virtual Accounting & Finance Show. Gain access to the entire 2-day online conference for free and join the webinar on October 21st at 11:00 AM EST. We hope to see you there!
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5 Self-Study Courses Available

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Don’t Leave Money On The Table.
Get Social Security Help.
Most people don’t make optimal filing decisions and therefore, lose out on money they are entitled to. A RSSA® can help you maximize your Social Security benefits and support you in making the best decisions for your particular situation. Request your free, no-obligation consultation with a Social Security expert today.
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Our mission is to help Americans get the maximum Social Security income they are entitled to, enabling them to enjoy their lives more fully.
RSSA is administered by NARSSA, the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts. NARSSA provides a comprehensive online platform for professionals to gain Social Security knowledge and earn the RSSA credential.
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