October, 2022

Social Security: Important COLA Information

Social Security Spotlight: Cost of Living Adjustment
NARSSA | Social Security Newsletter | October 2022
October 2022 Newsletter


Hi there. Please enjoy reading our October 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


Introducing the RSSA Roadmap® Social Security Optimization Software
Social Security planning and advisory are now streamlined into a simple solution for advisors to help their clients. NARSSA has released RSSA Roadmap® Software, a Social Security optimization solution for professional advisors. RSSA Roadmap® is designed to answer the one question that all clients ask: “When should I file?”.

RSSA Roadmap® Software is included in NARSSA membership for both Associate and Registered members. RSSA Roadmap® is also available as a standalone purchase for professional advisors and as an enterprise solution for firms. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our RSSA Roadmap® website.



Top Stories  

Source: RSSA
The September 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI) report was released last week, providing the final calculation for the 2023 Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). And the official 2023 COLA is a whopping 8.7 percent! Read about the COLA and the changes that will be implemented in January.
Source: The New York Times
The New York Times columnist, Charlotte Cowles answers a common Social Security question for younger generations. NARSSA President & Co-Founder Martha Shedden shares her insight with Charlotte on the importance of young people understanding the Social Security program.
Source: Barron’s
Barron’s answers some of the top questions regarding the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Martha Shedden helps answer one of these questions, “Should I claim Social Security earlier than planned to take advantage of this COLA?”
Source: TheStreet
TheStreet’s Retirement Daily asked Social Security experts, including Martha Shedden, to offer their opinions on the 2023 Social Security COLA of 8.7 percent.
Source: Next Avenue
Writer Richard Eisenberg shares three important things to know about claiming Social Security. In the article, he explains that hiring an expert, such as a member of the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts, can be helpful in making the right decisions.
Source: Legacy Podcast
Podcast host Ari Parker speaks with Martha Shedden, Social Security expert and the co-founder and President of NARSSA. They discuss reframing retirement as an opportunity to design your next act.


Catch up with Devin  

In addition to the COLA, the Social Security Administration announced changes to the program that will take effect in January for America’s top retirement program. In this video Devin Carroll, RSSA breaks down the major changes that will soon be implemented. Watch the video.


Ask Martha  

Question: I am the full time caregiver of our disabled 21 year old – we were together for 13 years, married for 9.6 legal and 3 years common law, divorced in 2008 and he has not helped or seen disabled child since. He has just retired – 21 year old disabled daughter is receiving Social Security under him – I am 54. Can I apply for benefits as sole caretaker of our disabled daughter?
Martha’s response: Ex-spousal benefits are only eligible for spouses who were married at least 10 years. This means that at least 5 months of the “common law” years of the relationship must be considered a “marital relationship,” and therefore eligible for marital Social Security benefits, in the state which you resided in. Each state has different versions of marital relationships, such as “domestic partnerships,” that are sanctioned by the state, so it depends on how your state treats “common law” relationships. If you do qualify for a 10-or more year marriage that ended in divorce, you may then be eligible to receive Disabled Adult Child-in-care spousal benefits, at your current age, and/or ex-spousal benefits after age 62…Read Martha’s full response or Ask Martha your own question.


Social Security Spotlight: Cost of Living Adjustment   

What is the Cost of Living Adjustment? The Cost of Living Adjustment, also known as COLA, is an automatic annual increase to Social Security benefits meant as a way to keep pace with inflation.
How is the COLA determined? The Social Security Administration calculates the COLA based on the increase in the CPI-W (Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) in the third quarter of the current year compared to the increase in the CPI-W in the third quarter of the previous year. The third quarter includes July, August, and September. The CPI-W is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor.
What is the history behind COLAs? Congress enacted the COLA provision as part of the 1972 Social Security Amendments. The first automatic annual COLA began in 1975. Prior to 1975, Social Security benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation.
Are COLAs guaranteed? No, it all depends on the CPI-W. Since 1975, there have only been a few years with a zero percent COLA. Most recently, there was no COLA in 2016.
What is the 2023 COLA? The 2023 COLA was recently announced, and it is a historic 8.7 percent.


Listen up: Social Security Podcast   

In this episode, Martha sits down with Robert Powell and they discuss financial advisors, Social Security, Medicare, IRAs, and more. Robert Powell, CFP®, is an award-winning financial journalist whose work appears regularly in MarketWatch, USA Today, TheStreet, The Wall Street Journal, and AARP. He is the editor and publisher of TheStreet’s Retirement Daily as well.
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.


Social Security With Tom

Social Security with Tom is our newest series. Each episode in this series will feature different Social Security topics, strategies, client questions and much more to help you optimize your Social Security. This episode is about knowing the best age to file for Social Security. Is it 62? Or 70? Or your FRA? Watch now and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.


Case Study of the Month  


My client turned 70 in September, is single, and is working until the end of this year.  She wanted to know when to collect Social Security. She had heard about the pitfalls of the earnings test. However, she didn’t know that she wasn’t subject to the earnings limits after her full retirement age (FRA).

I was able to provide her with important information and advice. After FRA, one may apply for benefits and receive up to 6 months of retroactive payments in a lump sum. In this case, to minimize her tax burden, I advised her to wait to file until January 2023 and retroactively apply for her 70th birth month. Because she will no longer be working, her 2023 income will be lower. This lowers her tax burden in 2022, and she will receive the same amount of Social Security benefits!


Medicare Update  


Medicare’s open enrollment period has begun. It officially began October 15th and closes on December 7, 2022. If you haven’t started to prepare, you can begin now with these 3 suggestions.


1. Access and review the 2023 Medicare Handbook

2. Check your mail for the Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) letter

3. Take the time to compare plan options and determine if changes need to be made in order to meet your needs in 2023


Learn more about Medicare and Open Enrollment.


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.


RSSA Back Office

Are you a financial advisor, insurance professional, tax professional, lawyer or NARSSA member with clients that need help optimizing their Social Security? Work with an experienced partner to outsource your Social Security planning. Our team of expert Social Security advisors will help your clients take advantage of strategies that may yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional lifetime benefits. Learn more.

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