Social Security Planning

Planning the right Social Security strategy is a lot more confusing than most people think. Some of the things that need to be considered are:

  • What is your life expectancy?
  • Will you continue to work after you file?
  • Do you have a government pension?
  • How will Teacher Retirement affect your Social Security?
  • Are you eligible for a spousal or ex-spouse’s benefit?
  • How much can you pull from IRAs without making your Social Security taxable?

The right strategy can make a significant impact on your finances over your lifetime. I have thoroughly researched the minutia of the Social Security laws and have invested in an excellent software package to help clients make wise decisions regarding their benefits. You paid thousands in, it is worth the time to make sure your withdrawal strategy maximizes what you get back.

A Social Security case study

Two high school sweet hearts have both earned good money over their careers. They both will turn 62 this year and have enough money to retire, but haven’t decided when to stop working and when to begin withdrawing Social Security. Using my software, I can run almost every scenario to help them evaluate the important choice they have before them.

As you can see in the bottom right hand corner where it says “Summary at Selected Ages,” They would receive $1,360,839 over their life expectancy if they both took Social Security at 63 with the assumptions below. With my software, I can show them the optimal strategy (where the star is) is to file and suspend.

What is Filing a Restricted Application?

Filing a restricted application allows one spouse to begin collecting spousal benefits and then switch to their own benefit at a later age. Unfortunately, many people, including Social Security Employees, are not familiar with this strategy. In the example above, I show the husband applying for Social Security at age 68. He has to has to start taking benefits so that his wife is able to file for a spousal benefit. At her full retirement age, she is allowed to collect 1/2 of the husband’s Social Security without hurting how much he can withdraw for himself. In my case study, she takes a spousal benefit from age 68 to 70 which allows her to grow her own benefit by 8% per year. When she turns 70, she can then take her own, larger benefit.