Social Security Planning

Social Security and Government Employees: Part One – The Basics

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by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

Government employees are a seriously underserved market, particularly when it comes to Social Security. And there’s one interesting reason: Very few people truly understand how Social Security integrates with “non-covered” pensions. That is, pensions, often for state and local government employees, where the employee does not pay into the Social Security system.

Frankly, the two government provisions—the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO)—are some of the most difficult Social Security concepts to grasp. But if you are a government employee, chances are good that it’s going to come up. So you need to understand at least the basics.

Will It Still Be There?

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

There is some disturbing language—in bold print, no less—on the second page of any individual Social Security statement issued by the SSA: Your estimated benefits are based on current law.  Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefits amounts may change at any time because, by 2034, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits.

SML’s William Rainaldi Shares Social Security Tips in Money Girl Podcast

Security Mutual Life’s William Rainaldi was recently interviewed by Laura Adams on her Money Girl podcast. Laura and Bill discussed some key points about Social Security, as well as five expensive Social Security mistakes and how to avoid them. Listen to the podcast and learn more about how to maximize your Social Security benefits. Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York is independent of and not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Money Girl, Quick & Dirty Tips™ Mignon Fogarty, Inc., or Macmillan Holdings, LLC.

Whatever Happened to File and Suspend?

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

“File and Suspend” was a great technique for generating an early Social Security spousal benefit. It was a way to find some extra income with little or no downside.

But “File and Suspend” is dead. It died quietly over a year ago—victim of an updated regulation. And yet, we still get many, many questions about how to do it. You can’t. Not anymore. If you were able to get it in before the deadline, congratulations! They can’t take it away from you.

So we don’t have as many options as we used to. But there are still other things we can do.

An In-Depth Case Study on Social Security Taxation

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by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

When you take a serious look at the nuts and bolts of Social Security taxation, the results are staggering. And so is the amount of money you can save if you plan properly.

And by planning properly, we mean that you can save a great deal of money in taxes simply by using the cash value in a life insurance policy to provide retirement income, rather than using, for example, a 401(k). This article shows you how.

Medicare Part B: Social Security’s Evil Twin

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

For years the people at the Social Security Administration (SSA) have been telling us that your Social Security benefit is protected against inflation. The reasoning is that Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) added to the benefit will help offset future price increases.

Too bad it just doesn’t work that way anymore.

I’m Afraid I’m Running Out of Money

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

Running out of money has become a more prevalent fear in recent years due to market fluctuations and increasing life expectancies. Thus, the emphasis on Social Security retirement benefits. You can spend your entire 401(k), but you can’t outlive Social Security.

How to Read a Social Security Statement

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

As we’ve said time and time again, no matter what, you can’t do any proper retirement planning without your current Social Security statement. If you have it, the planning process is much easier. Without it, it’s impossible.

There’s good news and bad news on this front. The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) recently revised the format of the statement. It is easier to read and understand than it ever was before. The bad news is that it was never all that easy to understand. So let’s take a quick tour of a sample statement to see where we need to look.

The 5 Most Common Mistakes When Claiming Social Security

by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

We’ve spent many years advising clients and financial professionals on the best options when it comes to Social Security, and one thing is abundantly clear: every situation is different. And that’s a big reason so many people end up confused. But after doing this for so long, we’ve seen some basic patterns developing. The same basic mistakes seem to repeat themselves over and over.


Increasing Social Security Benefits

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! All about retirement…how will you maintain your lifestyle during your retirement years? Are you concerned about running out of money? Where and when does social security fit in? How do you maximize your cash flow?



Social Security and Longevity Planning

Would you like to know how to maximize your social security retirement benefit? Well-informed retirees know that by delaying receipt of benefits, they can increase their monthly benefit payment by as much as 32 percent over what others may receive. This is only one of the many facts about social security that you need to be aware of. When to start benefits is a key question, and the answer varies based on individual circumstances. Take a few minutes to learn more about the intricacies of social security planning and how it fits into the overall plan for creating an income stream for one’s lifetime.



For more information, contact your Security Mutual Representative.