Social Security Planning

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.

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.

Social Security and Government Employees: Part Two – Windfall Elimination Provision

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by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

In Part One of this series of articles, we looked at certain types of government employees. These are people who have worked previously with a “non-covered” pension. That is, they worked at a job where they didn’t have to pay Social Security (SS) withholding taxes (such as certain state and municipal employees), but still got a separate pension from the work they did.

The federal government has ways of adjusting any possible Social Security benefits to reflect this. Today we look at the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which is used to reduce a worker’s Social Security benefits to offset the perceived windfall.

Social Security and Government Employees: Part Three – Government Pension Offset

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by William F. Rainaldi, CFP®
Regional Vice President

In Parts One and Two of this series, we looked at certain types of government employees who have worked previously with a “non-covered” pension. That is, they worked at a job where they didn’t have to pay Social Security withholding taxes, but got a separate pension from the “non-covered” work they did. Now we look at the Government Pension Offset (GPO), which is used to reduce Social Security spousal benefits to offset the perceived “windfall.”

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.

O.K. Now What?

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April 29 has come and gone. Social Security’s "File and Suspend" option is no more. If you were able to do it, great. If not, now what? There is another completely different strategy that may still work: “Spousal Only,” technically known as filing a “Restricted Application.” For additional information or a comparison of your Social Security options, ask your Security Mutual agent about the Security Mutual Social Security Evaluator.



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.