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Social Security as Longevity Insurance

Most people look at the benefits they would receive today when making their decision about when to begin receiving their Social Security. They also underestimate how long they may live unless they already have medical issues that are known to reduce longevity. These two impulses cause many couples to begin their benefits too early which […]

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Will working longer, or part time, increase, or decrease, my Social Security benefit?

Most people don’t know how their Social Security benefit is determined. Being unaware leads to this very common question – Will working longer increase, or decrease my Social Security benefit?   Working longer, even part time, will NOT reduce your benefit. And in some cases, may increase your benefit. The below short article explains in […]

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Social Security, Divorce, Remarriage, Survivor – confused yet?

When it comes to Social Security, divorce, remarriage and/or being a survivor of any spouse may get confusing. You’ve had a complicated life – what do you do when it comes to Social Security? Workers generally receive their own benefit based on their own work record IF that benefit is higher. Spouses may receive a spousal […]

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Federal employee pensions and Social Security confusion

There can be confusion about Federal Employees and Social Security about CSRS, FERS, and something called “CSRS offset.” Let’s see how these federal retirement plans interact with Social Security. The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was enacted in 1920 to give federal employees pension benefits at retirement. When the Social Security Act was passed in 1935, […]

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When does the family maximum apply to Social Security?

Social Security does have a maximum payout called the Family Maximum. It may apply to families who are retired, family survivors, and families of a disabled person receiving benefits. There is a formula for the benefit which is complicated. Your Social Security statement specifies what the maximum benefit may be. The values the formula uses […]

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How might you replace lost income as a survivor?

Most people don’t realize (or do, but don’t plan for it) that, as a couple, there is lost income from Social Security automatically built in. I discussed examples in a post titled “Social Security and Survivor Considerations.” In this post, the question is … How much money* is needed to replace that lost income? First, the […]

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Already receiving Social Security – you might need a check up!

Security Planning isn’t just for people who haven’t claimed yet. People who are already receiving Social Security often forget about other benefits they may be entitled to after having filed. The wise owl circles back to review things they’ve done in the past to be sure something wasn’t forgotten! This is not second guessing – it […]

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Social Security and Survivor Considerations

Did you know that Social Security for couples has a built in pay cut for survivors? How does that happen? Retirement has three basic phases for couples: Phase 1: Both are here – Retirement Plan. Phase 2: One is here as the survivor – Survivor Plan. Phase 3: Neither are here – Estate Plan. Most couples […]

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Can you “restrict” your Social Security now?

Did you turn 62 by 1 Jan 2016? Your options later if you didn’t. If you did turn 62 by then … … you retain the ability to claim just your spousal benefits (Why? answer later) from your spouses Social Security record when you turn 66 or later (called restricted claim for spousal benefits). With a couple of […]

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Is File and Suspend Dead for Social Security?

Okay, the first part of the new Social Security rules* has gone by – we’re into May now and you may have read already about the demise of File and Suspend. Rather than talk about what one could have done (a moot point), I’ll discuss what works now. I’m writing this in early February thinking […]

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