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Social Security Planning

Maximizing Social Security

You should obtain the all the benefits to which you are entitled from the Social Security Administration, Veterans’ Administration and other programs. All too often, though, eligible beneficiaries receive less than they should because they are not aware of the rules or the employees of the agency are overwhelmed.

This is not meant as criticism. It is simply beyond the scope of an employee’s role at one of these agencies to learn enough about an applicant, their savings, other sources of income, tax rates, and other dependents to be able to ask the right questions and give an answer calculated to maximize the recipient's long term benefit. For Social Security employees in particular, frequently the best outcome is to get a beneficiary the highest benefit right away. It makes the beneficiary feel good and go away happy.

And for many retirees for whom Social Security is the sole or main source of income, that is probably correct. But if you have assets or a pension or if you own your own business, the question is more complex. Your "big picture" includes asking, "What is the optimal time for me or my spouse to each take our Social Security benefits to maximize our total? Who should take it first? On whose earnings record should Social Security be claimed? Will I keep working? Can I change my mind? How much will I get after taxes? Are there eligible dependents in the household?"

If you are not being asked the right questions, you could be getting less than you're entitled to for the rest of your life! So if you want a specialist to review your Social Security benefits before you make an irreversible decision, call me for an appointment. 


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