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Category Archives: Social Security

Social Security File and Suspend – Reader Question & Answer


One of my readers, Judy, asked me the following question:

“Will the file and suspend change prevent me (62nd birthday is not until 8/26/17) from participating? Hubby still works but is already 63 and so I guess can file and suspend.”

Good question, Judy. And I’m sure that a lot of other people are looking for some guidance on this as well. So let’s tackle this one.Continue Reading

How Do I Calculate My Social Security Benefit?


Today’s question comes from Tim. And it has to do with Social Security calculations. Here it is:

Tims question calculate my Social Security benefit

Hi Chris, I do have a question that I think may also apply to other people too. My wife and I are planning to stop working when we turn 62, but not collect social security until she is 66, and I am 70. We will live on my pension and savings until we collect social security. My question is this: The charts you use to determine your social security payout amount is based upon working until you actually collect; in our case there will be a gap of 4 or 8 years of not paying into the system, but not collecting either. So I am assuming the numbers on the chart will not be accurate, so how much will the numbers be off? I talked to someone at social security about this, but he couldn’t really give me an accurate estimate. Is there some way to get at least a ball park estimate? I assume many other people will also have this problem, especially if they are waiting until age 70 to collect. Thanks if you can answer this.

Tim, great question.Continue Reading

5 Ways Social Security Changes Will Impact Your Retirement

The government giveth, the government taketh away

Some new changes in how Social Security benefits are claimed will take effect at the end of April 2016. And this is going to have a big impact on how retirees plan for their retirement.

It’s also going to have a very large impact on how retirees will make sure they have enough income to meet their expenses and to live the lifestyle that they want in retirement

The two biggest changes that will go into effect are:

  1. The elimination of the File and Suspend Strategy for Social Security claiming and
  2. The elimination of the Restricted Application Strategy

I’ve written on this before in a past blog post, but just a quick recap…Continue Reading

Coffee, Couch, Questions: When Should I Draw Social Security?


This is a new segment that I am thinking about adding to my video series. You let me know how much you like it. That’ll help me determine if I should keep it up.

Here’s the premise:

I sit on a couch, drink some coffee, and answer a question that has been asked of me.

Pretty simple, huh?

Oh yeah, most important of all… I keep all information about the questioner confidential.

Trust me… my compliance department would never let me get a video published that gave away anyone’s name or any personal info that could identify that person.

So here is the first question I have chosen for this series. I chose it simply because it landed in my inbox recently. So why not, right?Continue Reading

New Changes In Social Security Claiming Strategies

The 2015 bipartisan budget deal appears to have taken away some of the Social Security claiming strategies.

It also appears that these changes are with us from now on.

These changes will cost retirees a lot in guaranteed lifetime income. It could cost some people up to $50,000 in lost lifetime benefits.

And before you believe this will only affect the super-rich 1%, think again. This will affect everyone that isn’t grandfathered in under the old rules.

Most articles I read about this always imply that this change took away a “loophole” that primarily benefited the “rich.” Gotta stop the rich and all their loopholes. But that’s not the whole story.Continue Reading


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