Single Point of View

Single Point of View is our way to occasionally share planning ideas relating to personal finance. Our goal is to pass along concepts that you may not be exposed to on a daily basis.

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Social Security: After April 29

In previous posts we outlined the beginning of some big changes to social security claiming strategies this year.http://singlepointpartners.blogspot.com/2015/10/congress-makes-changes-to-social.htmlhttp://singlepointpartners.blogspot.com/2015/11/important-dates-for-new-social-security.htmlNow that the important date of April 29th has passed what should you be aware of.  One item we wanted to draw your attention to is the File & Suspend strategy for individuals.  File & Suspend is still an option for individual filers, however, unlike in the past we would recommend NOT choosing this option going forward.In the past, if a Single Filer chose File & Suspend they became eligible for a future lump sum reinstatements.  Essentially, this meant if you went through the Process of Filing & Suspending your benefit (as opposed to simply allowing it to defer by not filing) you were eligible to change your mind going all the way back to Full Retirement Age.  If you had a change in health when you were 69, and felt your life expectancy...
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Important Dates for New Social Security Claiming Strategy Rules

With the new rules for Social Security claiming strategies it is important to know the relevant dates to take advantage of the old rules.  For many, this will be out of your hands.  However, for those right around the Full Retirement Age right now (66), knowing these dates and acting in time could allow you to take advantage of a claiming strategy that could add thousands of dollars to your retirement income.   From our friend, Michael Kitces, here is the chart outlining the important dates and who should consider action prior to them:    
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Congress Makes Changes to Social Security and Medicare

As part of the Federal Budget deal passed by Congress (still to be voted on by Senate) there are a couple of major changes to both Social Security and Medicare.Social Security File & Suspend Claiming Strategy Eliminated:We have worked with many clients to develop a plan to maximize social security benefits.  Often times, this planning included a strategy commonly called File & Suspend.  This strategy allowed one spouse to collect benefits off of the other spouse's record from age 66-70, allowing their own benefit to continue to grow.  At age 70 they would switch to their own benefit. This legal strategy has been deemed a "loophole" by Congress and this pending bill will eliminate it.  It is still a little unclear if it will affect those currently implementing the strategy, although some amendments to the bill seem to suggest it will only affect those looking to implement in the future.This bill...
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Filing For Social Security Online

Mary Beth Franklin, who writes extensively on issues involving social security, has published the below article on the benefits of filing for social security benefits online instead of calling or going to a physical office.  With so many couples using strategies like File & Suspend, it is a great article to read if you are going to file online.  One great tip for those choosing a File & Suspend approach is that you complete the online application stating that you want benefits to begin at Full Retirement Age, then in the remarks section you need to make it clear that you would like to suspend those benefits until a later time.Take a look at the link HERE for some other helpful hints.
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Social Security: Cost of Living Adjustment 2015

Recently, the Social Security Administration announced its  COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for 2015. This adjustment of 1.7% will be applied to payments beginning in January 2015.Also connected to this adjustment is the increase of wages subject to the Security Security Tax, going from $117,000 to $118,500.If you would like to learn more about how this adjustment is calculated, please visit the Social Security Administrations official site.For more information on how your wages are taxed based on these adjustments, please visit this fact sheet from the Social Security Administation.
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