Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Great Social Security Myth

The Great Social Security Myth

I may not know you personally, but without any reservations whatsoever, I’m certain of this about you: When it 's time for you to begin collecting your Social Security benefits, you’d prefer to collect in a manner that will give you the most money possible. Or, if you’re already collecting benefits, it’s a sure bet that your choice is to ultimately bring in the maximum possible benefits over your lifetime. Am I correct?

Obviously, I can’t think of any situation in which someone knowingly intends to leave even a single penny on the table when it comes to, of all things, their Social Security checks. But here’s the thing. Are you certain that you are collecting or have a plan to collect Social Security in the way that will best maximize yours and your family’s lifetime benefits? How do you know that? Or perhaps you think it’s the responsibility of the Social Security Administration to make that happen for you?

If you’re thinking that the Social Security Administration will help you to arrive at the approach that will be the most beneficial to you and your family, you’re mistaken. That’s not only a myth, it’s completely disallowed. Under Procedure GN 00203.004 of the Social Security Administration’s Operations Manual, employees are specifically prohibited from rendering any advice. Period. In fact, that same Procedure even goes further, preventing employees from asking applicants (that would be you) “leading questions; i.e., worded in such a way as to suggest the proper or desired answer.”  Notice that this is a direct, word-for-word quote from Social Security’s Operations Manual.

Yes, I know. That’s both weird and ironic, because how in the world are you supposed to know the best strategy? As I explain in this free special report, while there are indeed many strategies to help boost your Social Security benefits, actually far beyond what most people are aware of, one of the best things you could ever do for yourself and for your family is talk with an experienced financial advisor who is well-versed in this area. This is crucial if you are to take full advantage of the benefits due you! Let me emphasize, though, that while there is no shortage of financial professionals, some with fancy-schmancy titles, in my experience, only a handful actually have the knowhow to help you in this regard. So please be forewarned.

Wouldn’t Social Security automatically pay your highest benefit?

Generally it’s true that when you apply for benefits, you will receive the highest benefit due you. But that is precisely the thinking that can cause you to end up leaving other money for which you qualify on the table. Let me use Donna’s case to illustrate. About to turn 66, Donna feels great, looks great, and intends to wait until age 70 to begin collecting her maximum retirement check, which will be about $2,600/month. This is a decision she came to after talking with her financial advisor, and also visiting and speaking with someone at Social Security to confirm the estimated payment.

So far everything looks normal – but here’s the issue and what happened after Donna’s chance encounter with yours truly. Donna also qualifies for benefits today, based on her ex-husband’s record. And we’re talking $1,400 /month ($16,800/year). Collecting this today will not change anything in terms of the $2,600/month she has coming to her at age 70. Wait, it gets even better than that – she doesn’t need her ex’s consent to collect this money!

Why didn’t her advisor and/or the person at Social Security tell her that while waiting, she could be collecting an additional $16,800/year? My guess is that, like many other advisors, he simply doesn’t know about it. As for Social Security, their job is only to pay you the highest benefit you can collect at any particular time. Remember from earlier that they are prohibited from offering advice. Donna’s divorced spouse benefit of $1,400/month does not come into the picture because it’s not her highest benefit option. Could you see how in actuality things can get rather tricky?

Long story short, we helped Donna file a “Restricted Application” so that she can begin collecting her $1,400/month over the next four years while waiting for her own retirement benefits to hit their maximum. The point here is that had it not been for her chance encounter with me, she would have left a whopping $67,200 ($1,400/month for 4 years) on the table without even knowing that she’d done so. And I must also mention that Donna’s ex-husband and his new wife will not be affected in anyway by her collecting this benefit. So no worries if you find yourself on that side of the story.

Are you sure about what you and your financial advisor are planning in this regard? Are you aware of all of your possibilities when it comes to maximizing your Social Security income? Download your complimentary copy of my special report, and then call me at 877.656.9111 to schedule some time to chat about your retirement finances in general.

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