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A friend and colleague of mine and a nationally recognized IRA expert has written a new book on how to maximize Social Security benefits: The $214,000 Mistake – How to Double Your Social Security & Maximize Your IRAs—Proven Strategies for Couples Ages 62-70.
He is striving to reach the broadest possible audience of retirees and married couples between the ages of 62 and 70 who might benefit from optimizing Social Security. This book is also important because getting Social Security wrong not only hurts the primary wage earner of the couple but could be devastating for the dependent spouse, usually the wife. Getting Social Security right is a woman’s issue. For example, if the primary-wage-earning-husband collects too early, not only will his benefit be less than half of what it could be, his wife will get less than half if he dies first. And, since statistically women live on average 7 years longer than men, a man making the wrong decision about Social Security could unnecessarily doom his wife to a life of poverty after he dies.
Sadly, 97% of Social Security recipients fail to receive the benefits they are entitled to because they don’t understand when and how to initiate their claims for benefits. According to a recent consumer survey on Social Security, an alarming 91% of respondents reported that they didn’t know what factors determine the maximum Social Security benefit they can receive. Consequently, their income is reduced for the rest of their lives. Further, bad Social Security decisions disproportionately impoverish older, single women, who tend to live longer than men. That is the issue his new book tackles.
It is the scope of the audience that he is trying to reach that really gets my support. For someone who has a $2,000,000 portfolio and/or a healthy pension, optimizing Social Security benefits to get an extra $214,000 (which can be as much as double their unoptimized benefits) is a nice cushion, but not life-changing. For the 21% percent of married couples and 43% of single seniors who the Social Security Administration estimates are relying on Social Security to fund the greater part of their retirement, not receiving all the benefits they are entitled to will have a disastrous impact on their quality of life. That is the key audience he is aiming to educate.
All the proceeds from the book will go to a worthy charitable organization, charity: water. He is going all out to promote this book and he genuinely hopes it helps hundreds of thousands of people who will never do business with him.
Here are some particulars about optimizing Social Security benefits—naturally you can find all the details in the book.
• If you apply at age 62, or as soon as you are eligible, your benefit amount starts lower and stays lower for the rest of your life.
• COLAs (cost of living adjustments) magnify the benefits of delayed claiming, as well as the detriments of early claiming.
• Delaying your application for benefits becomes more advantageous the longer that you live—and remember your long-term objective is to not run out of money.
• Since the surviving spouse will get the higher of the two benefits, it generally makes sense to plan for one benefit to be as high as possible. This can also be a game-changer for the surviving spouse.
• If you are married (or were married, but are now divorced), filing a Restricted Application for benefits could be a way for you to get more money from Social Security.
Here are the key points about Roth IRA conversions:
• The 2017 tax reform reduced tax rates for many individuals. If you believe, as I do, that this reduction is temporary, then it may be beneficial to consider a series of Roth IRA conversions sooner than later.
• A series of Roth IRA conversions executed in conjunction with optimal Social Security strategies is a powerful combination.
And, here is Jim Lange’s request to my readers:
The firm I hired to promote the book said that they plan to hit the media hard as soon as we have had a chance to get some 5-star reviews on Amazon. Amazon, however, doesn’t put much stock in reviews from readers who post reviews without purchasing the book. So, for a limited time, we are selling the e-version of the book on Amazon for 99 cents. Once you have read the book or parts of it, and if you find the information helpful, I would be grateful if you were to post a review on Amazon.
The best part of giving a review and downloading the book is that 100% of the proceeds will go to a charity that is near and dear to my heart, Charity: Water. This charitable organization partners with local organizations around the world to provide long-lasting water and sanitation services. They help bring clean water to people in need. Diseases such as dysentery, cholera, and typhoid kill more every year than all forms of violence, including war—43% of those deaths are children under five years old. By purchasing this book, you can contribute to this dramatic life-changing work.
If you would like to play a role in getting the information in the book into the hands of the people who most need it, please purchase my book on Amazon and write a verified review. You have the power to change lives all over the world for less than a dollar. It’s easy. It starts with you. Please visit www.the214kmistake.com. And, thank you.
But, also in the spirit of his goal, he is making a free audiobook available for anyone who is interested in learning more. You can download it for free at www.socialsecurityaudiobook.com. He is also pursuing a somewhat inventive tack to get the information into the hands and minds of the people who most need it. He is in the beginning stages of finding celebrity readers to read chapters of the book. Ed Asner is the first to commit. It takes some creativity to make optimizing Social Security a fun topic, even if it is a critically important one.
I support Jim’s endeavor. I hope you will too. Please consider purchasing a 99-cent copy of the book from Amazon and writing a positive review. And remember, that “almost” dollar will go to charity: water.