What is the Best Social Security Spousal Benefits Option for My Spouse if I File and Suspend?

What is the Best Social Security Spousal Benefits Option for My Spouse if I File and Suspend?

How Does Your Age Affect Your Social Security Spousal Benefits? What are the Social Security Spousal Benefits Changes in 2016? Find out more in this blog post.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what benefits, if any, your spouse is eligible for if you file for and suspend your own benefits by April 29, 2016. In order to answer them, I think it would be helpful to get a quick refresher on some points.

First, did your spouse work outside of the home? If so, it is possible that your spouse might be eligible for a benefit based on her own earnings record that is higher than the spousal benefit to which she is entitled based on your record. If this is the case with you, then you should check back tomorrow because I will be giving some examples that involve two-income households. Today’s discussion, though, will focus on scenarios where the spousal benefit amount that will be available to the wife is higher than any benefit to which she might be entitled based on her own record.

How Does Your Age Affect Your Social Security Spousal Benefits

This next point is really important. Don’t get Social Security’s terminology mixed up! If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is 66. This is the age at which you are first entitled to full (or unreduced) retirement benefits, but is not the age at which you’re first entitled to any benefits. The age at which you’re first entitled to any benefits is 62. If you apply before your FRA, your benefit amount is reduced. These general rules also apply to any spousal benefit that your spouse might receive.

Most of you seem to be pretty clear on the idea that you needed to be at least 66 in order to File and Suspend your own benefits by April 29, 2016. There seems to be a lot of confusion, though, about the benefits your spouse is entitled to if you do so. So, keeping the above paragraph in mind, let’s look at an example.

Social Security Spousal Benefits Options Available Under File and Suspend

Harry is 66, and has (or will) file for and suspend his own Social Security benefit before April 29, 2016. Because Harry is FRA, and because he acted (or will act) by the deadline, his wife Sally can collect spousal benefits when she is eligible. When can she apply, and how much can she get? It depends on how old she is now, and when she applies.

Let’s say that Sally was born in 1961, and is 55 years old. Sally’s FRA, in this scenario, is 67. In order for Sally to receive the maximum spousal benefit possible (50 percent of Harry’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)), she needs to wait until she is 67 to apply. That’s twelve years from now. She can apply for spousal benefits when she turns age 62 but, if she does, they will be reduced – only 35 percent of Harry’s PIA. The large difference in their ages is very important in this scenario. Even if she applies as soon as she is eligible, Sally cannot collect any spousal benefits until she’s 62 – or seven years from now. Harry will start collecting his own benefit when he is 70, which is only four years away. Because of the large difference in their ages, Sally cannot collect a spousal benefit at the same time that Harry’s is suspended. So in this scenario, there is no advantage to Harry applying and suspending his benefits.

Now suppose that Sally was born in 1955, and is 61 years old. In this scenario, her FRA is 66 years and 2 months. Because Harry acted by the deadline, Sally can apply for spousal benefits as soon as she is eligible – age 62, and while Harry’s are suspended. If she applies when she is 62, though, the amount that she receives will be reduced. What if she wants a higher benefit, and waits until her FRA to apply? Well, by the time she’s 66 years and 2 months old, Harry will be 72 – and he’ll be collecting his own Social Security benefit. If she waits, she will receive the maximum spousal benefit possible, but she just won’t be collecting them at the same time that Harry’s are suspended. So in this scenario, the benefit to Harry applying for his benefits and suspending them is debatable. If Sally had a terminal illness and was not expected to live until her FRA, she might want to collect what spousal benefits she can, while Harry’s are suspended. If not, I would probably advise Sally to wait until her FRA to apply.

What if Sally is the same age as Harry – 66? Since her husband acted by the deadline, and because she has reached her FRA, Sally can apply for and receive the maximum spousal benefit possible – which is fifty percent of Harry’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The money that Sally receives from Social Security can provide the family with some income while Harry’s own benefit is suspended. And while Harry’s benefit it suspended, it grows by Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs) and Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs). When he finally does collect his own benefit at age 70, it will be significantly higher than if he had not filed and then suspended.

Social Security Spousal Benefits Changes in 2016

What if Harry doesn’t apply and suspend by the deadline? Well, Sally will be subject to the new rules whenever she finally does apply for her spousal benefit. The new rules say that she will not be able to collect a spousal benefit unless Harry is collecting his own benefit. So if Sally wanted to file for her spousal benefit at age 66, Harry must file for and collect his own first – and if he does, he’ll miss out on all those DRCs and COLAs.

Confused about which course of action is best for your family? You’re not alone. Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration, and the rare advisors like me who have expertise in Social Security planning, just can’t meet with everyone who needs help before the deadline. Some folks who have called their local Social Security office have been told that, even if they are not able to get an appointment by April 29, the date on which they call 1-800-772-1213 and schedule an appointment at least seven days in the future will establish what is called a protective filing date. According to their rules, your application filing date is considered to be 1) the date that a valid application is receive at any SSA office or online, or 2) the protective filing date. Theoretically, you should be able to call today, schedule an appointment in May, and when you go in for your appointment and apply you will be subject to the rules that were in effect the day you made the appointment.

I can’t stop thinking like a lawyer. My concern with relying on a protective filing date is that you can’t request a suspension of benefits until your application is actually filed. Will individuals who attempt to suspend their benefits based on a protective filing date be rejected on the basis that the actual suspension request was not received by the April 29th deadline? Only time will tell. But since time is running out, I’m encouraging my clients who will benefit from it to just go online and file for and suspend their benefits. Unless you fall under one of the exceptions discussed in the previous post, there is no reason not to do so. Filing and suspending by the deadline will at least protect your ability to take action later, after you have had the chance to meet with a professional and discuss your options.

-Jim

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Are you confused about how the Apply and Suspend strategies can benefit you? Please do not ask your local Social Security office for advice, because they can only present your options about government benefits! The decisions that you make about this affect far more than just your Social Security benefits, and could have unintended complications and/or repercussions if they are not made considering the big picture.

Getting your Social Security decision right is important, but it is even more important that you have the right strategies for all of your planning. To find out if your entire financial house is in order, fill out this pre-qualification form by clicking here to see if you qualify for a free consultation. Western PA residents only please.

Don’t delay. Go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss to get your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, and then talk to a professional about your options before it’s too late.

 

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Should I take my Social Security benefits now or spend my retirement savings and apply and suspend?

In my last post, I promised that I would answer some of the questions we have received in response to The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets. So let’s have a look at some of the problems our readers are wrestling with.

Several readers have written and said that they are in a situation similar to this one:

My employer has just told us that the company has filed for bankruptcy and will be closing its doors later this year. I don’t know if I will be able to get another job at my age and, even if I do, I’m not sure I will be able to make as much money as I am making now. My spouse doesn’t work outside of the house. I was thinking about signing up for my Social Security benefits once the company closes, but then I read your book. I do have some savings in retirement plans (both traditional and Roth), and an investment account. When is the best time for me to apply for Social Security if I can’t find another job? Should I spend my savings now and apply for Social Security later, or should I save my money and apply now?

The loss of a job, especially at this point in your life, can be traumatic. Before we review the options that you have, let’s go through a quick refresher on two of the points covered in The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets.

When Should You Take Social Security?

How does the age at which you actually collect Social Security affect the amount you receive? If you are now 62, your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is 66. If you wait until your FRA to collect your benefits, you will receive your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). If you collect at 62, your monthly check will be permanently reduced, by 25 percent of your PIA. If you wait until you are 70 to collect, your check amount will be permanently increased by Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs) of 8 percent per year (up to a maximum of 32 percent), plus Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs).

When Should Your Spouse Take Social Security?

This next part is critical to understanding why you may have more options than you realize. If you file for your own benefit, even if you suspend them, your spouse will be permitted to file for spousal benefits based on your record as soon as she is eligible. When she files, though, is as important as when you file. If your spouse waits until her FRA (for most readers, this is 66), she’ll receive the highest spousal benefit possible – which is 50 percent of your own PIA. She is allowed to file as soon as she turns 62 but, if she does, she will only receive 35 percent of your PIA. In this case, we’re going to assume that your spouse is not entitled to a benefit based on her own earnings record. I have some examples for two-income households coming up in a later post.

The answer to the above question posed by my readers, therefore, will depend on how old both of you are. If you were or will be 66 by April 29, 20165, you should consider applying for and then suspending your own benefits by April 29, 2016. If your spouse is at least 66, that will make it possible for her to file for a spousal benefit that will be 50 percent of your own PIA. (She can file at 62, but her benefit will be reduced.) The spousal benefit will give your family some income from Social Security every month, while at the same time allowing your own benefit to grow by those DRCs and COLAs. Maybe you can’t get another job that pays as well as the one you have right now, but you might be able to get one that you enjoy a lot more – like working on a golf course – because your spouse now has a source of income that can make up the difference.

So what happens when you do get that pink slip? As tempting as it might be to just throw in the towel, you should continue working in some capacity if you are able to do so. A job will provide you with some income and, if you are able to secure spousal benefits by using the apply and suspend technique by the deadline, you just might have enough income to meet your expenses while still allowing your own benefits to grow. Are you too young to apply for and suspend your benefits by April 29, 2016? For most people, it is still preferable to delay claiming Social Security benefits for as long as possible. Many of my readers have some money in retirement plans (both traditional and Roth), and also some money in non-retirement accounts. How does the spending affect their decisions about Social Security? Which account should they spend first?

Should I Spend My 401(k) Money First?

For most people, it is better to spend your non-retirement accounts before your retirement accounts. The graph that follows is from my book, Retire Secure! It shows that, the longer you can leave your money in a tax-deferred (or tax-free) account, the longer it will last.

Should I take my Social Security benefits now or spend my retirement savings and apply and suspend?

When Should You Take Social Security benefits? Retirement questions answered from The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets by James Lange CPA/ Attorney.

Once your investment account is liquidated, the question becomes complicated. You should spend your traditional and Roth IRAs strategically, depending on your own personal tax situation. What the heck does that mean? I wish there was a one-size-fits-all answer, but there isn’t. However, Chapter 4 of my book, Retire Secure!, does contain an extensive analysis of this topic, and includes specific examples that may provide you with some additional insight. If you’d like to learn more about why it’s so important to spend the right money first, you can get a copy of the book from this website.

If you don’t want to read the book, here are some general points to consider. You’ll be required to take withdrawals from your traditional IRA when you turn 70 ½, and those withdrawals will be taxable. Income generated from non-qualified investment accounts is taxable. If you have enough taxable income from other sources, a portion of your Social Security will also be taxable. Most retirees don’t plan for unavoidable changes in their tax situations, and their failure to do so can be very expensive. What we strive to do in our practice is find the spending and tax management strategies that makes your money last as long as possible. Ultimately, the solution is different for each client.

Readers, thank you for the question and please keep them coming! I love hearing from you! And check back soon to read about some more real-life challenges that people like you are dealing with!

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Are you confused about how the Apply and Suspend strategies can benefit you? Please do not ask your local Social Security office for advice, because they can only present your options about government benefits! The decisions that you make about this affect far more than just your Social Security benefits, and could have unintended complications and/or repercussions if they are not made considering the big picture.

Getting your Social Security decision right is important, but it is even more important that you have the right strategies for all of your planning. To find out if your entire financial house is in order, fill out this pre-qualification form by clicking here to see if you qualify for a free consultation. Western PA residents only please.

Don’t delay. Go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss to get your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, and then talk to a professional about your options before it’s too late.

 

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Confused about when you should apply and suspend Social Security? You’re not alone.

Confused about when you should apply and suspend Social Security? You’re not alone.

What should I be doing about Social Security? Should I apply and suspend Social Security? Should I be collecting?

I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response to my new book, The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets. We’ve received an unprecedented number of phone calls and emails from readers who have read it, and who now realize that the choices that they make about Social Security can have an enormous impact on their retirement years. Many of you want to know if you’re making the right decision about when to collect Social Security, and have written with the specifics of your situation. Unfortunately, I just cannot answer all of your questions personally. But what I will try to do on this blog is address some of the major issues that seem to be of the most concern to my readers. Before I do that, though, I want to give you a general reminder.

Reasons you should not apply and suspend Social Security

If you are or will be least 66 years old by April 29, 2016, then you really should consider filing for and suspending your benefits on or before April 29, 2016. There are two situations where it might not be beneficial, and they don’t apply to a lot of people. But here they are. If you are contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you need to know that filing for Social Security (even if you suspend your benefits immediately) will trigger your automatic enrollment in Medicare Part A. Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you can’t contribute to an HSA. The tax benefits of contributing to an HSA can be nice, but, unless your employer is currently making the contributions on your behalf, those benefits are generally eclipsed by the cash benefits of Social Security. If this applies to you, then you might want to talk to your Human Resources department to see if you might be eligible for alternative compensation.

The second reason you might not want to file for and suspend your benefits would be if there is a chance that you might want to later file a restricted application for spousal benefits. You can’t do both. So if you file and suspend, you will not be allowed to file a restricted application! We’ve actually had a lot of questions on this topic, and I do plan to give some detailed examples of how the restricted application works in just a few days.

What to expect if you do apply and suspend Social Security

But let’s assume that you are not contributing to an HSA, and you’re not planning on filing a restricted application. What happens if you file for your benefits and suspend them by April 29, 2016? Since you will not be receiving a check from Social Security, there are no income tax consequences that might surprise you next April. If you change your mind later and want to start receiving your checks, you can do so – and your check amount will be permanently higher than if you filed but did not suspend. Once you have filed, your spouse can apply for spousal benefits and collect them even while your own are suspended.

New hope for those who thought they were too young to apply and suspend Social Security

Were you born in May, June, July or August of 1950, and are cursing the fact that you’re just a little too young to take advantage of the file and suspend technique? Here’s an idea for you. After the book was published, we realized that there was a nuance not addressed in the legislation eliminating the file and suspend technique, which might enable more people to get in under the wire than we originally thought. This is because the Social Security Administration allows you to apply for benefits up to four months before you actually want to start collecting them. Does this mean that you might be able to take advantage of the file and suspend technique too? Unfortunately, no one knows for sure. If you fall into this category, I would suggest that you apply for benefits before you turn FRA – and by April 29, 2016 – and ask that they be suspended. At worst, they will tell you that the suspension didn’t occur until after you turned FRA – that is, after the deadline. And who knows, they just might say that your application falls under the old rules! The one thing I know for certain is that, if you wait until after April 29, 2016 to apply, the advantage for suspending will be lost. Under the new rules, your spouse will not be able to collect a spousal benefit unless you are collecting your own benefit.

I will start to publish some case studies soon based on questions that our readers have asked after reading The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets. Stop back soon to see how real people like you are dealing with this important issue, and the best courses of action they have available to them. Remember, the decisions you make can provide your surviving spouse with a significantly higher guaranteed income, for the remainder of his or her life.

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Are you confused about how the Apply and Suspend strategies can benefit you? Please do not ask your local Social Security office for advice, because they can only present your options about government benefits! The decisions that you make about this affect far more than just your Social Security benefits, and could have unintended complications and/or repercussions if they are not made considering the big picture.

Getting your Social Security decision right is important, but it is even more important that you have the right strategies for all of your planning. To find out if your entire financial house is in order, fill out this pre-qualification form by clicking here to see if you qualify for a free consultation. Western PA residents only please.

Don’t delay. Go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss to get your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, and then talk to a professional about your options before it’s too late.

 

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Should you use the Claim Now, Claim More Later Strategy for your Social Security?

The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, James LangeThe Apply and Suspend strategy will be eliminated on April 29, 2016, so you must act now to take advantage of it. For those of you who cannot use the Apply and Suspend technique, there is another way that you may be able to maximize your benefits, though, which involves filing a Restricted Application (also known as Claim Now, Claim More Later). The great news is that you can take advantage of this strategy until December 31, 2019, assuming that you were at least 62 years old as of December 31, 2015.

If both you and your spouse have worked over the years, and if both of you have applied for benefits, Social Security will look at your earnings histories before they pay a benefit to either of you. If it is more advantageous for you to receive a benefit based on your own earnings record, that’s the benefit that they’ll pay you. If it is more advantageous for you to receive a spousal benefit, which is 50 percent of what your spouse gets, they’ll increase your benefit to equal that amount.

Under the old rules, there was nothing that prevented someone for applying for benefits, but restricting their application to their spousal benefit. Why bother? There is a very important reason. If you tell Social Security that you are specifically applying for just your spousal benefit, your own benefit will be increased by Delayed Retirement Credits that equal 8 percent every year. When you turn 70, you are not eligible to earn any more Delayed Retirement Credits, but you can then tell Social Security that you want to switch to your own benefit – which presumably at that point will be higher than your spousal benefit.

This strategy can allow eligible claimants to collect up to $60,000 in additional Social Security benefits. In order to make it work, though, all of the pieces have to fall exactly in the place. At Full Retirement Age, which is 66 for our purposes here, the spouse who wants to take advantage of it must file for benefits and specify that he is restricting his application to spousal benefits only. He can then collect spousal benefits until he reaches age 70.

Let’s look at an example. Mike and Mary are both 66, and since they were born between 1943 and 1954, are Full Retirement Age for Social Security purposes. Mike’s Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) is $2,000 and Mary’s is $800 and, both can file for these benefits now since they are 66. But what happens if Mary is the only one who files for her own benefit at age 66? Mike can then file for benefits, but restricts his application to just his spousal benefits. He collects $400 (half of Mary’s PIA) and, between them, they receive $1,200 from Social Security every month. When he turns 70, Mike can switch and collect his own benefit. By then, his own benefit has grown by 8 percent plus cost of living adjustments every year. Instead of receiving $2,000 every month, he will receive $2,920. Better yet, Mary can also switch and receive a spousal benefit that is half of Mike’s PIA – or $1,000. By taking advantage of this technique, Mike and Mary have increased their Social Security income significantly – and they receive it for the rest of their lives.

In order for this to work, the person who is filing the Restricted Application must be 66 or older. You cannot collect spousal benefits using this technique if you are younger than 66. Keep in mind, too, that this strategy will be eliminated in 2020. As long as you were born before 12/31/1953, you will be allowed to file a Restricted Application as soon as you turn 66. If you were born after 12/31/1953, you can’t take advantage of this option.

Are you confused about how the Claim Now, Claim More Later or the Apply and Suspend strategies can benefit you? Please do not ask your local Social Security office for advice, because they can only present your options about government benefits! The decisions that you make about this affect far more than just your Social Security benefits, and could have unintended complications and/or repercussions if they are not made considering the big picture.

Getting your Social Security decision right is important, but it is even more important that you have the right strategies for all of your planning. To find out if your entire financial house is in order, fill out this pre-qualification form by clicking here to see if you qualify for a free consultation. Western PA residents only please.

Don’t delay. Go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss to get your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, and then talk to a professional about your options before it’s too late.

 

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Time is Running Out to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits

The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, James LangeThere were two married couples, the Rushers and the Planners, with identical earnings records and investments. The Rushers didn’t read this book and during retirement, they ran out of money. Bad news. The Planners, however, took the time to read this short little book, implemented the recommended strategies, and when the Rushers were barely scraping by, they still had $2,013,881.

If you want to be a Planner and not a Rusher, please go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss and sign up to receive your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets on the day it comes out.

Eligible married couples must act by April 29, 2016 to take advantage of the two strategies that will allow them to maximize their income from Social Security.

Why?

Because a certain provision buried in the fine print of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminates the two strategies: Apply and Suspend and Restricted Applications for Benefits.

If you are married and will be at least 66 by April 29, 2016, you should read this book to learn whether it would benefit you to apply for and suspend your benefits by the deadline.

The Potential Benefits of Apply and Suspend for Social Security, James Lange, CPA/Attorney, Pittsburgh, PAApply and Suspend works this way. You file an application for benefits at age 66 (or later) and then suspend them – meaning that you will not receive monthly checks. There’s good reason to consider doing this. For each year that your benefit remains suspended, it grows by 8 percent (up to a maximum of 32 percent), plus cost of living adjustments. When you finally begin collecting checks at age 70, they’re significantly higher than they would have been if you had begun collecting them at age 66 – and they stay that way for the rest of your life. If you change your mind and want to start receiving your checks after you’ve suspended them, you can do so at any time.

Better yet, your spouse will be eligible to apply for spousal benefits—which can be as high as 50 percent of your benefit at age 66—as soon as she is age 62. This will give your family some income from Social Security during the years that your own benefit is suspended. (If her own benefit is higher, then a different strategy should be used).

But you must Apply and Suspend by the deadline, April 29, 2016, to be grandfathered under the old rules. If you do not apply for and suspend your own benefits by April 29, 2016, your spouse will not be allowed to collect a spousal benefit unless you are also collecting your own benefit.

The second strategy, called a Restricted Application for Benefits, allows you to file for benefits and specify that you only want to receive whatever spousal benefit to which you might be entitled. Depending on your age, it could mean a monthly check as high as 50 percent of your spouse’s benefit, while your own benefit continues to grow by 8 percent, plus cost of living adjustments, every year. When you turn 70, you can then switch to your own benefit if it is higher than your spousal benefit.

If you were at least 62 years old as of December 31, 2015, you will be able to file a Restricted Application for Benefits. In order to file a restricted application, you must wait until your Full Retirement Age – which is 66 for those who will be able to take advantage of the strategy before it is eliminated.

Clearly, maximizing Social Security benefits is to your advantage. What many people do not realize is just how important it can be to the surviving spouse. If you are the higher earner and you make the right choices, your spouse will be eligible to receive a survivor’s benefit which, at maximum, will be as high as your own benefit amount. But, two of the strategies that you can use to maximize your benefits are being eliminated.

Don’t delay. Go to www.paytaxeslater.com/ss to get your free digital copy of The Little Black Book of Social Security Secrets, and then talk to a professional about your options before it’s too late.

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New Social Security Rule Will Hurt Women by Eliminating Benefits Options

James Lange, CPA/Attorney, Advises Married Couples Ages 62-70 to Apply and Suspend NOW. After April 29, 2016, it will be too late!

In early November, President Obama signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 into law and the repercussions are devastating to the married women of our country.

Pittsburgh – December 16, 2015Lange Financial Group, James Lange, Pittsburgh, Social SecurityMarried women, statistically the widows of the future, will pay a high price due to the changes that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 has made to Social Security. Pittsburgh attorney and CPA James Lange takes action by releasing audio and video presentations as well as transcripts and a report that will help couples ages 62-70 navigate this new rule and protect their benefits while they still can!

SOCIAL SECURITY SURVIVOR BENEFITS ARE CRITICAL TO WOMEN

The financial well-being of widows is often dependent upon the choices that are made while their spouses are still alive. Spousal and survivor Social Security benefit choices can mean the difference between living comfortably in retirement and falling under the poverty line for women whose spouses leave them behind. Widows are commonly younger than their deceased husbands and the Social Security benefits they have earned, especially in the Boomer generation, are commonly less than that of their deceased husbands. This means that a widow will depend on collecting survivor benefits, often for many years, based on the benefits to which their deceased spouses were entitled.

“One of the best things a husband can do to protect his wife in widowhood is to maximize his own Social Security benefits. One technique that we use with our clients is apply & suspend.” James Lange of Pittsburgh-based, Lange Financial Group, LLC comments. “The law prior to the Bipartisan Act allowed the husband to apply for, and then suspend collection of his benefits, while allowing his wife to collect a spousal benefit. It was a win-win for our clients!”

This technique was used strategically to maximize the husband’s and wife’s long-term benefits. That, unfortunately, is coming to an end, with the exception of certain couples who take the appropriate action between now and April 29, 2016. For many couples, the income stream from spousal benefits in the previously allowed apply and suspend technique made it possible (or at least more palatable) for the husband to wait until age 70 to collect Social Security, thus maximizing their benefits.

“This new law cuts off that income stream, making it if not impossible, at least more difficult, for husbands to choose to delay collection of their benefits.” Lange warns, “Unfortunately, it is the widows of these husbands who cannot maximize their Social Security benefits who will be left in reduced circumstances for the rest of their lives.”

JIM LANGE’S ADVICE

DO NOT WAIT. Congress has eliminated one of the best Social Security maximization strategies. Fortunately, some recipients may be grandfathered already and others could be grandfathered if they act between now and April 29, 2016. Others will have to make do with the new laws. In either case, now is the time to review your options. We have posted a one hour audio with a written transcript explaining the old law, the new law and the transition rules. Readers can go to www.paytaxeslater.com to access this audio and transcript.

ABOUT JAMES LANGE Jim Lange, Pittsburgh, Social Security

James Lange, CPA/Attorney is a nationally-known Roth IRA and retirement plan distribution expert. He’s also the best-selling author of three editions of Retire Secure! and The Roth Revolution: Pay Taxes Once and Never Again. He hosts a bi-weekly financial radio show, The Lange Money Hour, where he has welcomed numerous guests over the years including top experts in the fields of Social Security, IRAs, and investments.

With over 30 years of experience, Jim and his team have drafted over 2,000 wills and trusts with a focus on flexibility and meeting the unique needs of each client.

Jim’s recommendations have appeared 35 times in The Wall Street Journal, 23 times in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The New York Times, Newsweek, Money magazine, Smart Money and Reader’s Digest. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Retirement Planning, Financial Planning, The Tax Adviser (AICPA), and other top publications. Most recently he has had two peer-reviewed articles published on Social Security maximization in the prestigious Trusts & Estates magazine.

To learn more, or sign up for their newsletter, visit www.paytaxeslater.com.

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4 Reasons Why We’re Excited that Retire Secure! is Interactive on the Web!

If you haven’t made your way to www.langeretirementbook.com yet, now is the time!

Here at the Lange Financial Group, LLC, we are very excited to bring you an interactive version of Retire Secure! A Guide to Getting the Most Out of What You’ve Got.

Reason #1 – The entire book is on this website. Yes, all 420 pages of the book, including the front and back covers, all about the best strategies for retirement and estate planning.

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Reason #2 – The book is divided into chapters for ease of reading. Meaning, you don’t have to flip through 400-some pages to get to Chapter 11 – The Best Ways to Transfer Wealth and Cut Taxes for the Next Generation.

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Reason #3 – We honestly haven’t seen anything like this before. Granted, I’ve read magazines on viewers where you can flip the pages as you read. But not a website for a book that includes a viewer, as well as a forum where readers can engage with each other.

The comments are moderated by the Lange Financial Group, LLC staff and myself. One of us will reply to your comment as soon as we can. To leave a comment, all you need to do is connect with your Amazon, Facebook, or LinkedIn account. This measure is for your protection, as well as ours. We don’t want spammers posting comments or incorrect information about such an important topic.

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Reason #4 – We are hoping this interactive website encourages you to purchase the book! Retire Secure! is available from Amazon and JamesLange.com. Once you’ve read the book, feel free to return to LangeRetirementBook.com to ask questions, as well as Amazon and Goodreads to review the book for the benefit of others.

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WSJ Article: Jim Lange Examines Proposed New Laws & Financial Planning

Don't Let Obama Proposals Sidetrack Financial Planning, WSJ, James Lange, Jonathan ClementsJim was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal (for the 35th time) by Jonathan Clements, a long-respected personal finance journalist. They discussed several topics including many that Jim has included in his new book due out in summer 2015, Retire Secure: A Guide to Getting the Most out of What You’ve Got.

The article, titled: Don’t Let Obama Proposals Sidetrack Your Financial Planning, mentions several legislative proposals that have been introduced since 2014 that could have a large effect on your personal financial planning. Specifically, Jonathan asked Jim about his thoughts on the proposals and how they might change Social Security and Inherited IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Jim’s advice? Even if changes are made for allowing Social Security maximization strategies like Apply & Suspend, traditional planning advice will likely remain the same. Hold off on Social Security as long as you can and collect the full delayed retirement credits.

“Let’s say the husband dies at 70, but the wife lives to 95,” Mr. Lange says. “The extra 32% in survivor benefits could mean the difference between her being in poverty and her being just fine.”

And what about the potential death of the Stretch IRA? Does it still make sense to do a Roth IRA conversion should a law pass that limits the effectiveness of Inherited IRAs? Jim explains that if a law passes that obligates a beneficiary to drain the account in five years, such an event could push that beneficiary into the highest tax bracket for those years. Because of this:

“It might still make sense to do the Roth conversion, so the kid won’t have this horrible tax burden,” Mr. Lange says.

You can read the full article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/2015/03/20/dont-let-obama-proposals-sidetrack-your-financial-planning/

To learn more about nearly all of the subjects discussed in this article in greater detail, read Jim’s book! Go to www.retiresecurebook.com to receive a free 4 page summary and email reminders for the release of the Third Edition of Retire Secure!.

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The Third Edition of Retire Secure! is almost complete!

Retire Secure! Third Edition, A Guide To Making The Most Out Of What You've Got, James LangeThe Third Edition of Retire Secure! is almost complete!

We are tying up loose ends on Retire Secure!: A Guide to Making the Most Out of What You’ve Got, which will have all the tables and charts updated with current numbers, and will include new information, some of which we have outlined below. We expect to have the book printed by spring 2015.

The Third Edition of Retire Secure! will offer updated numbers for all of the advice and planning in our earlier editions, plus:

  • New Taxes Aimed at High-Income Taxpayers
  • Changes in Capital Gains Tax Rates Create New Opportunities
  • Income Taxes Are Now More Important Than Estate Taxes for Most People
  • The Death of the Stretch IRA
  • Proposed Required Minimum Distributions on Roth IRAs
  • Roth IRA Conversions Can Still Be a Good Idea

We look forward to continuing to offer all our clients and prospective clients what we believe is some of the most solidly researched and analyzed information on retirement and estate planning.

Jim LangeA nationally recognized IRA, Roth IRA conversion, and 401(k) expert, he is a regular speaker to both consumers and professional organizations. Jim is the creator of the Lange Cascading Beneficiary Plan™, a benchmark in retirement planning with the flexibility and control it offers the surviving spouse, and the founder of The Roth IRA Institute, created to train ad educate financial advisors.

Jim’s strategies have been endorsed by The Wall Street Journal (33 times), Newsweek, Money Magazine, Smart Money, Reader’s Digest, Bottom Line, and Kiplinger’s. His articles have appeared in Bottom Line, Trusts and Estates Magazine, Financial Planning, The Tax Adviser, Journal of Retirement Planning, and The Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine.

Jim is the best-selling author of Retire Secure! (Wiley, 2006 and 2009), endorsed by Charles Schwab, Larry King, Ed Slott, Jane Bryant Quinn, Roger Ibbotson and The Roth Revolution, Pay Taxes Once and Never Again endorsed by Ed Slott, Natalie Choate and Bob Keebler.

If you’d like to be reminded as to when the book is coming out. Please fill out the form below.

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More on Retire Secure! Third Edition…Coming Soon!

Retire Secure! Third Edition, A Guide To Making The Most Out Of What You've Got, James LangeThe third edition of Retire Secure!, Retire Secure! A Guide to Making the Most Out of What You’ve Got is set to be released in the coming months, (stay tuned for exact date). This revised Third Edition of Retire Secure! covers how to develop an estate plan that, among other goals, seeks to continue the tax-favored status of your retirement plans or IRAs long after your death using the stretch or inherited IRA—a strategy that has been, and continues to be, threatened by congress. Lange has a history of staying ahead of the curve, seeing trends and changes in the tax laws and developing strategies for his clients in advance to keep them on the right path toward their financial goals. He was among the first to predict the coming changes to the tax law on Roth IRAs and wrote a peer-reviewed article for The Tax Advisor (official journal of the AICPA) that would go on to win article of the year in 1998. He is continuing this trend in this Third Edition by laying out the possibility of the death of the stretch or inherited IRA as we know it, and providing avenues to reach the same or better outcomes for your family including the use of charitable remainder unitrusts, or CRUTS and life insurance.

Lange offers up plenty of new content in this Third Edition including cutting edge analysis on the unique synergy between Roth IRA conversions and Social Security Maximization that his office has been developing. Using Social Security maximization techniques including spousal benefits like “Apply & Suspend,” and timing small appropriate Roth IRA conversions to take advantage of lower tax brackets in retirement can make hundreds of thousands of dollars of difference in your retirement portfolio… and he’s got the study to prove it.

Virtually every chapter of Retire Secure! contains recommendations, analysis, and case studies that have come from a deep understanding of tax law, estate planning, investing, and “running the numbers” and are proven to work.

Read this upcoming book and make the most out of what you’ve got for your retirement and your family’s future security.

Jim LangeA nationally recognized IRA, Roth IRA conversion, and 401(k) expert, he is a regular speaker to both consumers and professional organizations. Jim is the creator of the Lange Cascading Beneficiary Plan™, a benchmark in retirement planning with the flexibility and control it offers the surviving spouse, and the founder of The Roth IRA Institute, created to train ad educate financial advisors.

Jim’s strategies have been endorsed by The Wall Street Journal (33 times), Newsweek, Money Magazine, Smart Money, Reader’s Digest, Bottom Line, and Kiplinger’s. His articles have appeared in Bottom Line, Trusts and Estates Magazine, Financial Planning, The Tax Adviser, Journal of Retirement Planning, and The Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine.

Jim is the best-selling author of Retire Secure! (Wiley, 2006 and 2009), endorsed by Charles Schwab, Larry King, Ed Slott, Jane Bryant Quinn, Roger Ibbotson and The Roth Revolution, Pay Taxes Once and Never Again endorsed by Ed Slott, Natalie Choate and Bob Keebler.

Please complete the form below to receive reminders about the upcoming release of Retire Secure! Third Edition

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