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Social Security

Your Payback from Social Security

One of the big questions that many folks face with regard to Social Security benefits is – I’ve paid in so much, will I ever see it come back? I thought I’d show what a payback break-even might look like, in terms of the money you put into the system and what you’ll get back out of it.  I made an assumption in the calculations: Future COLAs were not calculated into the example, keeping things in terms of today’s dollars. COLAs would only confuse the calculations. Full Retirement Age In this first series I assumed the normal, Full Retirement Age scenario, with two options: 1) you earned exactly half of the wage base that SSA requires withholding for each year of your 35-year working life, and you’re now age 66 and 2 months, Full Retirement Age; and 2) you earned exactly (or more than) the maximum amount of money that […]

Talking to the Social Security Office

What you need to know before talking to Social Security (SSA) – make sure you’re getting the information you need to make decisions.

GPO and WEP – When Do These Apply?

Do you know what benefits GPO and WEP may apply to? Each type of reduction applies differently, learn what the difference is.

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) for Social Security

WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) can cause a substantial decrease in your Social Security benefit. This article explains WEP to help you understand it.

Government Pension Offset for Social Security

Are you impacted by the Government Pension Offset (GPO)? Read on for more details on how this program works and why you’re impacted.

The Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)

Do you know how the Primary Insurance Amount is used to calculate your Social Security benefit? Or how the PIA is calculated itself?

How to Check Your Social Security Benefits

How can you check the current status of your Social Security benefits? Or get an estimate of your future benefits? Here’s how-

Payback When You’ve Earned Too Much

How does Social Security make it up to you when they’ve withheld benefits because you earned more than the annual limit?

Social Security Earnings Test

Do you understand how the earnings test for Social Security works? This article is a brief primer on the way it works, with examples.

When To Apply for Social Security Benefits

Deciding when to apply for Social Security benefits requires some thought – but in the end result it might not matter at all.

Health Savings Accounts – The Basics, Part 1

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-exempt trust or custodial account that you set up with a bank or other US financial institution which allows you to pay or be reimbursed for qualified medical expenses. The HSA must be used in conjunction with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). The HSA can be established using a qualified trustee or custodian that is separate from the HDHP provider. Contributions to an HSA must be made in cash or through a cafeteria plan. Contributions of stock or property are not allowed. Benefits of an HSA There are quite a few benefits to an HSA: Contributions to an HSA are deductible from income – even if you don’t itemize deductions; If your employer makes contributions to an HSA on your behalf (such as via a cafeteria plan) the contributions can be excluded from your gross income; Your account contributions can remain in […]

Level payment pension plan option

What is the level payment pension payout option? How does it work?

Restoring Social Security benefit level after early filing

Did you know that restoring Social Security benefits after early filing was even a possibility? There’s at least a couple ways to do this.

What income is used for the Annual Earnings Test?

Do you know what income is used to determine whether you’ve surpassed the Annual Earnings Test? At least one item may surprise you…

How Remarriage Affects Widow(er)s and Ex-Spouses Differently

Do you know the differences in how Social Security treats a widow as opposed to an ex-spouse? It’s important to understand these distinctions

Why is there GPO (Government Pension Offset) in Social Security?

If the Government Pension Offset (GPO) is factored into your Social Security calculation, do you understand why?

Why is there WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) in Social Security?

WEP, or the Windfall Elimination Provision, is vexing to many folks. Why does WEP even exist? This article explains why.

Social Security Eligibility

How many Social Security credits do you need in order to be eligible for retirement benefits? What about Social Security disability?

Babies from 1960: 2020 is a year you’ll never forget

If you were born in 1960, 2020 will have more significance to you than most. This year’s economic hits will impact your Social Security, not in a good way.

2019 Social Security Survey Results

Results from my 2019 Social Security Survey are in. Some interesting information to be learned about attitudes toward filing strategies.