Getting Help With Social Security benefits
Are you an expert on Social Security benefits? With so many filing options for individuals and couples, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and make a mistake. Choices that seem simple can have long-term implications that can significantly impact the collection of Social Security benefits.
The staff of the Social Security office have a difficult job. A typical morning often begins with dozens of people queued up at the entrance. The lines and the wait grow longer throughout the day. The office itself is usually understaffed, which makes the situation more difficult. A small team of Social Security employees must work through this, trying to help hundreds of
individuals with retirement benefits, disability insurance, and other issues.
The staff do the best they can with limited workers and time, but they do not have the resources to sit down and go over your individual retirement situation and needs. Social Security clerks focus on getting you processed so they can help the next person in line. Your goal is to make sure your Social Security filing is optimized for your retirement. The clerks do not have the time to concentrate solely on your issue and your situation. And that can be a problem, because your goal and the clerk’s goal are not always aligned.
This free Social Security workshop will be held at 6:30 pm on November 13th and November 15th. The workshop will teach attendees the most common strategies and filing situations for individuals and couples. Registration is free, attendance is limited. A catered, full-service buffet will be provided.
One Mistake Cost This Man Years of Heartache
Don Wright of Akron, Ohio made one mistake in filing for his benefits and has been fighting to fix the error for almost a decade. In 2009 Wright went to his local Social Security office to file for Social Security benefits. Wright had been married and Wright’s ex-spouse had passed away after their divorce. Wright was eligible for survivor benefits—benefits he could collect before filing for his own benefits. This strategy would allow him to collect survivor benefits while maximizing his personal benefits for a later collection date.
The Social Security clerk presented him with two options: did Wright want to collect survivor benefits or his personal benefits? Wright was unaware he could collect survivors benefits and then collect personal benefits. Wright elected to take his personal benefits, a choice which drastically limited the total amount of Social Security benefits he was entitled to.
For Wright, the situation could have been averted if the clerk had explained his options. It’s nine years later and Wright is currently embroiled in a court dispute. He has spent years of his life trying to reverse a decision that was made in a matter of seconds based on incomplete information.
Know Your Social Security Benefit Options Before You File
There are several ways to educate yourself on Social Security benefits. You can read up on the most common options and strategies. You can attend a workshop or class taught by seasoned financial advisors with expertise in retirement planning and Social Security. Another option is to meet one-on-one with a professional who can look at your unique financial situation and then help guide you through a Social Security filing that makes the most sense for your retirement plan.
Before you decide on your Social Security filing strategy, make sure you know your options. It’s critical that you understand how Social Security will fit best in your retirement plan. An hour or two of consultation can save you years of regret.