For several years we have been actively advising clients on how best to maximize Social Security benefits, as this program was such an important part of most retirees retirement income. I’ve been told there were over 500 different combinations of filing options for married couples! Decisions concerning the age to start taking benefits, plans to continue to work, health/life expectancy, and alternative retirement savings and investment accounts made the decision on when to start benefits different for most clients. Since your social security benefit increased by 8% per year plus any cost of living adjustment (COLA), delaying benefits had a lot of appeal.
However, new tax laws have reduced the options for married couples who were able to take advantage of both; the 8% benefit increase by delaying receipt of their benefits, and the need/desire for some immediate income by activating the spouse’s benefit (usually 50% of their current benefit). This “file and suspend” strategy (and similar “restricted application” strategies) will DISAPPEAR on May 1st 2016. If you are between the ages of 62 and 70 act quickly to take advantage of these tax filing strategies before they are gone. For assistance with this or any other financial planning decisions, please feel free to contact me at 301-543-6003.
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Don is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and has been in the advisory business since 1987. He is a founding partner of Planning Solutions Group, which was formed in 2001. Planning Solutions Group is a leader in family wealth management comprised of 30 employees and over 1,500 clients with offices in Maryland and Virginia Beach. Don’s practice focuses in the areas of wealth management, business continuity planning, fringe benefit design, and estate planning.
Don is a frequent speaker/educator who empowers high net worth business owners. He provides educational workshops and seminars throughout the nation at Colleges, Universities, Clubs, and Associations including Christopher Newport University, Montgomery College, and Johns Hopkins University. He has been a featured speaker for many trade associations including, the DC Bar, Associated Builders & Contractors, Johns Hopkins University-Physicians, Maryland Dental Association, Intermodal Association, National Electrical Contractors Association, Printing & Graphics Association, Virginia Association of Roofing Professionals, and Air Conditioning Contractors Association, and Northeast Equipment Dealers Association. Don is a regular instructor at the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Academy helping dealer candidates and family businesses transition to the next generation. He has been a guest on CNNFN’s TV show for Entrepreneurs Only, as well as a radio guest on WTOP, WEAA, WPGC and on WBAL Radio’s Ron Smith Show.
Don sits on the Board of Hampton Roads Financial Planning Association. He volunteers for the “500 Financially Fit Families Program” in Virginia Beach helping mentor citizens on budgeting and paying off debt. He formerly sat on the Board of Directors for the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center and is a former Board Member of the Easter Seals Foundation of Central Maryland. Don is also the past president of the board of trustees at his church. Don has been recognized as a Five Star Wealth Manager for two consecutive years.