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Educational Workshops: Learn to Optimize Your Social Security Benefits

Join us for a complimentary workshop on Maximizing your Social Security Income- Secrets for Married Couples to Boost their Benefits. The right social security planning strategy could be worth up to $100,000 in lifetime benefits. For married couples, finding the right strategy means sifting through 567 different filing combinations. Take the guesswork out of these important financial decisions and join us in this one hour class to learn…

  • How to pinpoint the best time for YOU to start collection benefits.
  • How it can pay to delay- but is a higher benefit at a later age worth the wait?
  • How can you apply for a Delayed Retirement Credit?
  • Ways to navigate through the twists and turns for widows, widowers and devorcees.
  • How certain types of earnings and pensions can affect your benefits.
  • Inflation protection to help you keep up with rising living expenses during retirement.
  • Start, Stop, Start- how one maneuver supercharges the survivor benefit.
  • How to take a spousal benefit worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s benefit.

You will also receive a free, personalized Social Security Maximization Report. Choose the event that works best for you:

Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 6:30-7:30pm at Mesa Community College


Saturday, October 19, 2013 from 10:00am-11:00am at Gilbert SE Regional Library

Call 1-800-428-1743 to reserve your seat quickly. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to increase the benefits you have worked hard for and deserve.

We’ll see you there!

COLA is More Than a Fizzy Sweet Soda Pop!

MB900430472‘COLA’ in the Social Security world stands for ‘Cost-of-Living Adjustments’. Maybe not as tasty as the cola we’ve grown up to love, but very important as it affects your Social Security benefits.

Every October, the Social Security Administration announces the amount by which monthly benefits will be increased starting that following January. This COLA is based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index from the third quarter of one year through the third quarter of the following year.

As mentioned in our last post, “Are You Applying for Social Security Too Late or Too Soon?” retirees can delay their benefits to increase their benefits. These COLA’s also apply to those retirees, meaning their primary insurance amount (PIA) will be increased each year by the amount of the announced COLA.

There is really no way to know exactly what COLA’s will be year over year, but inflation does apply. The Social Security trustees estimate annual inflation adjustments of 2.8% under their intermediate-cost scenario. So even though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly, it’s definitely something you want to factor into your retirement planning. Access the Retirement Earnings Test Calculator on the Social Security website: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/RTeffect.html to get a better idea of where you stand.

If you need further assistance in your retirement planning, feel free to contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

Are You Applying for Social Security Too Late or Too Soon?

Everyone who is reaching the age of 62 is wondering whether they should apply for social security right away to grab as much as they can as soon as they can, or whether they should delay benefits to receive the higher amount.

It really depends on your personal situation. For example, if you’re still working, it may not make sense to apply for early benefits. But, if you’re not working and having trouble making ends meet, then it might make sense to grab those benefits early. It really depends on your overall financial plan, but here are a few things to take note of…

  • At age 66, you can receive your full, unreduced primary insurance amount (PIA).
  • If you delay the onset of benefits past age 66, you will earn delayed credits. For each year you delay, your benefit will increase by 8% up until age 70. For example, if ‘Bob’ waits until age 70 to apply, his $2,466 PIA will be increased by 32% to $3,255!
  • You can apply anytime between your 66th and 70th birthdays and receive prorated credit for the delay.
  • Applying at 70 earns you the most credit and results in the highest benefit.

Contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com to receive a free Social Security planning evaluation to help you make the decision that’s best for you. You can also access the Retirement Earnings Test Calculator on the Social Security website: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/RTeffect.html to get a better idea of where you stand.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona


The History of Social Security

MH900422392In order to understand social security a little better, it’s helpful to take a step back in time to see why it was established and how it has helped Billions of Americans overcome poverty.

During the Great Depression, poverty rates among senior citizens reached 50%. With the famous crash of 29, many retirees’ live savings were completely lost. Not many Americans were left unharmed but for those unable to physically work, times were harder and hope was low.

The Social Security Act was established in 1935 first as a self-financing program that would collect payroll taxes from workers which would then be paid out in benefits to retirees. President Roosevelt signed the Act on August 14, 1925 and become the first president to advocate federal assistance for the elderly.

Justic Benjamin Cardozo said, “The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poorhouse, as well as from the haunting feat that such a lot awaits them when journey’s end is near.”

During those early years, debates centered on how the program’s benefits should be funded: While one side thought the funding should be contributions that workers make themselves over the course of their careers, others argued for those who were already into their careers at the time of the program’s implementation and would be at a great disadvantage.

Despite some disagreements, Millions of Americans depend on Social Security today. For many, it is their primary source of retirement income. For others, it is an important supplement to pensions and personal savings. But one thing is for sure- Social Security has been a great step in helping our country’s elderly.

To learn more about social security and how you can fully optimize your benefits, please contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com or visit my website: http://www.integratedinsuranceconcepts.com/index.html.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

Maximize Your Social Security: Working While Collecting

Retirement is a time of excitement for a whole new chapter in life, but it’s also a time of research to ensure you’re maximizing you social security benefits…

My last post, “Maximize Your Social Security: Will Not Getting a Paycheck for Multiple Years Reduce Your Social Security Benefits” talked about how to plan ahead for retirement while this post is diving into those details right before you reach the ripe old age of retirement.

You most likely already know that you can collect social security during the year of your 66th birthday…even if you’re still working. What you may not realize is that if you are still working, you could lose out on a lot of money if you’re not careful. This is one year where you don’t want to make a lot of money until your 66th birthday. If you have a January birthday, you don’t have to worry as much as someone who has a birthday in November and is planning to work that full year.

With these variables come a lot of questions and ones you really need to take the time to answer. For example, you may be better off retiring sooner than you thought or would be smart to wait a few more months. Our government doesn’t make it easy on our soon to be retirees, but there is help out there if you need someone to walk through the details with. Contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information or visit my website: http://www.integratedinsuranceconcepts.com/index.html.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona

Maximize Your Social Security: Will Not Getting a Paycheck Reduce Social Security Benefits?

Whether you’re on the verge of retirement or starting young at your first job, questions about how to maximize your social security benefits may be on your mind.

There was a great question posted on AARP that highlights a few key factors of getting the most from your social security. A 50 year old is retired after 35 years of work and planning to begin social security retirement benefits at the age of 67, but wonders if not getting a paycheck for over 17 years will reduce his benefits.

Not working for those 17 years won’t hurt what he has already made, but it’s important to remember one key point: Higher earners generally get more in benefits than lower earners. This means that if 17 years of work could increase the average indexed monthly earnings, then he’ll be sitting better by the time he’s 67 years old and collecting social security.

As with any financial decision, the choice is personal. But it’s also your choice to figure out how much you could be missing out on. If you need help running this type of calculation, please feel free to contact me at dmcmurryiic@msn.com for more information.

Have another question about maximizing your social security? Please share by commenting below.

By Doug McMurry, Owner of Integrated Insurance Concepts in Arizona