Social Security Planning

Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies

 In our current environment, pensions from corporations are a relic of the past. Unprecedented market volatility has reared its head since 2000. As you are getting ready to retire, what is a source of guaranteed, inflation adjusted, and tax efficient income?

Your Social Security Benefit. 

When you are ready to file for your Social Security Benefit, the Social Security Administration has 2,728 rules for filing. There are a lot of options to choose from. However, problem is the government workforce at the Social Security Administration is prohibited from dispensing advice when you are ready to claim your benefit. Getting the right information when you are ready to file Social Security is paramount, as it will be a major component of lifetime income in your retirement. And if a wrong decision is made, than this could end up costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars of income over your lifetime!

Retirement: FAQs

Most importantly, the decision to make a claim for your Social Security benefit cannot be an isolated decision, it involves planning. Using a homework process, we will get to know where you are and most importantly where you want to be financially. From there we will take the data from your homework and use advanced financial planning software to bring your financial picture into focus. Ron will educate you on the options that you have with Social Security to empower you that you make the best decision possible for YOU and YOU alone. 

Ron holds the Certified Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation. From earning this designation, Ron has the unique knowledge to share with you so you are able to utilize this guaranteed, inflation adjusted, tax efficient cornerstone piece of your retirement income, Social Security! 

Social Security Basics 

To be eligible for benefits under the Social Security, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must determine if the worker is insured before benefits can be paid. In making this determination, the SSA reviews the individuals work history to determine the number of work credits a worker has earned.  This is how the eligibility is determined. A worker earns a work credit, based on their earnings in each calendar year. For 2017, a worker will earn one credit for each $1,300 of earned income for work covered under Social Security. The maximum number of credits a worker can receive in any given year is 4, regardless of income. Therefore, a worker in 2017 who earns $5,200 or more in covered earnings will receive all four of the possible credits that could be earned in a calendar year. 

To be fully insured by a person must have earned 40 credits, as previously mentioned accrue at a maximum of four per year. 

The following benefits are available to fully insured workers and their survivors: 

  • Retirement benefits for workers age 62 or older. 

  • Disability benefits.

  • Widows benefits for a widow age 60 or older.

  • Widow benefits if the widow is caring for a child that is either under the age of 16 or who is disabled and that child is entitled to benefits under the deceased workers earnings record. 

  • Disabled widow benefits for widow between the ages of 50 and 60. 

  • Dependent parents benefit for parents aged 62 or older of a deceased fully insured worker. 

  • Spousal benefits for spouses aged 62 or older. 

  • Spousal benefits for spouses who are caring for a child who is either under the age of 16 or who is disabled and that child is entitled to benefits under the deceased workers earnings record. 

  • Children’s benefits if the child is under the age of 18, or under the age of 19 and a full time elementary or secondary school student, or aged 18 or older and who became disabled before the age of 22. 

Age to Receive Full Social Security Benefits (FRA – Full Retirement Age)

Year of Birth Full/Normal Retirement Age

1937: or earlier 65

1938: 65 and 2 months

1939: 65 and 4 months

1940: 65 and 6 months

1941: 65 and 8 months

1942: 65 and 10 months

1943-1954: 66

1955: 66 and 2 months

1956: 66 and 4 months

1957: 66 and 6 months

1958: 66 and 8 months

1959: 66 and 10 months

1960: and later 67

  • Individuals born on January 1st of any year should refer to the previous year for purposes of calculating FRA. Furthermore, those individuals born on the 1st of the month are assumed to have achieved FRA the month prior

How to Apply for Benefits

  1. Online at to apply for retirement, spousal, or Medicare benefits. Applicants may not file for survivor benefits online.

  2. By telephone. Call 1-800-772-1213. The number for hearing impaired individuals is TTY 1-800-325-0778

  3. In person at a local Social Security office. However an appointment needs to be have made prior to arrival.


Social Security Administration Employees are explicitly prohibited from providing applicants with any advice on their election of benefits!

See: POMS GN 00204.039 “The role of the technician is to provide Social Security program information” and “not attempt to persuade the claimant about benefit decisions.”