If a client dies, can wife take spousal benefit while letting widow's benefit grow?
A 62-year-old wife who is collecting a Social Security spousal benefit on her 71-year-old husband will not be able to continue collecting upon his death, according to Forbes. That's when she will be shifted to a widow's benefit. The widow's benefit will be reduced if the husband dies before she turns 66, but it will be 100% of the husband's retirement benefit if his death occurs after she reaches her full retirement age.
The top retirement fears, and how to tackle them
A survey has found that running out of savings tops the list of concerns that people have about retirement, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. Many respondents also fear that they would no Social Security benefits, or reduced benefits, by the time they retire. Others are concerned that they would need long-term care because of health issues, the survey found. Cognitive decline and lack of adequate and affordable health care were also cited by more than a quarter of the poll participants.
Three end-of-the-year tax tips for retirees
Clients who are close to retirement are advised to take advantage of the catch-up contributions in their retirement plans to maximize their tax deductions while securing the golden years, according to this article on MarketWatch. They may also want to consider making withdrawals from their IRAs or move some of their assets to a Roth to minimize future required minimum distributions that could push them to a higher tax bracket. They are advised to make the most of all the tax deductions that they can get and deduct them this year if they expect a decrease in their taxable income the following year. Deferring the tax deductions until next year is recommended if their taxable income is likely to increase.
No getting around 'deeming' when collecting Social Security
A pre-retiree cannot collect her Social Security retirement benefit at the age of 62 and shift to her spousal benefit on her husband's record when she turns 66, according to this article on USA Today. This is because she will get her own retirement benefit, plus any extra that would be due her as a spousal benefit, says a certified financial planner. “This is a concept called ‘deeming.’ Effectively, when someone files prior to full retirement age, or at any age if they were born on or after Jan. 2, 1954, they are treated as though they had filed for both retirement benefits and spousal benefits.”
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