Money Tree's Financial Planning Software Blog


Social Security Planning One Year After BBA


by Carolyn Rothwell

A year ago today the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 was signed into law. The rule changes moved to simplify the system and close what are now being called “loopholes." The simplified rules mean that once an individual files for any of their Social Security benefits, they are deemed to have filed for all Social Security benefits for which they are eligible. Suspension of benefits will allow for Delayed Retirement Benefits to begin to accrue. However any benefits based on the wage earners benefits are also suspended, and when benefits are re-filed there are no retroactive benefits available.

One Year Later... 


Join a 20-minute Training Class of TOTAL's Social Security Strategies This Week


by Carolyn Rothwell

Join a 20-minute training to learn more about the new Social Security feature in TOTAL. The training will cover Social Security data entry, the new reports, and FAQs. Two Social Security Strategies classes remain, both scheduled for this week on Tuesday 8/23 and Wednesday 8/24.  


Social Security Strategies, Facts and Figures for 2015


by Carolyn Rothwell
The new  Social Security Visualizer™ is receiving high praise by advisors utilizing Silver Financial Planner for its ability to simplify Social Security claiming concepts, clearly compare total lifetime benefits of various strategies, and illustrate the impact of claiming decisions on clients' overall financial future.    

Learn More about Silver's Social Security Visualizer™


by Carolyn Rothwell

To help advisors discuss the importance of Social Security claiming strategies with clients, a new Social Security VisualizerTM feature is available in SilverThis new feature evaluates the results of over three hundred possible claiming combinations unique to each couples’ situation. Five of the most likely benefit claiming choices are shown, including a sixth mathematically optimal choice based on the client information and planning assumptions used. The educational text, example benefit numbers, and comparison graphs provide the basis for an informed discussion of the reason and benefits for each claiming strategy.


Announcing Social Security Claiming Strategies in Silver


by Carolyn Rothwell

To help advisors discuss the importance of Social Security claiming strategies with clients, we are happy to announce a new Social Security optimization feature is available in Silver Financial Planner.  


Social Security Claiming Strategies Coming to Silver!


by Carolyn Rothwell

To help advisors discuss the importance of Social Security claiming strategies with clients, a Social Security optimization feature is being added to Silver Financial Planner! 

This new feature will allow advisors to explore five primary Social Security claiming strategies. New reports will compare the lifetime benefits of the available strategies, and the strategy selected by the advisor will be fully integrated into your clients' retirement projections. The filing strategies will be included on the "What If?" for instant side-by-side comparisons illustrating the impact of Social Security filing actions on the overall success of clients' retirement plans.


3 Social Security Benefit Calculators to Help with Financial Planning


by Carolyn Rothwell

We all receive a periodic statement from the Social Security Administration, providing us our estimated benefits for retirement, disability, and survivors.  While this should be filed or scanned away in a safe place, we all know that this paperwork can get lost in the shuffle.

SS Start Age Regrets? Your Clients May Have a Couple of Options.


by Carolyn Rothwell

Do you have a client who how claimed Social Security benefits before having the chance to determine his or her optimal start age?  US News “Planning to Retire” blog posted an article discussing slowing Social Security claims, after peaking in 2009 due to the baby boomer population being hit by the recession and delaying with job layoffs.  The article discusses options for recipients who wish to increase their future Social Security benefits. 


Social Security Taxation and 5 Planning Strategies to Reduce Taxation


by Carolyn Rothwell

Social Security benefits were not taxable before 1984.  In 1984, 50% of Social Security benefits became taxable, and only to those taxpayers whose income exceeded a set threshold amount.  In 1993, the maximum of Social Security benefits subject to taxation increased to 85%, again with thresholds in place.  The result is Social Security benefits are currently either 0%, 50% or 85% taxable.  For clients with provisional income (the clients adjusted gross income, plus tax-free interest, less Social Security benefits, plus one-half of Social Security benefits) of:


Help Your Financial Planning Clients Maximize Social Security Benefits


by Carolyn Rothwell

Most eligible retirees begin taking Social Security benefits upon reaching age 62, but is that really the best time for your client to start receiving his or her benefit?

According to a recent working paper on maximizing the present value of benefits by Economists John Shoven and Sita Nataraj, a critical factor in the decision of when to start collecting benefits is the current interest rate.  When interest rates are low (3.5% or below), the benefit of delaying Social Security benefit generally outweighs starting benefits at age 62.

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  • Social Security: Choices Opportunities, and Decisions
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