Sound Retirement Planning Show

With Jason Parker

Guest on podcast and radio showI recently had the pleasure of being a guest with Jason Parker on the Sound Retirement Planning podcast and radio show. While the topic – Social Security – will not be a surprise to any of my followers, this show is a must listen even if this isn’t the episode for you.

In addition to hosting a successful podcast and running his own investment firm, Jason is the author of one of the best selling books on Amazon, Sound Retirement Planning.

Free Book?

While I was on the show, he made an interesting offer to his listeners. He’s actually giving his book away during the month of December! This isn’t one of those “limited time” offers that’s always going either. This book is for sale on Amazon right now for $9.95. Your price? FREE! Get your copy HERE.


I hope you enjoy this podcast and add it to your list of regular downloads.

Listen HERE.

The Windfall Elimination Provision

If you have a pension from a job where you did not pay Social Security taxes, your benefit may be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). How do you know if you’ll be impacted? Don’t expect it to be on your Social Security benefits statement. This may surprise you but your Social Security statement does not reflect any reduction in benefits due to this provision. The Social Security Administration will  wait until you file to tell you how much the reduction is if you qualify for both Social Security and a non covered pension.


the windfall elimination provision for teachers, firefighters and police officers

Understanding if a reduction in benefits will apply to you, and how much that will be, does not have to wait until you file for Social Security. You can find out today. It starts by understanding the mechanics of the Windfall Elimination Provision.

Read More »

Teachers Retirement and Social Security Survivor Benefits

TRS and social security survivor benefits

Nearly 3,000 rules govern the Social Security programs. There are approximately 110,000 pages on the Social Security websites.

It’s a convoluted mess. The rules are often misapplied and misunderstood. In many cases, even the technicians at the Social Security Administration don’t understand which rules apply in which circumstances. You may be nodding your head in agreement. If you don’t have a horror story of your own, you’ve probably heard one from a friend.

But if you think it’s complex for someone with a traditional job, try making sense of the Social Security rules if you’re a teacher with a teachers retirement pension.

Understanding how teachers retirement and Social Security survivor benefits coordinate is almost unintelligible for the teachers who qualify for a TRS pension from work in one of the 15 states who do not participate in Social Security. It’s not only the teacher’s benefit that gets reduced, often their spousal and survivor benefit will be severely reduced or completely eliminated.

Unfortunately, the survivor benefit reduction/elimination often comes as a surprise when a spouse dies. The culprit? A fairly well-known but poorly understood rule called the Government Pension Offset.

Read More »

5 Lessons I Learned from Market Declines

In my career as a financial advisor, I’ve made a few mistakes. The biggest? Not being more convincing to my clients that they should stay invested in rough markets.

I became a licensed financial advisor in early 2003. People were still really skittish over the bad market – even though it was forecasting the stock marketimproving. The news was still mostly bad and little provocation was needed to make people sell their investments again. It seemed to stay that way for the next few years.

Finally, around 2006 or 2007, I stopped hearing as much about the days “back in the bad market.” I suppose time began dimming some memories. And then, 2008 happened. This was an incredibly difficult year in the stock market but I did everything I could do to calm the nerves of my clients and friends. Some listened to me. Others went against my advice and sold all of their investments.

Most of these people locked in devastating losses by selling at the worst possible time. And most couldn’t afford it. If they would have just stayed invested, they would have most likely made up those losses and then some. Since then, I’ve often wondered if I could have done more to keep them invested?

Read More »

Teacher’s Retirement and Social Security

Teachers and social security benefits

“Can I get teacher’s retirement and Social Security?” That question is asked almost every time I speak on Social Security.

There’s no doubt this can be a complex topic and most of the teachers that I’ve talked to have seen lots of conflicting information.  Let’s clear up the confusion and take a closer look at the rules on teacher’s retirement and Social Security.

Read More »

Social Security Changes for 2016

Plus FREE Social Security Quick Reference PDF

social security changes for 2016There aren’t many Social Security changes for 2016. However, there are a few exceptions.

Read on for the details of these changes – including what’s not changing – plus be sure to grab my free 2016 Social Security Quick Reference PDF. It will provide you with what you need to know in a jiffy.

Read More »

Social Security Claiming Strategies: Who Can Still Use Them?

You’ve may have heard by now that the 2015 Budget Act eliminated many of the advanced Social Security claiming strategies. What you may not have heard is that some people can still use these strategies. But there is a deadline!

deadline for social security claiming strategies

For the next four years, there will be much confusion and misinformation on how and when Social Security filing strategies are still applicable. One key strategy, file and suspend, will mostly go away in 6 months. Another one of the big strategies will remain available for four more years, if you meet the age-based cutoff.

So what’s still available and what’s not? Who can still use these strategies?

There were two strategies that got the ax. The “file and suspend” strategy, and the “restricted application” strategy. Although each strategy is going away, they each have a different deadline.

Read More »

How Teacher’s Retirement and Social Security Benefits Work Together

“Is it true that I don’t get my Social Security benefit because I’m a teacher?” I hear that question almost every time I speak on Social Security.

TRS and Social Security

If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably seen lots of conflicting information on this topic. There’s no denying that it’s a complex issue, so here’s a closer look at the rules on teacher’s retirement and Social Security.

In the 1970s and 1980s, laws were passed that amended the Social Security Act in an effort to keep individuals from “double dipping” – receiving both a Social Security benefit and a pension from work where they did not pay into the Social Security system. The results of these amendments are two rules that could impact your ability to claim a full Social Security benefit: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).

These provisions reduce benefits for those who worked in a job in which they qualified for a pension and did not have to pay Social Security taxes. This is not limited to teachers, but can also include firefighters, police officers and numerous other state, county and local employees.

Read More »

Budget Bill Kills ‘File and Suspend’ Strategy to Maximize Social Security

Social Security's Windfall Elimination ProvisionWhen it comes to Social Security, most of us hope to get the most we possibly can from our benefits.

Methods for making that happen, however, are a source of heated controversy. “File and suspend” is one advanced claiming strategy that has helped retirement savers at all income levels, especially women, maximize their benefits. But under the new budget deal passed by the Senate on Friday, it will no longer be an option beginning in early 2016.

That could mean as much as $50,000 less in lifetime Social Security benefits for some recipients, according to an article by Laurence Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University and staunch proponent of “file and suspend.”

Read More »