Claiming Social Security

When should you apply?

Really, there is no catchall “best” age because this will vary based on individual circumstances. Some factors to consider are your individual health status, your life expectancy based on that health status, your need for income during your retirement and whether you intend to work during your retirement years.

The amount of Social Security you are entitled to depends upon individual earnings over your working career. Your monthly benefit will also be affected by the age at which you choose to apply for your benefits. Social Security is calculated by looking at your highest 35 years of earnings. Any “missing” years count as zeros.

Are you a widow/widower? If your spouse dies, you may collect the higher of your benefit or your deceased spouse’s benefit.

What about divorce? The divorced spouse benefit is the same as the benefit for spouses as long as the marriage lasted at least 10 years and the ex-spouse (who is receiving the spousal benefit) has not re-married.


More Updates


For trusts that inherited an IRA in 2019, an important deadline is approaching. The due date to provide required trust documentation to the IRA custodian to ensure that the longest payout period possible is available for the inherited IRA is October 31, 2020. Generally, only individuals who are named on an IRA beneficiary form can

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The coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) rules for Roth conversions have a gaping hole. An “affected person” (as we have defined in previous blogs), is entitled under the CARES Act to withdraw up to $100,000 from their IRA or workplace retirement plan. A CRD avoids the 10% early distribution penalty for those under 59 1/2, can be

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Rolling Over an RMD

Like most people’s lives, the retirement world is upside down. This is made evident by a single statement: “Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be rolled over.” Yes, that is the new normal—at least for this year. RMDs are considered the first money out of an IRA and workplace plan. Typically, these dollars are ineligible to

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