Why we ask a lot of questionsSubmitted by Financial Planning Solutions, LLC on October 25th, 2018
To give the best advice possible, we sometimes need to ask some pretty personal questions.
Just recently, I was helping a client with a very complicated Social Security application.
The Social Security Administration had made a mistake on this woman's retirement application and it took quite a bit of back and forth to rectify as well as a trip I made personally to a local office.
The initial idea was to file an application when she reached her full retirement age BUT on her husband's record.
This way, she could let her benefit grow until she as age 70 and then switch to her own which would be a much higher monthly benefit.
Here's where it got a little personal.I asked her if she had been married before and she had.The reason I asked was if she had been married at least 10 years before a divorce, she would be eligible to collect on her ex's benefit if that was more than her current spouse's benefit. (certain conditions apply).
The benefit is generally half of what their benefit would be at their full retirement age.
Now, if her ex-husband had passed away, she would actually be eligible for 100% of what he was receiving.
Since she is not in contact with her ex of over 20 years ago, we need to do some detective work to ascertain if he is living or not.The difference could mean about $1,500 a month more over the next four years or about $72,000.
I think $72,000 is a good reason to ask a lot of questions.
All the best.
Rick Fingerman, CFP®, CDFA®, CCPS®
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