ANDY LANDIS – THINKING RETIREMENT – Andy is a Certified Life Options Retirement Coach and an internationally-known author, speaker, and consultant specializing in retirement planning, with technical expertise in Social Security and Medicare. Andy has designed and led dynamic retirement seminars for over 20 years, guiding tens of thousands toward successful retirement. He has worked closely with pre-retirees and retirees since 1977 at Social Security, AARP, a retirement residence, senior centers, a multinational corporation, and his own practice, Thinking Retirement. Andy conducts Social Security, Medicare, and retirement seminars for the public, employers, financial advisors, and others. His books include:Social Security, The Inside Story, hailed as the best book on the topic; When I Retire: 654 Inspirations To Make Your Retirement Fun, Fulfilling, and Significant, which makes retirement planning elegantly simple. Recent projects include contributing to the web video Investment Smarts for PBS and AARP. Andy lives in Seattle with Kay, keyboards, camper, computers, cars, and sometimes kids. See www.andylandis.biz for videos and more.
- SOCIAL SECURITY FOR WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Special rules apply to your Social Security if you lose a spouse — or an ex-spouse. So, heaven forbid, but if you are widowed, you might be eligible for Social Security widow(er) payments. That’s true even if you are divorced when your former spouse dies, provided you were married for ... more
- LAST CALL FOR FILE AND SUSPEND RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Now that your taxes are down, time is running out for Social Security’s traditional “file and suspend” strategy. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA 2015) changed two key Social Security filing strategies, “file and suspend” and “spousal-only filing.” The deadline for “file and suspend”—at least under the old rules—is ... more
- NEW RULES CHANGE SOCIAL SECURITY STRATEGIES THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – As I reported last month on my blog, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA 2015) became law Nov. 2, 2015. Several key provisions of Social Security were changed, including two filing strategies, some Medicare premiums, and future disability payments. These could have far-reaching ramifications for retirees. Click here ... more
- MORE WAYS ‘ZOMBIE’ SOCIAL SECURITY PAYS OFF THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Earlier this year I coined the term ”zombie Social Security.” You can zombify your Social Security so it’s both alive and dead, lurching toward a higher lifetime payout. It’s really called “voluntary suspension of benefits,” but it makes your Social Security act like the walking dead.
When you suspend your ... more
- THE MATH BEHIND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Let’s go back to school to study the math behind your Social Security. A little understanding of the numbers goes a long way to avoiding retirement surprises and shortfalls. Like other pension systems, your Social Security is based on three factors: eligibility, earnings and age. The Social Security Administration ... more
- 5 BAD REASONS TO TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY EARLY THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Just when I think I’ve heard every bad reason for taking Social Security early, another one pops up. Understand — there are “good” reasons to take Social Security early. “Bad” reasons aren’t supported by the facts. Here are the top five “bad” reasons.
I’ll get more money by taking it ... more
- THE NEXT GENERATION’S RETIREMENT PLAN THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – What would the ultimate retirement plan for Gen Next look like? Surprise—you probably already have it. Hey, Generation Next. Let’s dream up your Ultimate Retirement Plan, or URP (excuse me!).
We already know what you don’t want: Social Security. I hear you: It’s a rip-off. It’s bankrupt. It’s for OLD ... more
- CAN YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BE GARNISHED? THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Social Security is exempt from most garnishment. But it can be seized under certain circumstances. If times are tough, it’s important to ask: Are your Social Security payments subject to garnishment? Could a creditor seize them? Could you lose them in bankruptcy?
In fact, Social Security payments are protected from many ... more
- SOCIAL SECURITY HIGHWAYS AND BYWAYS THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Social Security’s main highways are the basic benefits for Worker and Spouse. Most people take the earliest onramp at 62, but you’ll get more per month—and possibly more total lifetime payout—by waiting until Full Retirement Age (FRA, currently 66), or even until 70 for Worker payments.
Byways – There are ... more
- A TRIPLE-PLAY THAT SOCIAL SECURITY CALLED RIGHT THINKING RETIREMENT – ANDY LANDIS – Here’s a true story of a “triple-play” that the Social Security Administration called exactly right. I’ve written about Dualies http://www.marketwatch.com/story/rules-of-the-road-for-social-security-dualies-2014-12-04—people who are dually-eligible for Social Security. For example, you might be eligible as a worker and as a spouse, or as a worker and as a widow(er). You can ... more