Don’t Let Social Security Fool You | Local company

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Few retirement decisions are as critical, or as easy to make mistakes, as when and how to take your Social Security benefits. The rules can be so convoluted that many people trust what Social Security workers tell them, but it could turn out to be a costly mistake.

Certified Financial Planner Kate Gregory of Huntington Beach, Calif., Uses sophisticated Social Security claims software to recommend strategies that maximize clients’ lifetime benefits. Gregory advised one of his clients, a widow, to apply for her own small retirement benefit first so that her survivor benefit could increase, and then switch to the larger benefit later. However, when the woman contacted Social Security, she was told that she could only get the survivor benefit.

“It left her really pissed off,” says Gregory.

The widow was finally able to get the benefits she is entitled to in the correct order, but Gregory and other financial planners are concerned about people not receiving professional advice and who could be misled.

“Most people are going to say, ‘Well, that’s what the government told me’ and let it go. And that’s unfortunate, ”says PSC Mary Beth Franklin, author of“ Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits ”and editor for Investment News.


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