Gaming The System……

Source: Get personalized help to max out Social Security.

Social Security Solutions’ optimization plan calls for my wife to file for her own benefits at age 67 but immediately suspend her payments — a perfectly legal strategy known as a file-and-suspend.

We start getting some Social Security benefits immediately when I apply (at age 66) to receive a spousal benefit based on her earnings record, half of what she could receive.

At age 70, my wife starts her own benefits; a year later, I switch to my own benefit when I turn 70. Both of our benefits are now at the maximum monthly level possible for the rest of our lives. Later on, after I (gulp) die first, my wife switches to a survivor benefit, which is 100 percent of my benefit…..

I’m sure all this stuff above is legal but, come on,  finding all the loop holes to get the most possible is carrying it too far in my mind.  Of course this article came from a large financial company.  They are used to gaming the system. These guys I’m sure have a large lobbying group in D.C. and make sure that these sort of loop holes are written into our laws.

Our government needs to adopt my current mantra in life and that is Simplify. If we could somehow get rid of all those lawyers around and put this stuff back into common folk’s hands I’m sure our laws would be simpler and with many less loop holes. But maybe the world has just gotten too complicated for simplicity?

Putting the level of social security benefits that you get related to what you paid in makes sense but it seems that the system has just spurned too may other conditions. I know that about one-third of those collecting benefits are not the seniors who paid into them. If the Republicans insist of changing the system then let’s put those folks in a different payout pool and take social security back to the insurance it was meant to be.  But I’m sure this would do little to placate my conservative friends who would be very happy to see social security go the way of the horse and buggy. In their minds if government is involved then it must be wrong.

5 thoughts on “Gaming The System……

  • It should be simple shouldn’t it? But humans, by nature it seems, have a way of complicating and mucking up anything that is simple and logical….especially if it involves a big pot of money. Just look at healthcare, investment products, retirement and pension accounts. I don’t even try to outsmart the system…too dumb I guess. We decided early on to take our SS at 62…get it now before they change the rules. The difference by waiting is not that important to us….we’ll be okay with the lesser amount. Dumb? Maybe…but we just don’t want to play the games.

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  • Hi Barb, I’m not in anyway saying that widows don’t deserve their husband’s benefits. I’m only saying that going through all that starting/stopping/changing/changing things indicated in the quote sounds a little extreme to me. It seems to lead to a lot of complexity that most of us couldn’t accomplish. Why can’t we keep this stuff simple?

    I agree with you, at least as far as I understand you, that a husband and wife should be considered a team and either can draw off the payments paid in. But I believe there are a lot of others that are currently in the social security system that are there without any social security payments being made. This group blurs the purpose of the system and that is what the Republicans are always hitting against. I’m not saying that people don’t deserve help with they are disabled or orphaned or a number of other conditions, but it seems that they should be accounted for outside the retirement benefits system.

    Thanks again for the input and challenging me where you think it is needed.

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  • The number of children being placed on SS has increased substantially in the last ten years. I was approached yearly to “declare” a student mentally handicapped or autistic so the parent could begin SS. Why isn’t EVERY child deserving of being supported by the government?
    If the teacher and social worker are talked into it—the child is labeled for life. It is an old take on the old welfare scams. Sad- but true.

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  • Jane, I’m like you. I took it at 62. During my study on when to take it I discovered that there is a certain amount of money in the system to pay you until your are 78 years old. If you live to exactly that age you will receive the same total amount no matter when you started it. Since all my family generally are dead by then I think I will probably come out ahead.

    Janette, I agree with you about putting certain kids into SS and not others. First off that was my point with Barb, SS should be for seniors who paid into it. If disabled kids do need assistance it should come from another pot as to not tarnish the purpose of SS. Taking money out of SS for this and other things like it just re-enforces the idea that the radical right contend that it is just a tax and not an insurance/pension system. They would love the idea of not having to pay the money that was borrowed from the system back.

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