Stanford Investment Group, Inc. Presents Webinar on UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL SECURITY

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Katherine Simmonds, Director of Financial Planning at Stanford Investment Group, Inc. discussed strategies to maximize Social Security benefits and tax planning implications for Medicare.

“Delaying retirement generally increases your monthly benefit, however, this may not always be the best strategy. For couples the decision-making is generally more complex.”

Katherine A. Simmonds, CFP® and Director of Financial Planning at Stanford Investment Group, Inc. an independent investment advisor and broker-dealer, presented a Webinar on UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL SECURITY: Important Financial Planning Considerations.

As part of Stanford investment Group Inc.’s continuing outreach to provide its clients and centers of influence with educational tools, Ms. Simmonds initiated the webinar on Social Security to discuss strategies for maximizing benefits that most people are not aware of.

According to the Social Security Administration, the maximum benefit in 2009 for a worker retiring at full retirement age is $2,323 per month. (Refer to: seurity.gov/planners/calculators.htm) Ms. Simmonds says a frequent question is, “When can I start receiving benefits?” This varies as you may choose to retire early at age 62 with reduced benefits or wait till your full retirement age between 65 and 67. She points out, “Delaying retirement generally increases your monthly benefit, however, this may not always be the best strategy. For couples the decision-making is generally more complex.”

Simmonds discussed factors to consider in making the decision as to when to start claiming benefits: Will you continue to work? What is your current health situation? What are your cash flow needs? Will taking Social Security now enable you to defer taking withdrawals from other retirement assets? Do you have a spouse and what are his/her survivor needs? And what will your tax situation be in retirement?

A single person earns benefits and collects them based on their own work record, whereas a married person can qualify for benefits in two ways – on their own earnings record or on their spouse’s earning record.

Simmonds highlighted several strategies for married couples as well as surviving spouses and divorced spouses. One strategy she discussed is a ‘pay back’ and ‘restart’ scenario.

In conclusion Simmonds went on to discuss some financial planning considerations with regard to Medicare Part B and emphasized that tax planning may be even more important than for your basic Social Security payments as it will directly affect the Medicare premiums you pay. She goes on to say, “Good tax planning may reduce the Medicare surcharges that higher incomes seniors pay.”

At the conclusion of the presentation Ms. Simmonds and Talia Pierluissi, both CFP®s and Wealth Advisors at Stanford Investment Group, Inc. moderated a question and answer session with the webinar participants.

For more information, and to view the Social Security Webinar please check our website as it will be posted at a future date: http://www.stanfordinvestment.com

Additional Information on Social Security can be found at: http://www.ssa.gov

Stanford Investment Group, Inc., located in California's Silicon Valley, has 27 years of experience guiding clients through many economic cycles and market changes.

Stanford Investment Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor and FINRA member Broker/Dealer is not affiliated with Stanford University.

Any views, opinions and/or material stated are solely those of Stanford Investment Group, Inc. Statements represented in this material are expectations or beliefs of future events and involve known or unknown uncertainties and risks which could cause actual results, performance and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this material. Investing involves risk. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investment returns and principal value of an investment will fluctuate and are subject to change based on financial market, economic and legislative conditions.

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Joya Whitford
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