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Vol 2, Issue 6 June 2010
Please forward this newsletter to your family and friends as an informative tool for retirement planning!
Spousal Benefits

The staff at Service First hopes you had a happy and healthy holiday weekend.

This month I am writing about Social Security topics that I have received in abundance recently. The first topic is spouse benefits.

In 2009, Social Security allowed spouses to take benefits at the lower spouse rate and let their own build up.

Read on for more details.

It's YOUR retirement. Stay informed,


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Truth About Spousal Benefits
In 2009, Social Security allowed spouses to take benefits at the lower spouse rate and let their own build up.

People have been sending me articles by "experts" giving limited or inaccurate advice. This option can only be received if you are Full Retirement Age (FRA). Currently FRA is age 66 (for people born between 1943 and 1954) and have not gotten a reduced benefit on their own Social Security record.

The wage earner, on who's record you will receive this benefit must also be FRA and have never received a reduced benefit. If you receive your own benefit beyond age 66, you get a bonus of 8% per year (.75% per month) for each year (month) you delay your own benefit until age 70. At 70, there are no additional increases for postponing your SSA benefits on your SSA record.

Is this a good deal? In many cases it is if you meet the above qualifications.  SSA has on line calculators to help you figure the benefits and make the best choices. The calculators are at the following web site: http://www.ssa.gov/estimator/
Reduced Benefits
The other popular question is if I took reduced benefits, can I return them and then apply for my higher benefit later on or my spouse benefit. The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES! Should I? In most cases I would not do it.

It takes about 11 years to recover and start making a profit. This does not include potential profits from investing the money in broad based mutual funds or similar investments as recommended by your financial adviser.

If you withdraw your claim at 66, make sure you state that you are not withdrawing your Medicare claim. The withdrawal is for retirement benefits only. Use the above calculator site to figure what is best in your own instance.
Contact Me With Questions!
Those of you who have attended my seminars in the past can contact me for help with making the decision. As you know, you have access to me anytime. I am glad to help and there is never a charge.

Please tell your friends and co-workers that I am still conducting seminars! I have gotten calls and emails from people who have been told I am retired or disabled. Neither is true! People have seen my picture and name on another web site and thought I would do the course. It is, also, not true.

I work exclusively for Service First, the speakers bureau division of Befitting Service. The seminars and materials provided are better than ever, and your questions will always be answered without charge.
What We Do
We have been told that other seminar companies and Federal newsletters do point out "the good deals." We choose not to for several reasons. The most important reason is that our background and resources are in Federal retirement benefits. We are not life insurance, health insurance or mutual fund representatives and we refuse to take referral fees of any kind.

We, too, have noticed what appear to be recommendations in Federal e-mail and hard copy publications on all these issues. In many cases, they even give you an application or an 800 number in the publication or web site.  We have been told that fees are paid and, in fact, the article was written, by the offering party. BE CAREFUL!!!   Do your homework.

We sell nothing other than our course. We do not accept referral fees. Our goal is to help Federal Employees have a successful retirement. We allow our students to call us about Federal benefits any time after taking the course without charge.

Thank you for reading!
Lloyd D. Watnik Government Benefits Consulting

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