Retired, Active Duty Military Offered Free Social
Security Planning Tool on Veterans Day
On Monday, vets, their widows and widowers can learn
how to increase lifetime retirement benefits by
$100,000 or more with savvy claiming strategy for social security
Nov. 6, 2013 - This Veterans Day (Monday,
November 11), both retired and active duty
military and widows and widowers of the fallen are being offered free
access to an online tool detailing how to make the most of retirement
income from Social Security, with the potential to add
$100,000 or more to their lifetime
benefits by following a savvy claiming strategy.
Two nonprofits - the
Investor Protection Institute and Investor Protection Trust - are
working with its partners, Social Security Solutions and the Kiplinger
Washington Editors, to make veterans aware of the free-for-a-day
The online tool, from Social Security Solutions,
crunches an individual's social security income information to deliver a
recommended claiming strategy based on life-expectancy projections that
aims to maximize lifetime benefits. The primary goal is to help
Americans understand the value of the guaranteed, inflation-adjusted,
lifetime income offered by Social Security.
According to a recent survey
of U.S. veterans conducted for the Kiplinger Washington Editors, a high
percentage of vets are unaware of how to get an estimate of their Social
Security benefits and do not understand the cost of claiming benefits
early and the potential benefit of delaying the start of benefits.
Additionally, more than seven in ten veterans
surveyed, "didn't know" or "underestimated" how much monthly benefits
are reduced if they claimed benefits at age 62 rather than at today's
full retirement age of 66. Likewise, nearly nine in ten vets didn't
realize how much benefits will increase if they wait until age 70 to
In addition to name, age and marital status,
they'll need to enter their Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is the
estimated monthly Social Security benefit they will receive if they
start benefits at full retirement age.
Citizens age 60 and older receive annual statements
from the government showing their PIA. Younger veterans (and those who
have misplaced the paper statement) can find their PIA online by setting
up an account with Social Security at
IPI and IPT President and
CEO Don Blandin said: "IPT and IPI are
pleased to support this free program for those who are so deserving –
the men and women who protect and defend our country and those who have
lost their military spouse.
Many Americans are already undertaking a social
security claiming strategy that undermines their long-term financial
security and we hope the use of this software will help eliminate the
guesswork that surrounds this critical financial decision. Within a few
minutes, a veteran who takes advantage of this offer will have a
personalized report and roadmap to a more financially secure
Americans can claim their
Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70, and
when they start benefits has a profound effect on how much they receive
each month. Someone due $1,500 a month at
"full retirement age" (currently 66) would receive just
$1,125 a month if benefits begin at age 62
but $1,980 a month if the starting date is
delayed to age 70. The timing decision is especially complicated for
married couples because mix-and-match strategies offer opportunities to
significantly increase lifetime benefits.
For millions of Americans,
Social Security has become the keystone of a secure retirement. Nine
out of 10 Americans age 65 and older receive benefits, and those
payments add up to just shy of 40% of their total retirement income.
Half of all couples and three-fourths of unmarried beneficiaries receive
more than half of their retirement income from Social Security. As the
Baby Boom generation ages, 10,000 boomers a day will file to claim
Social Security benefits.
About the sponsoring
The Investor Protection
Trust is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. More
than half of all Americans are now invested in the securities markets,
making investor education and protection vitally important. Since 1993
the Investor Protection Trust has worked with the states and at the
national level to provide the independent, objective investor education
needed by all Americans to make informed investment decisions. The
Investor Protection Trust strives to keep all Americans on the right
money track. For more information, go to
The Investor Protection
Institute is an independent nonprofit organization that advances
investor protection by conducting and supporting unbiased research and
groundbreaking education programs. IPI carries out its mission through
investor education, protection and research programs delivered at both
the national and grassroots level in collaboration with state securities
regulators and other strategic partners. IPI is dedicated to providing
innovative investor-protection programs that will make a meaningful
difference in the financial lives of Americans in all walks of life and
at all levels of sophistication about financial matters. For more
information, go to
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