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Social Security News

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 benefits

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 national program. 


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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 start benefits.

Veterans, including active duty military, will be able to access their free report on November 11 at www.SocialSecurityforVeterans.com

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 www.SSA.gov.

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 retirement."

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 groups

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 http://www.investorprotection.org.

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 http://www.protectinvestors.org

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/InvestorProtectionTrust and on Twitter @IPT_Info.


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