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Important Changes to Social Security Benefits Signed into Law

You may have heard that some changes to Social Security were recently signed into law. While these changes will only affect a portion of Social Security recipients, the changes to those hoping to implement some of the abolished strategies may be significant.

File and Suspend

Currently: A filer who is at or past Full Retirement Age (FRA), can file for individual benefits, but suspend receiving them and allow a spouse or dependent to collect off of their record.

Through April 30, 2016: Anyone 66 or older can still file and suspend to allow an eligible spouse or dependent to collect a benefit off their record under the old rules.

After April 30, 2016: "File and suspend" will no longer enable a spouse or dependent to collect benefits off of the filer's record, unless the filer takes a benefit. For a spouse or dependent to collect a benefit, filers must collect their own benefit and forgo delayed retirement credits. If an individual suspends benefits, all spousal and dependent benefits will be suspended.

 Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits

Currently: A spouse who is at or past FRA, and who has not received any benefits, can choose:

A spousal benefit only (referred to as a Restricted Application).

His or her own individual benefit.

Anyone 62+ by the end of 2015: Is grandfathered and retains the ability to restrict their claim to spousal benefits only if they wait to collect until they reach their FRA.

After year-end 2015: Individuals who are younger than 62 will not have the choice of which benefit they collect when they reach FRA. Regardless of their age, they will be "deemed" to have filed for the highest benefit. They will no longer have the option to restrict their benefit to their spousal benefit only.

We subscribe to a specialized software called Social Security Timing which we utilize to find our clients optimal claiming strategies. If you would like us to run this report for you, a friend or a relative, please let us know. We will need the Social Security statement listing all years of earnings which can be obtained by creating an account at

Social Security is a very important component of most retiree's income. Implementing the optimal claiming strategy can make the difference of up to $100,000-$200,000 in additional income over a couple's lifetime. Your Social Security claiming decision is one of the most important decisions of your retirement, let's work together to make sure you make the best decision for your personal situation.

If you would like to discuss your Social Security claiming strategy and how it can affect your retirement income plan, please contact us. If you have a friend or family member who you believe could benefit from the Social Security Timing analysis, we would be glad to analyze their situation for them.

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Rob & Larry

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388 Cleveland Ave. SW | New Brighton, MN 55112 | P: (651) 628-9832 | F: (651) 633-6566 | |

Securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Adviser. P.O. Box 64284, St. Paul, MN, 55164 Phone 800-800-2638. Valtinson Financial Services and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. are unaffiliated entities.

Neither Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., nor its registered representatives or employees, provide tax or legal advice. As with all matters of a tax or legal nature, you should consult with your tax or legal counsel for advice.

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Valtinson-Bruner Financial Services is a marketing name for securities and investment advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Valtinson Financial Group, LLC and Valtinson-Dahl Insurance Agency, LLC. Tax and accounting services offered through Valtinson Tax Services, LLC. Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. does not provide tax or legal advice. All listed entities are unaffiliated.

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