Social Security Strategy Optimization

Will you be impacted by the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) or Government Pension Offset (GPO)?

Do you know your full retirement age & benefit?

Have you completed an analysis to determine the optimal time to take Social Security?

Is your spousal benefit more advantageous than your personal benefit?

Have you completed a lifetime benefit maximization analysis?

The Rhame & Gorrell Team offers a complimentary Social Security strategy consultation, and you only get one chance to make the right choices when claiming Social Security benefits. The wrong decision could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars – you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re not leaving benefits on the table! There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and with many different variables entering the equation, it’s important to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) to discuss your options and make an informed decision. Send us your information below and our team will touch base with you to begin the process.

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Input your information below and one of our advisors will reach out to begin your Social Security Optimization Analysis.


is what more than 59 million Americans were projected to receive in Social Security benefits in 2015


of the current American workforce has no savings set aside specifically for their retirement and future


average earned monthly benefit from Social Security in 2015 for retired workers (just $16,020 per year)

What you need to know

1) Know your full retirement age (FRA)

  • For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. You can collect Social Security as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before full retirement age results in a permanent reduction of as much as 25% of your benefit.

2) Know your spousal benefit

  • Marriage provides couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, which at full retirement age could be worth up to 50% of the full retirement benefit of the other spouse. For example, if your monthly benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s is only worth $500, your spouse can switch to a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — increasing monthly income by $500.
    • Note that you cannot apply for a spousal benefit until your spouse has applied for his or her own benefit.
    • Divorced spouses are also entitled to benefits if the marriage lasted more than 10 years.

3) Know if you can afford to wait

  • Once you hit full retirement age, you can choose to wait to take your benefit. There’s a big bonus to delaying your claim — your benefit will grow by 8% a year up until age 70. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included as well. Waiting to claim Social Security until age 70 could earn you an additional 32% in benefits.

What it means

When you begin taking benefits depends on a number of factors, with the primary being the need for the income. That very factor highlights the need to work with a financial advisor to objectively review all options and help you make the “best” decision. Many people do not realize the difference in the total lifetime benefits from taking Social Security. The example below illustrates the difference in your total lifetime benefit based on whether you claim benefits early, at full retirement age, or at age 70.

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