Social Security continues to be a key part of how Americans ensure their financial security after they retire. Congress made some substantial changes to the program that take effect in 2016. For people preparing to start their Social Security benefits, these changes may impact their retirement plans. A few simple tips might save thousands of dollars. And for those currently receiving Social Security benefits, there may be ways to increase the benefits in the long term.
“Social Security: What You Need to Know” is a fast-paced, one-hour presentation for anyone anticipating their benefits and those currently receiving benefits. This informational workshop will be presented from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 at the Pierce County Summit Branch Library, 5107 112th St. E. in Tacoma.
Kirk Larson is the Western Washington Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. He has worked with the agency for over 23 years in both technical and supervisory roles. Kirk has presented Social Security information in both the Seattle and San Francisco Regions. He has had several articles published, and has appeared on TV and radio shows to discuss Social Security issues.
One of the best ways to understand benefits is by opening and using your mySocial Security Online Account. Before attending the class please open an account www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount/, print out, and bring your Social Security Statement. If you need assistance in setting up your account, Kirk Larson will be around after the presentation to help.
“Congress made significant changes to the Social Security program starting in 2016,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “Current and future beneficiaries need to know what’s coming. We are fortunate to have a Social Security expert explain the changes and how best to navigate the system.”
Changes in 2016 include the loss of the “file and suspend” strategy, changes to the “file as a spouse first” approach and an increase in earnings needed for a quarter of coverage. The workshop will present other strategies that can maximize benefits including when to begin receiving benefits and the advantages of making claims based on spousal work history. Participants will also learn how to negotiate the rules about working, either full or part time, while receiving benefits.
“Social Security: What You Need to Know” is jointly sponsored by the Social Security Administration and the Pierce County Community Connections Aging & Disability Resource Center. The presentation is free and there is no RSVP. For more information, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332.