Social Security Loopholes Closed but Questions Remain

01/25/2016

Some popular Social Security loopholes for married couples have been closed but some strategies remain.

Recently Congress closed a couple of Social Security loopholes included in a larger piece of legislation focused on avoiding default of debts. The loopholes, known as "file and suspend" and "restricted applications," are complex.

What did they do? They basically allowed married couples to accrue a little bit more money out of the system by carefully filing the appropriate paperwork in a specific order at specific times. The majority of Americans did not take advantage of the loopholes either for practical reasons or because they did not know about them.

That these loopholes have been closed does not mean Americans can no longer plan to maximize their potential Social Security income.

This was the point of a recent article in Time entitled "There's One Simple Social Security Strategy You Can Still Take to the Bank."

The strategy suggested is to delay receiving Social Security benefits for as long as you possibly can. The longer you delay benefits, the more benefits you will receive.

On the other hand, many people cannot afford to delay benefits for the maximum amount of time.

When it comes to planning for Social Security it might be wise to consult with an estate planning attorney to help in weighing your options.

Reference: Time (Dec. 31, 2015) "There's One Simple Social Security Strategy You Can Still Take to the Bank."