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Monday, November 2, 2015

Congress Just Helped Save Social Security (not)

The sunny name of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 belies the fact that it unnecessarily guts important provisions that benefit both married and divorced spouses.  AARP estimates that only 1/10 of one percent of eligible Americans take advantage of these provisions.  But, even if every single eligible beneficiary maximized the use of timing strategies, the effect on the Social Security trust fund would amount to less than 1/2 of one percent.  Even if Social Security were part of the Federal budget (it isn't) or, even if the Social Security trust fund were in trouble (it isn't) this change will have insignificant budgetary benefits but devastating consequences for many couples and divorced spouses.  This amounts to senior abuse.

Before they approved this nonsensical bill, the Senate did soften it a bit with two amendments:
  • It does not take effect until 5/1/2016*
  • Certain provisions are grandfathered in for those age 62 or older.
I suspect, and hope, that before 5/1/2016* Congress will incur enough outrage that they will also fix the divorced spouse benefits and perhaps even all timing strategies.
Regardless, it is imperative that you:
  1. Meet with me or call to see how this law- in its current form -could change your strategy
  2. Contact your Congressional representatives & prevail upon them to fix this mistake:
Best Always,
Gary Duell

Your Constructive Comments are Welcome!
*I must confess a previous version of this post had a typo in both of these dates.

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