Episode 3: Numbers, Numbers, and More Numbers!

Here are just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:

In our third episode discussing Social Security, we are going to get into some numbers!


Important filing ages by birth year. Go to Link

1943 – 195466
195566 and 2 months
195666 and 4 months
195766 and 6 months
195866 and 8 months
195966 and 10 months
1960 and later67

Survivor Benefits

Most of us don’t like to talk about death or even think about it. Social Security has survivors benefits to protect families who are affected by the death of a wage earner.

If you are working and paying into Social Security, some of those taxes you pay are for survivors insurance. Your spouse, children, and parents could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings.

You are also protected when your spouse, parent or adult child dies.


*From the SSA website below:

Your survivors benefit amount is based on the earnings of the person who died. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be.

The monthly amount you would get is a percentage of the deceased’s basic Social Security benefit. It depends on your age and the type of benefit you are eligible to receive.

If the person who died was receiving reduced benefits, we base your survivors benefit on that amount.

These are examples of the benefits that survivors may receive:

  • Widow or widower, full retirement age or older — 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit amount;
  • Widow or widower, age 60 — full retirement age — 71½ to 99 percent of the deceased worker’s basic amount;
  • Disabled widow or widower aged 50 through 59 — 71½ percent;
  • Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 16 — 75 percent;
  • A child under age 18 (19 if still in elementary or secondary school) or disabled — 75 percent; and
  • Dependent parent(s) of the deceased worker, age 62 or older:
    • One surviving parent — 82½ percent.
    • Two surviving parents — 75 percent to each parent.

Percentages for a surviving divorced spouse would be the same as above.


Will SS be taxed?  *From the SSA web site

Some of you have to pay federal income taxes on your Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income in addition to your benefits (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return).

You will pay tax on only 85 percent of your Social Security benefits, based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules. If you:

  • file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your combined income* is
    • between $25,000 and $34,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
    • more than $34,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.
  • file a joint return, and you and your spouse have a combined income* that is
    • between $32,000 and $44,000, you may have to pay income tax on up to 50 percent of your benefits.
    • more than $44,000, up to 85 percent of your benefits may be taxable.
  • are married and file a separate tax return, you probably will pay taxes on your benefits.
Your adjusted gross income
+ Nontaxable interest
½ of your Social Security benefits
= Your “combined income

Practical Planning Segment:

Retirement means different things to different people. It’s important to define what retirement means to you! Numbers are important, but you may not want to get too focused on a number.

When we talk about retirement with our clients, we focus on designing an ideal retirement life. We try not to focus so much on a number but on an idea!

Be as specific as you can. For example, instead of saying, ” I would like to travel more,” say something like:

I would like to go on a gondola in Venice!

I would like to take a walking tour of Florence!

I would like to visit a winery in California’s wine country!


Coachable segment


Being coachable is having a “blank slate” mindset. Its accepting your flaws and admitting you may not know everything and really keeping an open mind to new ideas to possibly improve in whatever area it is you would like to improve.


Purchase a little notebook or journal! You can even use a scrapbook where you can add pictures and ideas of what retirement “looks like” to you.

  • Start writing down, in specific terms, what your ideal retirement looks like.
  • If you see a picture in a travel magazine that really appeals to you, cut it out and put it in the scrapbook
  • Open a Pinterest account and create a pin called “My Ideal Retirement”

Don’t be afraid to dream and dream big. Put everything down that you can possibly think of. Here are some categories to think about.

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Travel
  • Home
  • Health
  • Community
  • Faith
  • Work

Next to each item write a “value” word that you would associate with that item. Circle the “value” word that most often appears. That’s what we call “Your True Purpose For Money.” That value is the main driving force in your life that affects most of your spending and investing decisions.

Value words to think about:

  • Love
  • Freedom
  • Health
  • Adventure
  • Security
  • Joy
  • Generosity
  • Faith
  • Independence