Social Security: Indispensable Basics

Study Level:  Basic
Delivery Method:  Online self-study
Provider of Record: WebCE
Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
Prerequisites: None

Course Description

Most retirees are confused and misinformed about the topic of Social Security and many are seeking expert advice. I imagine many of you may be getting questions from your clients about when they should start their Social Security benefits.

This course will provide you with detailed basic Social Security information as well as many of the rules and strategies that pertain to clients and prospects – and perhaps even to yourself!

Financial professionals who are confident in their understanding and knowledge about Social Security will quickly become the “go to” resource, not only in their own organization, but communitywide. 

Social Security expertise builds trust and adds value for existing clients and is a topic that easily attracts prospects.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • recognize important Social Security program historical facts, changes to the program, and possible future adjustments for the trust fund to remain solvent
  • identify the components of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, noting its late passage, phase out of claiming strategies, options, and age deadlines
  • recognize the most commonly used Social Security terms and acronyms
  • note the funding mechanisms of Social Security, including maximum taxable earnings amounts
  • recognize the elements of calculating social security benefits, including how to calculate AIME and PIA
  • note the age at which full retirement benefits can be collected, time windows to fix an incorrect income election, and the life expectancy of men, women, and couples
  • identify the mechanics of the earnings test, noting exempt amounts and earnings in excess of the exempt amounts
  • recognize the rules and requirements for spousal benefits, divorced couples, and survivors
  • specify Social Security income amounts for clients electing to start at various ages, noting ways to optimize Social Security benefits through reduced benefits and delayed retirement
  • recognize the importance of aligning the Social Security election decision with management and withdrawal of other retirement assets
Revised Date: May 2017
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