Social Security Planning

Course Description:

Social Security has long-been one of the pillars upon which Americans build their retirement plans. Social Security is the largest source of income for a majority of retired workers with perhaps as many as 70% of retired or disabled Americans calling Social Security the primary source of income during their golden years. 

Because of the role Social Security plays in retirement, it is paramount that workers maximize their benefits. Tax specialists as well as financial planners can play an important role in helping their clients make informed choices about Social Security. Although there is never just one right answer for the questions clients may ask about Social Security, it is important to understand the options available in each client’s case.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the foundation of the Social Security system and the means by which benefits are calculated and taxed. Several strategies that may be employed by taxpayers to maximize their benefits are also discussed along with a number of tax issues that relate to Social Security benefits for different types of taxpayers.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion, students will be able to:
  • correctly identify when workers, their spouses, dependents or survivors are eligible for Social Security benefits
  • identify the methods used to calculate Social Security benefits for eligible taxpayers
  • identify the effect of early and delayed retirement on taxpayer benefits
  • identify how coordinating spousal benefits, using strategies such as file-and-suspend and restricted applications, can maximize lifetime benefits
  • identify the rules that apply to special situations, including widows, dependents and divorced spouses
  • correctly calculate taxes on Social Security benefits
Tax Year: 2018
Prerequisites: None

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