Social Security Claiming Strategies for Estate Planners: Updated for the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Bill

Maximizing Benefits and Optimizing Lifetime Income

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, December 17, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will help estate planners and advisers develop Social Security benefit claiming strategies for clients nearing retirement age. At least 10,000 people each day become eligible for Social Security benefits. Your clients will look to you for answers—are you prepared or will they find another adviser who is? You will learn claiming techniques for optimizing clients’ joint lifetime benefit amounts including maximizing the higher earner benefits, coordinating claiming elections between spouses, and maximizing the survivor benefit.


Social Security is the largest source of income for most people over the age of 65, and the only income source where benefits are guaranteed for life. More than 10,000 baby boomers become eligible to receive benefits daily. Most individuals claim early—at age 62—and fail to realize that when to retire and when to claim Social Security benefits are separate decisions. Social Security is a complex regulatory scheme—misinformation and confusion is common.

Counsel must guide clients to approach Social Security claiming as seriously as any investment strategy. Guiding your client to savvy claiming decisions can boost a married couple’s joint lifetime income by $100,000 or more. Your strategic planning can help clients take advantage of the flexibility married couples enjoy to maximize lifetime benefits. Clients left unguided or with poor planning can suffer reduced income for an individual’s spouse, children and survivors, while counsel’s innovative claiming strategies can help increase a client’s lifetime benefits up to 20%.

Listen as our authoritative speaker outlines Social Security benefit claiming strategies that estate planners and advisors can use to help clients nearing retirement age maximize benefits and increase lifetime retirement income.



  1. Overview of Social Security benefits and rules
  2. Factors to consider when taking Social Security
    1. What if clients need benefits early?
    2. What if clients want to wait to receive benefits?
    3. Working between ages 62 and full retirement age
  3. Family benefits
  4. Claiming elections
    1. “Claim and suspend” election
    2. “Restricted application” election
    3. Do over
  5. The future of Social Security and possible changes


Our speaker will discuss these and other key issues:

  • How does retirement age affect benefit amounts?
  • What factors should be considered in deciding when to take Social Security?
  • What Social Security offset rules can result in reductions in benefits?
  • How do changes in family status—divorce, death of spouse—affect Social Security determinations?


Thomas R. Hager
Thomas R. Hager

Managing Partner
Schlabig & Associates

Mr. Hager focuses his practice on promoting Social Security education and helping clients maximize claiming strategies....  |  Read More

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