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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

By Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy





The payoff can be big when spouses carefully coordinate their Social Security benefit claims


JewishWorldReview.com | For married couples, claiming Social Security can be a complex task. They have more options than singles do, providing more opportunities to boost cumulative lifetime income--if they coordinate their start times.

One of the most important rules of thumb for married couples: If just one spouse is expected to live past age 80, their cumulative lifetime benefits will usually be highest if the higher earner delays collecting until age 70, according to William Meyer and William Reichenstein, principals of consulting firm Social Security Solutions. The full retirement age is 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. For every year you delay until 70, you earn an 8% delayed retirement credit.

A top goal for couples is to boost the benefit for the surviving spouse. In most cases, the surviving spouse is the wife, and the higher earner is the husband. If he dies first, the wife will get 100% of his benefit if she takes the survivor benefit at or past her full retirement age. If she claims earlier, the survivor benefit will be reduced.

That means it often makes the most sense for the higher earner to delay claiming until 70. Here are two strategies with the most potential to boost household income. The higher earner must be at least full retirement age to employ either one. (A wife who is the higher earner can use these strategies, too.)

And beware: These strategies have become so popular that they have caught the eye of the White House, which may be looking to put the kibosh on these tactics. President Obama's budget for 2015 "proposes to eliminate aggressive Social Security claiming strategies, which allow upper-income beneficiaries to manipulate the timing of collection of Social Security benefits in order to maximize delayed retirement credits."

File and suspend. Let's say you're a married man and the higher earner. You want to maximize your benefit by delaying until 70. If your wife is 62 or older, she could collect a benefit based on her own earnings record, but perhaps she'd get more money with a spousal benefit (which is up to 50% of the husband's benefit). One catch: She cannot collect a spousal benefit until you file for your own.

Here's a way to boost household income immediately. You file for your benefit, and your wife applies for a spousal benefit. You ask Social Security to suspend your benefit. Your wife will receive a spousal benefit--even though you are not collecting your own. If your wife is younger than full retirement age, her spousal benefit will be less than 50% of your benefit. But you can continue to work and accrue delayed credits until you reapply for your benefit.

This file-and-suspend maneuver helps provide for your lower-earning wife if you die first. She will be able to step up to a survivor benefit that will be 100% of your benefit at the time of your death. The survivor benefit will include any earned delayed retirement credits and cost-of-living adjustments.

Restrict an application. Typically, the lower-earning spouse is the one who collects a spousal benefit. But there's nothing to say the higher earner can't opt for a spousal benefit temporarily.

Let's say you are the higher-earning spouse and have hit full retirement age. But you want to delay your benefit until 70, to maximize your own benefit and the survivor benefit. In the meantime, you can bring in extra money by applying for a spousal benefit.


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First, your lower-earning spouse claims her own benefit. Let's say she's 62, and because she's claiming early, she gets 75% of her full benefit. Then, you apply for a spousal benefit. Because you are full retirement age, you get an extra bonus: Rather than getting just 50% of her current reduced benefit, you get 50% of what she would have received if she had waited until full retirement age to collect her benefit.

Known as restricting an application to a spousal benefit, this strategy only works if you are full retirement age. If you are younger, you cannot choose between your own benefit and the spousal benefit. The Social Security Administration will automatically give you the highest benefit you're entitled to, which is likely to be the one based on your earnings.

At age 70 or anytime before, you can switch to your own higher benefit. At that point, your wife can switch to a spousal benefit, which will be based on what you were entitled to if you had filed at full retirement age. If you die, your wife's survivor benefit will be based on what you would have received at the age of your death.

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Susan B. Garland is Editor, and Rachel L. Sheedy is Managing Editor ofKiplinger's Retirement Report



All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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