Making the Most of Social Security Benefits

Smart strategies to maximize an important source of retirement income

$8.00 + your state filing fee
4 Credit Hours

This course favors L&H insurance agents but is applied as general credit for all agents.

COURSE DIFFICULTY

INTERMEDIATE
This course covers the following topics:
  • A brief history of Social Security in the United States and the various Social Security benefits that workers are eligible to receive.
  • Examine information regarding how retirement benefits are funded and calculated information about spousal and survivors benefits, and ways couples can strategize to make the most of their Social Security payments.
  • Discuss the potential taxation of Social Security benefits and other provisions that could impact the benefit an individual receives.

Summary

Nearly every American living today has been touched, or will be touched at some point in the future, by the nation’s Social Security program. In order to properly advise clients, insurance professionals must have a thorough understanding of how Social Security works, and its various functions. In this course, we’ll discuss a brief history of Social Security in the United States, the various Social Security benefits that workers are eligible to receive, information regarding how retirement benefits are funded and calculated, information about spousal and survivors benefits and ways couples can strategize to make the most of their Social Security payments. Lastly, we’ll conclude with a discussion on the potential taxation of Social Security benefits, and other provisions that could impact the benefit an individual receives.

Outline

1. Introduction to Social Security Benefits

  • 1.1 Overview
  • 1.2 Purpose of the Course
  • 1.3 A Timeline of the Development of Social Security
  • 1.4 Funding Social Security
  • 1.5 Social Security Eligibility Requirements
  • 1.6 Applying for Social Security Benefits
  • 1.7 Calculating Social Security Benefits
  • 1.8 How Much Income Does an Individual Need for Retirement?
  • 1.9 How Social Security Benefits are Paid
  • 1.10 Summary
  • Chapter 1 Quiz

2. Determining When to Claim Social Security Benefits

  • 2.1 Overview
  • 2.2 What Factors into an Individual’s Decision to Claim Social Security?
  • 2.3 Personal Financial Situation
  • 2.4 Marital Status
  • 2.5 Estimated Life Expectancy and Break-Even Age
  • 2.6 Extended Employment
  • 2.7 Risk Tolerance
  • 2.8 What Clients Should Do Now to Prepare for Tomorrow
  • 2.9 Revoking or Suspending a Claim
  • 2.10 Summary
  • Chapter 2 Quiz

3. Social Security Strategies for Married Couples

  • 3.1 Overview
  • 3.2 Understanding Spousal Benefits
  • 3.3 Spousal Benefits: Non-Working Spouses
  • 3.4 Spousal Benefits: Dual-Income Spouses
  • 3.5 Claiming Changes Due to the Bipartisan Budget Act
  • 3.6 Strategies for Spouses Claiming Social Security Benefits
  • 3.7 Filing the Income Gap When Delaying Social Security Benefits
  • 3.8 Summary
  • Chapter 3 Quiz

4. Understanding the Social Security Survivors Benefit

  • 4.1 Overview
  • 4.2 Who Earns Survivors Benefits?
  • 4.3 Calculating Survivors Benefits
  • 4.4 Currently and Fully Insured Survivors Benefits
  • 4.5 Maximizing Social Security Benefits for Surviving Spouses
  • 4.6 Understanding the Mother’s/Father’s Benefits
  • 4.7 Understanding the Child’s Benefits
  • 4.8 Understanding the Widower’s Benefits
  • 4.9 Applying for Social Security Survivors Benefits
  • 4.10 Summary
    • Chapter 4 Quiz

    5. The Effects of Taxation and Other Reductions on Social Security

    • 5.1 Overview
    • 5.2 Is My Social Security Benefit Taxable?
    • 5.3 Strategies for Staying Grounded in the “Tax Torpedo”
    • 5.4 Understanding the Government Pension Offset
    • 5.5 Understanding the Windfall Elimination Provision
    • 5.6 Summary
    • Chapter 5 Quiz

    Final Exam

    • Final Exam

    FAQ

    Q: What should I expect from this online course?

    A: We use a unique system to help you learn the material easily. Our online courses present you with information in large type that is easy to read. We highlight key items in gray and quiz you after each chapter to make sure you are learning critical information. You may review the material as much as you want before taking your required online, multiple-choice exam. Passing the exam proves your proficiency in that subject to your state’s governing authority.

    Q: Can I print my online course materials and test questions?

    A: According to the state authority, it is not permissible to print or download any course material or exam questions. However, you are free to access all online courses from our website anytime.

    Q: How long does it take to complete an online course?

    A: The time required to complete an online course varies from student to student, but it roughly approximates the number of credit hours awarded for the course. You must pass an online, multiple-choice exam. Passing the exam proves your proficiency in that subject to your state’s governing authority.