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CardinalGuide.com, Cardinal Advisors, and Hans Shiel, CFP, sell insurance. This show does not offer investment products or investment advice. Welcome to Finishing Well with Certified Financial Planner, Hans Shiel, and today's show is Social Security Spousal Benefits. And I think there's a surprise coming for you. There sure is a surprise coming for me, man.
There's some strategies here that really are just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. But in light of that, I was going to share a spousal benefit you may not be aware of just that's in the Bible. And so many are aware that Jacob was, you know, his name got changed to Israel and that he had actually four different wives that bore children that became the 12 tribes of Israel. But the two more famous ones were Rachel and Leah. And at Christmas time, we hear about Rachel, who died in Bethlehem and was buried there in Bethlehem on the side of the road rather than getting in the Cabe of Machlevah like like her sister would. But she's quoted at Christmas time because Herod killed all those children that were there in Bethlehem. And so this passage in Jeremiah 31 15 says, Thus says the Lord, a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel, weeping for her children, refused to be comforted for her children were not.
And what's happening there, if you think about it, Rachel has been dead for thousands of years at this point in time. And she is clearly and by the way, this is related to the Babylonian exile that was originally what this was for later as Jesus was born with those children. But originally, as the children left from from Jerusalem on the way to Babylon to exile, they had to pass down this road where Rachel would be weeping for her children, that they would come back into the land. And so the thing that's not very often quoted is the next passage, Jeremiah 31 16, where God answers these cries and says, Thus says the Lord, refrain, refrain thy voice from weeping in thine eyes for tears for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord. And they meaning the children shall come from the land of thy enemy, which is really cool on all sorts of levels. But the thing I was pointing out as far as the spousal benefit it, have you really thought that your wife or your husband, as the case may be, is going to continue to live in with God and that their tears will continue to have effect. In other words, when you look at this passage and think about what is God saying here, he's saying that this woman that is crying thousands of years after her death for her children are great, great, great, great, great grandchildren. It says that her work shall be rewarded. And so how cool is that that our spouses and even even think about it, our grandparents like I know my grandparents are weeping over some of the decisions that I've made, Hans. And so how cool is it that we get that benefit on into eternity?
Because that's just how cool God is. Well, yeah, it's spousal benefits. This one lady came to me. She'd been listening for a good while and she just decided that she needed to get her planning straightened out and she was going to retire. At some point, she might have to retire and she really didn't have a lot of money.
We worked through Medicare and we worked through a number of things. And then she just up and retired after she turned 65. And we were looking through the Social Security and she just didn't have a very large Social Security check either. And she was going to have to make up the difference out of her 401k, which was not real large. I mean, her Social Security check at full retirement age is going to be 1779, but she was only 65 and a half.
So she was looking at taking like 14, 1500 bucks, taking it early and maybe getting a part-time job. Things were a lot in the air and what ended up happening in the middle of making all these decisions right after she retired or had made the decision to retire, her ex-husband passed away. And so she was not jubilant about that. She was very sad about that as well.
And their son still lives with her. And so she was asking me, do I get any benefits out of that? Or I was saying to her, you need to check and see if he had a pension anywhere because you might be eligible for something. And then she didn't want to do that and the other family and things are just kind of going along.
And she had made her decision to just delay her Social Security, try to get a part-time job and just live out of some money out of her 401k to make it until she could get a little bigger Social Security check. And then something just hit me that I said, you know, I need to show this case to Tom. And so I did. And then I got Tom looking at it. And Tom said, well, she can file on her ex or her deceased ex and she can collect that and then she can let her own benefit accumulate. And so I'm just saying, Tom, I got her in touch with Tom and then we actually met over in the Greensboro office.
And I'm just amazed by this, how Tom pulls all, it's like pulling rabbits out of a hat. I mean, he showed me the guideline in the Social Security for, they got rid of this provision where you could do that if both spouses were living. You could file this restricted application. But what he had her do, and they did it online, was apply for her widow's benefit on his Social Security, which was $1,975 a month. And she's already been awarded that. And they paid her a few months back pay. And then her benefit, she filed a restricted application, which means because he's deceased, she can do that. And she can collect the $1,975 really for the rest of her life. But her benefit continues to grow all the way till $70.
And at $70, we've projected that's going to be $2,408. So she can flip it and she can go from his benefit to her increased benefit. And what a pile of money, you know, Tom was able to get for her. Yeah, it's just, it's almost mind blowing to think that, you know, she would have not had any income for a period of time while she waited for a full retirement age. And so there's all those months of 1900. And then, you know, this just keeps growing and growing to where, you know, that $2,400, depending on how long she lives, is like the gift that just keeps on giving. Well, yeah. And so we're able to make smaller withdrawals out of the 401k. And that's the first thing we did.
We only did about a month of them. And so we need to preserve that money for when she gets real old. And then she's in the process of getting a part-time job. And when she gets a part-time job, you know, she can't make more than $19,000 a year, but she's not going to make that on her.
She doesn't want to make that. She just needs enough to supplement the 1975 to get her up to about $3,000 a month, $3,200 a month, and then we'll have no deductions from the 401k, maybe for a long time. And that'll just be able to accrue for her.
It's just a blessing. Right. So apparently, from what it said in the video, which, again, at Cardinal Advisors, they have this YouTube channel that's outstanding, and you've got Tom in there going into all that happened, apparently, up until like 2015, this was something everybody could kind of do as they were getting to the point where one of them could hold and let their proceeds grow in order to go to full 70 while the other one filed the smaller amount. But now they've made this allowance just for widows and widowers, right, since 2015, and it's called File and Suspend? Yeah, there was a thing called File and Suspend, and that wasn't really a Social Security term. It was a strategy developed by people like me where you really kind of work in the system. So you would have the lower earner who's not working and kind of retired, and a lot of times this was the spouse, and then you'd have the higher earner still doing their job, and so you'd have that lower earner file under their own benefit, and then you'd have the working spouse file as the spouse of the lower earner and be collecting a spouse benefit while he or she is still working. And their benefits increasing. It was a whole convoluted thing. There's no point in getting into the details of it because they nixed it, and they stopped it in 2015, but they preserved that benefit or the restricted application that you can file which allows your benefit to continue to grow while you're connecting another in the cases of a deceased spouse.
So it's Tom that figures all this stuff out, and believe me, he didn't read it in a book. It's just a beautiful thing for lower income widows and widowers, right? Because that difference of $400 or $500 a month for them, if they can grow their benefit to $70, makes a huge difference on the life that they can live. It's absolutely a lifesaver, I would imagine, in many, many cases.
The thing that I can't help but think is it seems complicated. I'm sure if you're listening to this and you hadn't really heard about the spousal benefits of Social Security or thought about the different strategies that we're talking about, I guess the overall principle is that, man, as we're doing our financial planning, there's nothing like having somebody that you can reach out and call or e-mail or whatever. And the idea is that Cardinal Advisors, right, cardinalguide.com is the website that is the host of this show, cardinalguide.com, and there you can e-mail Hans or get their phone number and call. You can talk to Tom, you can talk to Hans, and these things are just like, man, really can make a huge difference, and it's not just for the people that are making six figures, right?
This is something really helpful for people with lower income. Yeah, when we come back after the break, I'm going to tell the second story, but I'm going to finish hers because I want to tell you what she told me just coming in the door over there at the Truth Network. So is that a story for after the break?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, one week, we'll be right back with a lot more. Again, go visit cardinalguide.com and order Hans' book, The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement, as well as all the back shows of Finishing Well and links to the YouTube there at Cardinal Advisors.
So we'll be right back with a lot more Finishing Well. Hans and I would love to take our show on the road to your church, Sunday School, Christian, or civic group. Here's a chance for you to advance the kingdom through financial resources by leveraging Hans' expertise in qualified charitable contributions, veterans' aid and attendance, IRAs, Social Security, Medicare, and long-term care. Just go to cardinalguide.com and contact Hans to schedule a live recording of Finishing Well at your church, Sunday School, Christian, or civic group. Contact Hans at cardinalguide.com.
That's cardinalguide.com. Well, welcome back to Finishing Well with certified financial planner Hans Scheil. And today's show, we're talking about Social Security spousal benefits.
And when we left our hero, Hans, you know, we had this lady, wow, I mean, what a difference, really, God's provision made in this woman's life. Well, she was, when I brought Tom into the mix, she was, I wouldn't call it arguing, but it was close to arguing. With Tom, I talked to Social Security, they said I can get no benefit out of his, and, you know, and then Tom just patiently listens, and he says, okay, but I want to stick through this, I'm right about this. And he just went ahead, and anyhow, she got even a back check. But what I want to share with you is the very first time I met her over at the Truth Network, and we met in the conference room there, she just said, I can't believe that I'm talking to you, I thought it would be somebody in your office.
And I said, no, you're talking to me. And then we went over the fact that I was not going to charge her later, just because of her limited means. And, I mean, I had a little talk with her about just valuing herself, and, you know, let me worry about my money, and you worry about your money, and I'll worry about your money, and just kind of had a little talk with her about just kind of, well, she's going to get a new job.
And she's got to go quit her job with a guy that wasn't very nice. And so, just in working with people, I'm here to help. And, you know, I'm sure I'm going to be on a Christian radio show, and when somebody that comes in is what you would call poor, and what am I going to do, not help them?
Or I'm going to charge them the same fee I'm going to charge somebody that makes a lot of money, or I'm going to send them down to somebody who they perceive is lower than me to do their work, and I don't think so. So, you know, anybody that's got a problem, or they've got somebody in need, by all means, call me. I'm here to help.
Okay? Yeah, and, you know, knowing you guys as I do, both you and Tom, you know, I really sense there's more joy in the hearts of Tom and Hans over this lady who isn't going to have to struggle to make ends meet than saving, you know, somebody that is making six figures, you know, another 50 grand or something. This second story, yeah, this story really touched my heart, because here's a guy that really, man, losing his wife, and she was on disability, I mean, this is a real story too, like, wow, it's just really a heart warmer.
Go ahead and, I'm sorry to interrupt Hans, I'm just excited to hear it again. Yeah, well, so the next guy comes in about one or two weeks later, and so he's a new client, watched us on YouTube, turned in 65, and I'm really just talking to him about Medicare, learning where his assets are, talking to him about Social Security, and then first thing he tells me, he's taken his benefit of 2643, at least that's his plan, he wanted to hear what I have to say about, and this guy's 64 and a half. He's two years away from full retirement, and he'd already told me that his wife passed away, but I hadn't really asked for the details, and I could just sense a lot of sadness, which is to be expected, and so as we kind of dig a little deeper, man, I was just, I told him right up, boy, I just don't like that. I mean, I just, he's given up a bunch of benefits, but as I got to know him a little more, but I said, I'm going to support you, and he kind of got defended a little bit, and then taken to Social Security, because he hadn't worked in a couple of years, he'd been living off of savings, and because of the pandemic, he thinks now that he's not going to go back to work, and so then I started asking him about his wife, and that whole situation, and she passed in January 2020, so I guess it was right when the pandemic hit, and she had actually qualified for Social Security disability with breast cancer, because it was several times reoccurring, and she had gotten like three checks, so I thought, well, do you still have a copy of those? And he said, yeah, and so he went and got them and came back, and I said, well, you know, that's 1950 bucks, because when you qualify for Social Security disability, doesn't matter what age you are, you get your full retirement benefit, you know, your FRA benefit, so the reason I wanted to know what that was, because I'm thinking he's a candidate for getting this whatever benefit, and I wanted to know how much we're going to be getting here, and then we have to discount that, because he's not 66 and a half yet, he's 64 and a half, so he's going to get something less than 1900, although we factored it up, because this was 2019, so because of the inflation increases, where it ended up to is Social Security is going to be paying him 1936 a month, starting now at 64 and a half, and they're going to pay him that until, well, for the rest of his life, if that's what he wants, so he's going to file, or he has filed a restricted application, and he's not taking the 2649 benefit, which was two years early, and that's going to continue to grow while he's collecting the 1936, and his check will be 3831 when he's 70, so 1936 now, 3831, of course all those will be adjusted for inflation, but it's pretty cool. Yeah, absolutely amazing. Again, you got somebody who would have been just struggling and setting their benefit level low for all time to where now he's got the extra money, and when he turns 70, like, man, I mean, it really takes off, and he's in just a whole lot better position.
It's just a beautiful, beautiful strategy, but I also love what Tom did with this gentleman. He actually walked him through being able to do it online, right? This guy was a lot more tech savvy than the first lady. With the first lady, Tom did hers online, but we went and met her at our Greensboro office. She got onto the SSA.gov under her codes, and then Tom went in there and pushed all the buttons for her, and Tom knows what to put in the little notes section about the restricted application.
Well, then what Tom did is went back to her application, copied and pasted it, deleted her name, and he emailed it to this dude, and this guy just went online, and he did it all by himself. Once we explained it to him, he was very savvy, and he actually kind of came to life. I mean, I could just see a depressed guy that, you know, he's been just shut in with the pandemic. He's up pretty close to New York City.
He's over in Connecticut, Greenwich, Connecticut, and not deciding whether he's going to move. It just is very sad, but he livened up with this, and then the rest of the stuff is we're going to put a plan together for him. He doesn't have a lot of money, but he ain't broke either. I mean, he's got some money, and the Social Security check is going to make a big difference. And then the fact that we're going to supplement it out of his 401k, and knowing that he's going to have a check at 3831 at age 70, we only need to supplement it by 2,000 bucks a month for five years, for five and a half years. And then, so we can draw down on the 401k to just make his income level, and then I guess we'll have to decide whether that amount is, you know, we'll figure all that out that he can live off of, and just putting a plan together for him. But this is fundamental to it. Right, and we see this time and again, really, that the Social Security, you've said that for the years that we've done this together now, John. Hans, I keep, his name is Hans, actually, but sometimes I call him John, but anyway, is that that's kind of the building block that you put the whole thing together, is to start with that, because quite often it represents, you know, just a sizable income. Well, it does.
It's the baseline. I mean, 1936 a month is 1936 a month. It's almost two grand. It's 500 bucks a week. And if that's all he had, he would pay taxes. So, you know, it's 500 bucks a week at take-home pay, and when you're working, you've got to make 750, 800 to take home 500. So, and then 3831 at age 70, you know, is almost 1,000 a week. And again, if he had nothing else, he's not going to pay much of anything at taxes. And, you know, I mean, the Social Security matters.
I don't care whether you're rich, poor, or in between somewhere. And it's fundamental in the work we do, and we've just made a study of it. We just decided we're going to study this like we study investments, Medicare, long-term care, estate planning, tax laws. We're just going to learn all the ins and outs.
And, you know, it may well be that you're somebody listening today, and this does not apply to you. Your spouse is living and well and plan to be that way. But this is just showing you the ins and the outs of the system and how Tom learned this just by serving clients and then doing it for another and another. It wouldn't surprise me if some point down the line somebody from Social Security calls over and asks for Tom so he can tell them how to do this. Well, that's, you know, it's just, it's really, really cool that, you know, again, that there's all these different, you know, because we don't, you know, I know I'm 66 now and, you know, losing my spouse isn't something that, you know, just crosses your mind at all.
You know, you don't sit there and plan on it or think about it or any of those kind of things. And so it's just nice to know from my perspective, and I think very helpful to go, okay, there's people out there are experts on this kind of stuff. And so if I find myself in this position or I know somebody that's in this position, like, wow, I know a Christian guy that loves to help people, especially when they're in a bind.
And here you go, it's cardinal, you know, cardinalguide.com, you know, Anshal finishing well, hey, easy to find, cardinal advisors on YouTube, right? You can't go wrong. No, it's good. I mean, I've helped a lot of widows out. People, my wife's lady was in our wedding.
Her husband was killed in a plane crash on his own plane 25 years ago. And she was just, oh, I'm not going to get anything out of him. And we sheltered all the income and she's really in a bad way now. And I really had to kind of force it on her.
You know, I just said, man, I'm not going to accept all that. And I can kind of talk to her like that. And he made an appointment at Social Security, went down there with the stuff. She's been getting 1800 a month for, you know, I don't know, a couple of years now. And I mean, she thanks me every time she sees me. She's talking to my wife. She mentions it because it just made 1800 bucks a month compared to nothing because she's too young to file for Social Security and she didn't even have to do a restricted application because she was under 62. She just filed for the spousal benefit, is collecting it. And then she asked about it because she still works. I mean, it's part time, but she's worked all along. She's had to because of losing him 25 years ago that her benefit is accumulating. So she may get substantially more. She may be like the first lady where she'll get substantially more at 70.
But for right now, she's very thankful for that 1800 bucks. And as usual, we've run out of time before we ran out of show. But, you know, great stuff.
Let me remind you one more time. CardinalGuide.com. Hans' book, The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement. And of course, our YouTube channel at Cardinal Advisors. Thank you, Hans.
Thank you. Finishing Well is a general discussion and education of the issues facing retirees. CardinalGuide.com, Cardinal Advisors and Hans Schleil CFP sell insurance.
This show does not offer investment products or investment advice. We hope you enjoyed Finishing Well, brought to you by CardinalGuide.com. Visit CardinalGuide.com for free downloads of this show or previous shows on topics such as Social Security, Medicare, IRAs, long-term care, life insurance, investments and taxes, as well as Hans' bestselling book, The Complete Cardinal Guide to Planning for and Living in Retirement, and The Workbook. Once again, for dozens of free resources, past shows, or to get Hans' book, go to CardinalGuide.com. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion for future shows, click on the Finishing Well radio show on the website and send us a word. Once again, that's CardinalGuide.com. CardinalGuide.com. This is the Truth Network.
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