Social Security Secrets - How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement

Social Security Secrets - How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement

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What if You and Your Spouse Could Get an Extra $111,000 in Retirement?

You Could Lock in Six Figures in “Extra” Social Security Benefits Over the Course of Your Golden Years

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Just 4 out of every 100 retirees claim their maximum retirement benefit.

This REVEALING BOOK shows you strategies that could hand you tens of thousands—or even $100,000 or more—in EXTRA dollars, funds you have to know when—and how—to ask for.

Dear Reader,

Chances are, you qualify for extra money from Social Security but don’t realize it.

If you’re already collecting benefits, you may be eligible for tens of thousands more.

If you’ve not yet claimed your Social Security—now’s the time to get the lay of the land so you can maximize what you’re eligible for and minimize the taxes you’ll pay on it.

According to a recent study, just 4 out of every 100 retirees are claiming the maximum they could. That means a whopping 96% of retirees could be pocketing more each month. They don’t claim at the right time to maximize what they could receive or else there are additional benefits they’re eligible for—based on birth date and marital status, for instance—that they don’t realize they can request.

That’s additional money that could be spent on anything from living expenses to meals out every week to annual beach vacations or even trips abroad.

Or these extra funds could simply be that cushion you need to secure a worry-free retirement. Now more than ever—with the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 shutdown and the economic situation we’ll find ourselves in as this craziness begins to wane—it’s important to understand how you can be most strategic about how and when you claim your Social Security benefits.

Because we're not talking chump change that’s in play here. The average retiree household leaves $111,000 on the table over the course of their retirement. Money they simply never see.

To put it plainly: This could be the difference between pocketing, say, the average retiree benefit of $1,548 a month, or as much as $3,895 a month—which some people will receive.

“Even a minor Social Security misstep can rob your nest egg of tens of thousands of dollars in retirement benefits.” – MoneyTalkNews

We’re talking about just over $18,500 a year in Social Security benefits versus more than  $46,000 a year.  

I don’t need to guess which end of that spectrum you’d prefer to be on. And let me just say, for the record—and I’ll get into this more in a minute—but yes, even in what are likely to be the economically challenging times of the post-pandemic period—Social Security is going to be there for you. (I explain why, below.)  So it is well, well worth your attention now.

The good news is: All sorts of provisions and rules exist that can allow you to increase what you receive. In the brand-new 2021 edition of my book—I show you how to explore your options.

Let me give you an example:

This Couple “Found” $70,000

Consider Laura and Bob. They’re both 67 years old. Laura started to collect her Social Security benefit when she was 63—collecting $570 per month. Bob started his when he turned 66—and he collects $2,200 a month.

But what this couple did not realize is that they should, in fact, have been collecting more.

They didn’t know to ask if they were eligible.

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You see, not all Social Security benefits are automatic. It’s up to you to request the funds you’re due—and you don’t know what you don’t know.

My name is Steve Garfink—I’m the author of Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement and I hold a National Social Security Advisor Certificate and am also Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies, and hold the Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation..

Social Security is complicated. Sometimes the rules work in your favor and sometimes they don’t. But forewarned is forearmed.

Take the “Tax Torpedo,” for instance. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Most investment advisors and retirement planners are unlikely to explain this to you since it runs against the grain of their primary advice: Avoid drawing down from your tax-deferred accounts as long as possible.

Your Social Security is subject to preferential tax treatment under IRS rules. In fact, lots of people will never pay any income tax on their benefits. However...others WILL pay tax. And that’s where the “Tax Torpedo” comes into play.

Once your other income—apart from benefits—exceeds a certain level, then for each additional dollar of such other income, up to $0.85 of your benefits become taxable. Think about that for a moment: $1 of “other” income results in $1.85 of taxable income.

Yikes. In Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement I explain how it works in detail—and show you how you could avoid it!

When Laura and Bob followed a bit of guidance I share in my book, they were able to take advantage of a provision in the law they’d never heard of before.

Turns out that Laura should have started collecting $905 a month after Bob filed, an increase of 59% in her benefit, or $335 extra per month. Yet for some reason that adjustment in Laura’s favor did not happen.

So the couple contacted the Social Security Administration and, having reviewed the situation, the SSA corrected Laura’s claiming basis. They credited her for six of the 16 months since Bob had filed, and an additional $2,010 showed up in her bank account in one lump sum.

However, the other earliest 10 months she should have been collecting more—those funds were lost because, well, that’s the rule. Laura and Bob are out $3,350 because they were not aware of this provision earlier.

Still, they were thrilled to get an entirely unexpected $2,010 at once, plus $335 more per month. That’s $4,020 more each year!

If Laura and Bob each live to their average life expectancy of 85, they will have collected over $70,000 more, just because they got smart about exactly how the Social Security system works.

I share this story because you could find yourself in Laura and Bob’s shoes.

As I said before: You don’t know what you don’t know.

You Could Be Eligible to Receive Up to $50,000 in Extra Benefits

And that’s why I wrote my book, Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement. Because I wanted to lay out—in plain English—the important facts and show you how to take full advantage of the opportunities to maximize what you’re due without having to comb through the Social Security website.

Whether you’re already receiving Social Security, eligible to collect it soon, or that time is still a decade or two away. It’s important to understand your options.

But before I get to that, let me say: When it comes to maximizing the Social Security funds that are due to you, time is of the essence.

And this is true whether you’re already collecting Social Security, will be soon, or it’s still on the distant horizon. It really can pay—and pay big—to simply be informed.

In fact, if you are 66 or older, right now, you could be one of hundreds of thousands of Americans eligible under a specific provision to receive as much as $50,000 in additional Social Security over the course of your retirement if you meet the right criteria, but you have limited time to claim it.

Meet Author and Social Security Expert, Steve Garfink

Steve Garfink, author of Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement brings to the table 40 years of work experience in finance, strategic planning, and management. He holds a National Social Security Advisor Certificate and is also Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies.

Steve speaks regularly about smart Social Security strategies at International Living’s conferences and with financial planners, helping them to better serve their clients. He’s helped hundreds of readers like you to understand the options available and to maximize the Social Security income they have coming. You have more control over your retirement than you may think—and Steve shows you why that is and how you can best capitalize on it.

Whether you’re already collecting Social Security, will be soon, or it’s still a decade or two ahead—it’s worth your while to get informed. You don’t know what you don’t know—and having a smart plan in place could be worth tens of thousands of dollars to you—or even more.

You or your spouse (or any of your friends) could well be due these funds. In fact, even if you are divorced but were married for at least ten years, you could qualify for this benefit.

But you have to take action now.

You have to get in touch with the Social Security Administration—sooner rather than later—if you want to claim the maximum benefit available to you.

And it's up to you to know if you're eligible to receive this payout. It’s not automatic.

This particular provision relates to a significant Social Security loophole. A patch was made to it in 2016, which locked out a certain number of people—but hundreds of thousands more could still benefit from extra payouts…quite possibly you among them.

But in order to claim as much as $50,000 in EXTRA income—if you qualify—you have to know you’re eligible and you have to file a claim to request it. Just like Laura and Bob had to know to ask.

Now I want to be absolutely clear: I don't have anything to do with the Social Security Administration. And, in truth, the Administration has comprehensive information about this—and all their programs—posted online for free.

You are more than welcome to go ahead and wade through it. There's nothing to stop you from figuring out your eligibility on your own.

Their publications are available to you if you have the hours and the patience to spare. And you could, certainly, call an agent on the phone to inquire as well…

But the thing is…when it comes to this particular benefit, you have limited time to put in a claim for it if you qualify. Hesitate and you may well end up with only a partial payout—or none at all.

So for the sake of your retirement…don't delay!

I'm talking about regular payments—extra money you simply have to request in order to receive. It could be an extra $1,505 paid to you, month in and month out, for four full years, for example.

Just think about what you could do with that extra income in retirement. It could buy a better quality of life, mean more travel, or simply shore up your nest egg.

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I'd be happy to email you all the relevant details.  I’ve written an extra “Bonus Chapter” to my book, which focuses on exactly this provision and shows you how to know if you qualify and, if you do, exactly how to claim the extra funds that may be due to you, and I’d be happy to email it to you as a part of this special offer.

Your Timing is Critically Important—
and Can Be Worth Tens of Thousands of Dollars to You...or More 

But understand that this provision is just one of many ways you can maximize the benefits due you from Social Security.

Experts estimate that the vast majority of people leave Social Security benefits on the table. Retired couples right now are missing out on an average of $111,000. Money that they could be claiming over the course of their retirement years.

They simply don’t take the steps necessary to maximize their benefit.

And that's the rub: You have to KNOW to ask. And you have to ask in the right way, at the right time.

But I can show you in plain English what you need to know in the pages of my book, Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement.

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Consider, for instance, Frank and Maria:

They’re both 62 and want to retire. They could claim their Social Security benefits immediately—which would give them $2,700 a month (the equivalent of $32,400 a year).

So that’s one option—and they’re considering it.

But it’s NOT the smartest way to go if they’re interested in maximizing their Social Security and living worry-free over the long haul, as I explain in my book.

After all, the average older household spends $45,756 a year in retirement. They’d be starting out behind...

So what should Frank and Maria do instead? They’d like to start enjoying retirement—sooner rather than later.

Well, the good news is that they have some smart, nuanced options.

For instance, Frank and Maria could be eligible for “extra funds” from Social Security they aren’t currently aware of...they could put a “bridge plan” in place that would allow them to live well and enjoy life in that gap between now and their Full Retirement Age for Social Security purposes. I explore lots of options in my book in detail, in plain English, and with plenty of examples.

In fact, there’s a claims strategy Frank and Maria could make use of that would hand them about $4,700 a month in Social Security benefits (that’s $56,400 a year)—and, at the same time, they could watch whatever modest savings they have actually increase.  

So instead of worrying they might run out of funds in their latter years, they could watch their nest egg grow as they age. (And this strategy assumes their savings do nothing more than keep up with inflation.)

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By applying the secrets I reveal in Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement, instead of counting pennies and worrying they might outlive their funds, Frank and Maria could pocket a Social Security benefit that’s 76% more than what they would have claimed at 62. And with their nest egg expanding, they’d gain the flexibility and the comfort of worry-free years.

That is the power of having a claiming strategy that pays close attention to the timing of a claim and which takes into account your WHOLE retirement picture—not just Social Security in isolation.

In Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement I explore all kinds of scenarios with case studies and examples so you can see situations that might apply to you and understand how certain claiming strategies could work in your own retirement life.

Financial security over the long-term without any sacrifice to your lifestyle. That’s the end goal.

And rest assured that even in the wake of this pandemic, you’ll still have sound strategies at your disposal. We’re going to be facing a ravaged economy, and I’d argue that getting the most out of your Social Security is going to be more important than ever.

Financial Security: Your Social Security Is Just One Piece of the Puzzle

In my book, you’ll hear about how all kinds of folks—in all kinds of situations—can do it, by putting a smart Social Security claims strategy in place and by understanding how that Social Security claims strategy works as a “puzzle piece” of the bigger retirement picture.

For instance, I’ll talk about...

  • How Gwen, a single woman with very modest savings who has had it with the cold and snow, could safely retire years earlier than she thinks she can and lock in that “endless summer” lifestyle she dreams about in Florida.
  • How—after medical bills emptied Sarah and Stuart’s savings and he passed away too young—Sarah can safely recoup and make the best choices when it comes to Social Security’s survivor benefit. (Note: The survivor benefit is a double-edged sword and claimed incorrectly, the cost can be devastating.)
  • How Diane and Curtis—who, lucky for them, have plenty of money saved—could make the most of their Social Security. If they do what their financial planner is telling them to, they’re likely looking at a “Tax Torpedo.” But there’s a MUCH better way to proceed, which lowers their tax bill and maximizes their Social Security.
  • How Nora and Ted can rearrange the pieces of their financial puzzle to get at their goals faster, more securely, and with intangible benefits—like having their kids and grandkids close by.
  • How Tracy, a single woman with no kids, could cleverly leverage the large family home where she lives (inherited from her parents) to put a smart claims strategy in place, which can quickly shore up her financial future so she doesn’t have to worry about ever running out of funds or being a burden on anybody.
  • How Peggy and Ben—he recently left his job and she’d like to—could play with the idea of downsizing and how that, combined with their modest savings, could allow them to increase their Social Security benefit and retire earlier and better than they think they can.
  • AND MORE... what sound (and attractive) choices Janet has when she loses her job at age 60... what Vanessa and Keith can safely do to “call it quits” at 62 and start living life... how Duke (a 34-year-old surfer) could put a claims strategy in place now, start surfing every day, and retire at least a decade earlier than he thinks he can...

How to Ensure You Can Enjoy Your Retirement, Worry-Free

Social Security can be complicated—I won’t pretend it’s not. But it’s not rocket science. There are simple, proven strategies you can make use of that will help you maximize what you receive.  

You know, if you’re like me—and like most folks thinking about retirement—you have a few “umbrella” goals:

  1. You want to maintain—or even improve—your standard of living.
  2. You want to be able to afford to pivot to your “future life,” that retirement life you imagine in your mind’s eye, sooner rather than later.
  3. And you want to enjoy greater financial security as you age—so you never have to worry about running out of money.

Those goals may feel ever-more-distant in our current circumstances, but in Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement I’ll show you how you can put a plan in place that will deliver exactly that.

So you have the freedom to retire when you want, where you want, enjoy days that look the way you want them to look...and never have to worry that you’ll outlive your nest egg.

You Have More Control Over How Much You Get Than You May Imagine

When it comes to your Social Security benefits, you in fact have a lot more control over how much you receive than you probably think.

Most people assume that, after having paid into the system for all their working lives, the payout is pretty much automatic, within certain clear parameters.

But that is NOT AT ALL the case.

It's really up to you to navigate what is a genuinely a complicated system. Social Security has nearly 3,000 rules governing benefits…thousands of additional rules explaining that first set of rules…and a tangled web of red tape around claiming them.

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At various junctures, you have opportunities to cash in—to secure EXTRA income.

But if you don't request it in the right way at the right time, you may automatically forfeit your right to certain funds.

I'm talking about funds that often add up to tens of thousands of dollars for a single person and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a couple.

“Americans are woefully unprepared to take full advantage of the Social Security benefits they’ve earned.” – Yahoo Finance

That’s why I partnered with International Living to publish my book—because I wanted to get the word out there. And International Living is in the business of helping people get the most out of their retirement.

The truth of the matter is: Social Security—while you may think about it as simply a "safety net"—might, in fact, be the most valuable tool you have in ensuring your "golden years" are not just comfortable…but actually hand you a retirement better than you ever imagined.

I'd like to help ensure that's the case for you.

Take Advantage of This Special Book Offer on the Table Today

And that's why I'd like to send you a copy of the new 2021 edition of my book called Social Security Secrets: How to Maximize Your Income for a Worry-Free Retirement, which will hand you a blueprint for how to maximize the Social Security benefits you're eligible for. (Right now, it comes with a bundle of FREE extras.)

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And when you request your copy of the book as part of this special offer, not only will it arrive at your doorstep in the mail—but I'll also email you the details about that provision I mentioned, which could hand you as much as $50,000 in EXTRA income if you qualify—based on your birth year and your marital status.

All the specifics are in my “Bonus Chapter,” and I’ll happily email the details to you just as soon as you request your copy of Social Security Secrets.

This book shows you how to put a plan in place that allows you to retire better, and quite possibly earlier, than you ever thought you could.

And frankly, even if you opt not to request a copy of my book, I strongly encourage you to review the complimentary materials the Social Security Administration provides about their benefits. Chances are you'll leave money on the table if you don't get informed about what you're eligible to receive.

That said, this valuable book is unlike anything else out there. I know. I wrote it because the guidance I found was, frankly, incomplete (and, in some cases, downright confusing).

I have more than 40 years of work experience in finance, strategic planning, and management. And when my wife and I were approaching retirement age, one of the first things I did was to turn my attention to sorting out our plan for claiming Social Security. I figured it would be a pretty straightforward task and one I was highly qualified to do.

Only I discovered that—despite an Ivy League education and my long professional background in finance—Social Security wasn't nearly as straightforward as I'd assumed.

So I dove into it with great focus, and today I hold a National Social Security Advisor Certificate and am certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies and hold the Certified in Social Security Claiming Strategies (CSSCS) designation.

Social Security is incredibly complicated. And, as I've said, the vast majority of people leave money on the table.

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But you don't have to.

I put this book together to ensure you have the straight story. Again, I am not associated with the Social Security Administration. But I’ve done a deep dive into the minutiae of the system and I’ve come out with a strong understanding of how it all works.

The Baby Boomers who have heard me speak on this subject say in overwhelming numbers that they'd recommend my valuable insights and clarifications.

For lack of a better way to say it: I’m plain-spoken. I don’t believe in complicating matters. Social Security is complicated enough as it is.

Frankly, I pride myself on bringing a plain-English approach to Social Security.

Insights, Recommendations, Advice—Even Revelations—that Nobody Else Tells You

Here's the thing…part of the reason that what I have to say is so powerful is that basically NOBODY else is saying it. There's a lot of rotten, inaccurate information out there about Social Security.

“Your research showed me a way to do something that I had no prior conception of and gave me a new direction. Not only that, but the focus has given me new energy and excitement. It was a decidedly uplifting experience!” – L.E.

Not to toot my own horn here, but as my publisher said to me once, “People hear you explain the fundamentals of the claiming strategies you recommend…and it feels like a revelation.”

The advice I have to share isn't just eye-opening…it could be worth thousands of dollars to you over the course of your retirement.

Here's what you have to understand…

For starters, the good folks at the Social Security Administration, while they aim to be helpful, are busy—too busy.

Between 2010 and 2019, the administration’s operating budget fell nearly 11 percent in inflation-adjusted terms. They lost 12 percent of their staff over that period while the number of beneficiaries grew by 17 percent.

Workers are often hamstrung. There’s a backlog of behind-the-scenes work. And in the last decade, many field offices have closed while office hours have been shortened in the ones that remain open. All the while, roughly 10,000 Baby Boomers a day reach retirement age.

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