Whether your retirement is many years away, or will begin in a few months, you need to understand more about how Social Security can affect your financial future.

Our investment services division is offering a free workshop on September 15, 2011, to help answer your questions about Social Security benefits and how you can maximize them. More details appear below.

The Foundation of Social Security benefits
You earn Social Security benefits (SSB) because you pay into the system at your place of employment. Social Security benefits are figured on the basis of a 40-year work life. The 35 highest-paid years of your career are averaged, and the five lowest – earning years are removed from the benefit calculation. For an average worker, Social Security benefits will replace about 40% of the final year’s income. A spouse may collect Social Security benefits based on their own work record, or based on the status as a spouse or ex-spouse (provided they were married to their ex-spouse for ten years or more). (Source: Social Security Administration and Heinz Family Philanthropies.)

How to Maximize Your Social Security benefits
It’s very hard to generalize about “the best way” to apply for SSB. There are not “rules” nor “checklists”. The best way to maximize your benefits is to arm yourself with as much information as feasible to be aware of your options and possibilities.

What You Will Learn in Our Social Security Retirement Workshop
Here’s a sample of information contained in the seminar.

  • When should I apply for SSB?
  • What factors should I consider before I file for benefits?
  • Can I work and continue to receive benefits?
  • How much extra income can I earn and keep Social Security benefits?
  • How are Social Security benefits taxed?
  • How long can I collect Social Security benefits?
  • What are the key Social Security benefit questions to which everyone should know the answers?

Workshop Details
When: 12 Noon – 1pm, September 15, 2011
Where: Charles Mack Citizen Center | 215 North Main Street, Mooresville, NC 28117
Who: Guest Speaker: Sharon McDougall, Social Security Administration
Registration: Call us at 704.658.3600, ext 4101

Spouses and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Space is limited, so be sure to let us know how many people to expect. Remember the seminar is free and there is no obligation.

Want to read up on retirement?
Here are some popular books available at your local library or for purchase new or used online:
Get a Financial Life (Beth Kobliner, Fireside Books)
Making the Most of Your Money (Jane Bryant Quinn, Simon & Schuster)
Personal Finance for Dummies (Eric Tyson, IDG Books)
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need (Andrew Tobias, Harvest / Harcourt Brace)