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Social Security Planning for the Same-Sex Couple Post DOMA

| September 12, 2018
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In California where my office is located, same sex couples have the same rights to Social Security Benefits as any other married couple. With this new benefit available, which claiming strategy is best? Opposite sex couples may have been planning for the range of options for many years but for many same sex couples this type of advanced planning was not even on the radar. For those in their early 60s, this is an important discussion to have with a financial advisor. We run an optimizer that shows various payments from the government based on life expectancy. There is no "rule of thumb" since every ones earnings history, budget in retirement, and life expectancy mix is different. The Social Security Administration isn't much help either. They will tell you how to collect the highest benefit based on the day you walk into their office but not about the various filling and suspending strategies available. That is why you should develop a plan and a strategy for the collecting the income stream from the program you have been paying into for possibly decades.

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