Lifestyle

Maximizing social security benefits, advice from Steve Sexton

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steve sextonSteve Sexton is President of Sexton Advisory Group and h0st of “Winning in Life” on KBCQ 1170 AM. On “Winning in Life,” Steve discusses various topics ranging from the community in San Diego, important financial information, business information, and travel tips to authors, inspirational people, charities making a difference, and much more. In each show, he strives to provide advice for his listeners to truly win in life.

Opening up with current events, Steve states that there is a glimmer of hope in debt talk. They have enough money till Feb 15th to continue to pay the US debt without borrowing more money. At this point, 40% of what we spend is going towards paying that debt. If they cannot get this done, the Secretary of Treasury will have to decide on which bills to pay and which they cannot pay. The only problem with the US is that we pay 80 million bills per week! But Steve assures listeners that we have hope.

As for good news, US sales of previously occupied homes are rising to the highest level in 5 years. The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that 4.6 million homes were sold in 2012, that is at 9.2 percent from 2011 and the most since 2007. Also, travel has gone up a bit. McDonalds’ December sales rose .9%. This increase came from the restaurant chains in the United States.

One area where Steve sees many people have money fall through the cracks is something as simple as social security. Steve guides listeners in reducing taxes on social security. He says, pull out your tax return and look at line 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, and 13. These are the 3 areas affected by social security: interest income, dividends (tax free or tax ordinary), and short term and long term capital gains.

The big thing is if you’re single, you receive social security, and you have an adjusted gross income that exceeds $34,000 then, you will have 80% of social security taxed. If married, its $44,000. If married and your adjusted gross income is less than $34,000, 0-50% is taxed.

If you just have social security along with a small pension, investment income, and capital gains, all that is calculated. So as you look at those items, you might find yourself wondering how you can put them in a tax advantage or tax deferred situation to lower the money on your adjusted gross income. Steve answers this question for you. Ask for white paper on reducing taxation on social security on his website, winninginliferadio.com. This white paper goes up on February 1st.

If you’re 66 years old and your spouse has a small social security or has never worked, they are entitled to a spousal benefit. Go to social security, apply for the social security, and get a spousal benefit for your spousal, which is possible till the age of 62, and then you can get yours at the maximum age at 70. If you were married for 10 years and divorced and have not remarried, you have the benefit of getting a spousal benefit from your previous spouse. You do not have to tell your ex-spouse but just apply for it. If your previous spouse passes away, and you’re not married, you can get the spousal benefit from that.

If you’re still working, you should begin looking into taking your social security. It does have lower tax so maybe you can put it into your bank and let it grow. If you have any questions regarding your social security and taxes, email Winning in Life Radio today and ask for the white page. Steve reminds listeners once again that it is important for people to do the planning. Get those myths and miss information answered and corrected before so you understand the true cost of your investments.

“Winning in Life with Steve Sexton” is a very eye opening radio show, and we encourage you to tune in on KBCQ 1170 AM every Sunday at 9:00 AM. If you have any questions, feel free to submit your questions here at Winning In Life Radio. And as usual, Steve may also answer those questions live on the show, giving you the opportunity to win a $50 American Express gift card.

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