Maximizing Social Security Benefits for You and Your Clients (Demystifying the Black Box of Social Security Retirement Benefits)

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 91 minutes
Recorded Date: March 12, 2020
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  • What is Required to Claim a Retirement Benefit?
  • When is Retirement?
  • Early Retirement vs Late Retirement
  • PIA Vs Benefit Amount
  • Factors That Increase or Reduce Benefits
  • Type of Benefits
  • Claiming Strategies
  • Case Studies
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Recorded: March 12, 2020


When a client asks you (or, when you ask yourself), "when should I take my Social Security retirement benefit?" will you know how to answer that question? This session will help you learn how to respond to that question. There is no "one size fits all." However, you will learn how to approach the subject and guide your client to an answer that will meet the client's goals.

This session will peer into the "black box" of Social Security retirement benefits and explain how benefits are calculated, what factors serve to decrease or increase a benefit, and what other benefits may be available to dependent family members. When more than one benefit is paid into a household, determining what claiming strategy will maximize cumulative lifetime benefits for everyone in the family can, oftentimes, result in an increase over the original plan of from $25,000 to $60,000 to over $100,000 in the present value of cumulative lifetime benefits. While some software programs can run this analysis, they all have limitations and only one program can provide an analysis when a children's or disability benefit is involved.

This session will help an attorney to better help their clients by explaining the major strategies that can be used to maximize cumulative lifetime benefits for a household. This session will also help you to understand why maximizing cumulative lifetime benefits for a household may not, in all cases, be the most optimal approach.

This program was recorded on March 12th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Avram L. Sacks, Esq.

Avram L. Sacks Attorney at Law

Avram "Avi" Sacks has provided guidance for thousands of professionals in the areas of taxation under FICA and SECA, benefit analysis, and disability benefit advocacy. He is also past editor of the CCH Social Security Law Reporter, the author of two, annually-revised, books on Social Security Law, a desktop manual for professional service providers (including attorneys, accountants, and HR professionals) and a benefits booklet for lay people. As a practicing attorney, Avi has successfully represented clients in many cases before the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

A passionate client advocate and consultant to his colleagues, Avi believes that individuals who have paid into the Social Security system deserve to receive the maximum benefits to which they are entitled. Avi provides trusted counsel to professionals and lay people in optimizing their benefits with his deep understanding of the complex and arcane rules governing benefit calculation, and his talent for clear synthesis of highly technical material. His keen insight into the financial and policy aspects of the Social Security program puts him in a unique position of authority as both a legal practitioner and analyst.

Avi has been frequently quoted in the media, most notably the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and is a frequent speaker for professionals and lay people on benefit claiming strategies that will maximize Social Security retirement benefits. Those who know Avi, will validate his client-centered approach, professional ethics, and depth and breadth of knowledge in the minutiae of Social Security law. His commitment to excellence is reflected in his ongoing study of the law and its changes, and supports his mission to help others obtain what they rightfully deserve.

Richard D. Williamson

Robertson, Johnson, Miller & Williamson

Richard Williamson is a shareholder admitted to the state bars of Nevada and California as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has represented clients in numerous jury trials, bench trials, arbitration hearings, mediation, and administrative proceedings. His practice primarily focuses on Commercial Real Estate Law and Commercial and Complex Civil Litigation.

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