Major Changes Coming to Social Security in 2016
Three Social Security filing strategies for maximizing benefits are finally ending. Some of the best loopholes in Social Security benefits are now being closed in order to save money and clear the deficit in the government program.
File-and-Suspend Rule is Ending
The file-and-suspend rule, which was written into Social Security rules in 2000, provides couples the opportunity to coordinate and maximize their Social Security benefits - thereby increasing the total amount of money they receive from the program.
Here's how it worked - when a spouse reaches full retirement age (presently 66), that individual can file for Social Security (creating a filing date) and quickly suspend their benefits (to be deferred until the a date of their choosing up to age 70 in order to earn an additional 8% per year in benefits).
By filing for Social Security at full retirement age (FRA), this worker's spouse can then file a spousal benefits claim with Social Security and receive 50% of the dollar value of the working spouse's benefits, once they reach FRA as well.
As of May 1st, 2016, individuals filing for Social Security benefits will no longer be able to voluntarily file-and-suspend their benefits. If you file, you must receive your benefits in order for your spouse to be able to claim spousal benefits.
This new ruling features grandfathering provisions for individuals who reach FRA before May 1, 2016 to file-and-suspend and take advantage of the old rules.
Retroactive Lump Sum Payments Ending
This is actually an additional Social Security benefit to the file-and-suspension rule that's also coming to an end.
When you 'suspend' your benefits under the current file-and-suspend rule, you may choose to request payments that will retroactively provide an accrued lump sum payment based on what you've deferred since you initially filed for benefits.
This strategy has allowed people to hedge their bets. If they are healthy and are able to work until age 70, great; if not, they can pull this retroactive lump sum trigger. However, the new rules close the door to retroactively un-suspending benefits.
Restricted Application Ending
This rule allows a beneficiary who's between their full retirement age and 70 to file a restricted application to claim spousal benefits and defer their own benefits until age 70. Note that this is different, though similar, to the file-and-suspend rule.
That means that they can start collecting a check when they hit FRA and switch it out for their own, deferred, bigger check when they hit age 70.
The "deemed filing" rule is being extended to age 70, which means that a spouse may only collect the larger of their own, or their spouse's benefits check. So you can't defer your own benefits until age 70 and switch from your spouse's check to your own, bigger check.
Six Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer
Diet, weight and physical activity play a significant role, expert says.
Half of the colon cancer cases in the United States could be prevented if people followed six proven steps to reduce their risk, a cancer and nutrition expert says.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, and the third most common type of cancer in the United States. This year, there will be over 134,000 cases of colon cancer, the U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates.
"Research now suggests that 50 percent of colorectal cancers in the United States are preventable each year through diet, weight and physical activity. That's about 67,200 cases every year," Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs at the American Institute for Cancer Research, said in an institute news release.
Bender outlined six evidence-based measures you can take to try to lower your risk of developing colon cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight and control belly fat, which has been linked to increased risk of colon cancer, regardless of body weight.
- Get regular moderate physical activity, which can range from house cleaning to running.
- Eat plenty of high-fiber foods. For every 10 grams of fiber (a bit less than a cup of beans) in your daily diet, your risk of colon cancer falls by 10 percent, Bender said.
- Reduce red meat consumption and avoid processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage and deli meats. Ounce for ounce, processed meats boost the risk of colon cancer twice as much as red meat.
- Avoid alcohol or limit your intake to no more than two standard drinks a day for men and one for women, Bender advised.
- Go heavy on the garlic. Evidence suggests that a diet rich in garlic reduces the risk of colon cancer, Bender said.
The American Cancer Society recommends that people 50 or older talk with a doctor about colon cancer screening. Screening can detect the cancer before symptoms develop, when it's easier to treat and survival rates are more favorable.
|Renew Memberships Online
t the request of our members, RAUS is pleased to provide the ability to renew their membership online and pay by credit or debit card. Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
and click on the Online Dues Renewal
If you are considering converting to a Lifetime Membership, click on the Membership
button and select Life Membership
In the United States, Tax Day is a colloquial term for the day on which individual income tax returns are due to the federal government. The term may also refer to the same day for states, even where the tax return due date is a different day.
Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861 to help fund the Civil War, and subsequently repealed, re-adopted, and held unconstitutional. The early taxes were based on assessments, not voluntary tax returns. Tax payment dates varied by act.
Since 1955, for those living in the United States, Tax Day has typically fallen on April 15.For those filing a U.S. tax return but living outside the United States and Puerto Rico, Tax Day has typically fallen on June 15, due to the two-month automatic extension granted to filers by the IRS
Due to Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., (which is observed on the weekday closest to April 16), when April 15 falls on a Friday, tax returns are due the following Monday; when April 15 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, tax returns are due the following Tuesday.
- In 2015, Tax Day was Wednesday, April 15
- In 2016, Tax Day will be Monday, April 18
- In 2017, Tax Day will be Tuesday, April 18
- In 2018, Tax Day will be Tuesday, April 17
|Keep Us Accurate|
To be sure your benefits are properly recorded, please advise the association when you change your name or address. If you receive inaccurate membership cards or other correspondence, we want to know. We do not mind reissuing membership cards.
Congress Reaches Agreement on Tax Extenders and Makes Some Permanent
From: Olsen Thielen CPAs
Last December, President Obama signed legislation which extended 50 or so temporary tax provisions that have been routinely extended in the past. The "Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015" (the Act) retroactively extends a host of business and individual tax provisions, some of which are permanently extended, and others of which are extended through 2016 or 2019.
The Act Includes the following tax provisions for individuals:
- State and Local Sales Tax Deduction - The election to claim state and local sales taxes instead of state taxes. This provision is particularly valuable to taxpayers living in states without a state income tax and has been made permanent.
- American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) - The AOTC has been made permanent. It allows taxpayers to claim up to a $2,500 tax credit provided adjusted gross income is below $80,000 single and $160,000 married filing joint.
- Nontaxable IRA Transfers to Eligible Charities - Made permanent. The provision for taxpayers age 70½ and older to make tax-free distributions from their IRAs to qualified charitable organizations. This may allow for lower taxability of Social Security and increased likelihood of qualifying for credits.
Other Individual Tax Provisions Made Permanent:
Individual Energy Two-Year Tax Extensions:
- Enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit
- Enhanced Child Tax Credit
- Above-the-Line Deduction for Educator Expenses
- Increase in Excluded Employer-Provided Mass Transit and Parking Benefits
- Contributions of Capital Real Gain Property for Contribution Purposes
Other Miscellaneous Individual Two-Year Tax Extensions:
- Alternative Fuel (non-hydrogen) Vehicle Refueling Credit Retroactively Extended
- Credit for Fuel Cell Vehicles Retroactively Extended
- Energy Efficient Property Credit Retroactively Extended and Modified
- Credit for 2-Wheeled Electric Plug-In Vehicles Retroactively Extended
- Exclusion for Discharged Home Mortgage Debt Retroactively Extended Through 2016
- Mortgage Insurance Premiums as Deductible Qualified Residence Interest Retroactively Extended Through 2016
- Above-the-Line Deduction for Higher Education Expenses Retroactively Extended Through 2016
| Identity Theft Protection Service For RAUS Members
AllClear ID is the technology leader in the identity protection and credit monitoring market. The patented identity protection technology developed by AllClear ID makes it simple for you to protect your identity, and easy to take action if your personal information is compromised. RAUS members will enjoy a 20% discount off the regular monthly rate.
Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
and click on the Discounts
button and select Technology & Security
. From there, go to the AllClear ID login page and input the following Activation Code: "raus". This will allow you to register and receive the discounted rate.
|AGE RANGE||LIFE DUES|
|40 or less||$325|
|41 to 45||$300|
|46 to 50||$275|
|51 to 55||$250|
|56 to 60||$225|
|61 to 65||$200|
|66 to 70||$175|
|70 and up||$100|
Annual dues are $15 per year. Discounts apply for multiple year memberships: 3 years for $37 and 5 years for $60. Like memberships are available based on the age of the member at the time of the Life conversion. A Life Membership is exempt of dues increase and covers both the member and the spouse.
We are a non-political military association organized in 1970 to secure quality benefits for our members at rates only available to groups. Qualified retired and active members of the United States armed forces and related departments may join.
Membership benefits include discounts and perks, self-help and financial calculators, time-savings and educational resources, along with TRICARE Supplement, CHAMPVA Supplement and other insurance products.
RAUS is partnering with other organizations to establish a long term win-win relationship based on mutual benefits and information available to military families.
For more information, visit our website at www.raushome.com.
RAUS Eligible Defense Departments
* AIR FORCE * ARMY * MARINES * NAVY * NATIONAL GUARD *
* COAST GUARD * NOAA * CIVIL AIR PATROL *
* PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE * COASTAL & GEODETIC SURVEY *
* ACTIVE & RETIRED * OFFICERS & ENLISTED *
DONALD T. RUCK, President
Retired Association for the Uniformed Services, Inc.
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