How Teacher’s Retirement and Social Security Benefits Work Together

“Is it true that I don’t get my Social Security benefit because I’m a teacher?” I hear that question almost every time I speak on Social Security.

TRS and Social Security

If you’re a teacher, you’ve probably seen lots of conflicting information on this topic. There’s no denying that it’s a complex issue, so here’s a closer look at the rules on teacher’s retirement and Social Security.

In the 1970s and 1980s, laws were passed that amended the Social Security Act in an effort to keep individuals from “double dipping” – receiving both a Social Security benefit and a pension from work where they did not pay into the Social Security system. The results of these amendments are two rules that could impact your ability to claim a full Social Security benefit: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO).

These provisions reduce benefits for those who worked in a job in which they qualified for a pension and did not have to pay Social Security taxes. This is not limited to teachers, but can also include firefighters, police officers and numerous other state, county and local employees.

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Credit Card Debt

The Enemy of Financial Success

Credit card debt is the enemy of financial success. Not all debt is created equal and there are no set standards as to what is considered too much debt. What is manageable for one may not be for another. If you want to succeed financially, you need to break the cycle of credit card debt.Credit-Card-Debt-300x228

To be fair, credit cards aren’t the problem. Nor am I suggesting that debt is bad. In fact, taking out a loan or using various types of financing is critical to starting or expanding a business. Even buying a home requires debt. What is critical is how we manage it.

Credit is inherently a good thing but racking up the credit card debt can get ugly quick. The first thing we need to do is change how we perceive credit cards. So from now on, instead of calling them credit cards (which sounds so harmless) we should call them ‘debt traps.’ This is similar to calling cigarettes ‘cancer sticks.’ Let’s call these things what they are.

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Budget Bill Kills ‘File and Suspend’ Strategy to Maximize Social Security

Social Security's Windfall Elimination ProvisionWhen it comes to Social Security, most of us hope to get the most we possibly can from our benefits.

Methods for making that happen, however, are a source of heated controversy. “File and suspend” is one advanced claiming strategy that has helped retirement savers at all income levels, especially women, maximize their benefits. But under the new budget deal passed by the Senate on Friday, it will no longer be an option beginning in early 2016.

That could mean as much as $50,000 less in lifetime Social Security benefits for some recipients, according to an article by Laurence Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University and staunch proponent of “file and suspend.”

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Social Security Class at Texarkana College

Fall 2015


Campus Map:

Map with Arrows 2015

Our Last 2015 Class!

Social Security Intelligence

The Class You MUST Attend Before You File For Social Security 

Social Security class at Texarkana College

Tuesday, November 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

Business & Computer Technology Building

Room: Levi Hall



In this class we’ll discuss:

* How to claim benefits from a prior spouse
* How to cross file with your current spouse
* How to file for one benefit and later switch to another benefit
* How to prioritize your filing decision
* The impact of working in retirement
* The Social Security tax torpedo

At the conclusion, we’ll leave plenty of time for questions.

How To Register

Our registration is a little different than it has been for our previous classes. There are three different ways to make sure that your seat is saved:

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Medicare Open Enrollment


Below is a timely reminder of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period from our friends at The Barnette Agency.

medicare open enrollment

It’s that time all over again. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15 and runs through December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day). Missing those dates can have dire consequences. It is important to remember that Medicare Prescription Drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans are all under year to year contracts with Medicare. Therefore Medicare Insurance plans, as they are called, can significantly chance each January 1, resulting in big surprises to you if caught off guard.

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