Written by Chris Boyle, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 10 January 2014 00:00
No matter how well-off you may or may not be, the subject of retirement almost always causes nerves to fray; with the current American economy in a near-constant state of upheaval, confusion about one’s Social Security benefits often runs rampant among those appreciating retirement age.
However, answers are there if you look for them; case in point — the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library recent hosted a presentation on Social Security benefits by Allnet Group of Plainview, a financial firm that specializes in retirement, financial planning, mortgages, and anything else within the financial spectrum.
Beth Saltalamacchio, head of Adult Programming at the Library, said that they try to provide useful events to local residents, and do their best to weed out those just trying to make a quick buck or score cheap publicity.
“A lot of financial companies offer to speak here, but if it’s strictly commercial we won’t allow them...they have to show useful content or information, whether people are their clients or not,” she said. “Ken Longo of Allnet contacted me, and I really thought that this sounded like a good one to run for people who are still working and are about to apply for Social Security. There are a lot of things I think people don’t understand, and that this seminar would be a great help to people.”
Richard Ernst of Allnet said that his company’s seminar consists of a detailed PowerPoint presentation on Social Security as it relates to the Baby Boomer generation, or those who were born between the years 1946 and 1964. With 13,000 people applying for Social Security benefits daily, he said, that there’s a great deal of ground to cover when it comes to planning for one’s future.
“Tonight we’ll be covering good times to retire, benefits to retiring later as opposed to early retirement, and additional benefit that people might know that they’re entitled to,” he said. “For example, a lot of divorced women don’t know that they can collect on their ex-spouse’s social security benefits after having been married a minimum of 10 years first...or vice versa.”
“And if their ex is deceased, they’re entitled to survivor benefits,” Ernst added. “If someone was married three times, then all three of their ex-spouses can file for benefits.”
Ernst also spoke about the monetary advantages seniors can gain by toughing it out in the workforce for just a few extra years beyond the current minimum retirement age.
“Full retirement age for most people will be 66 years of age, but if they delay it to 70, they’re going to get an eight percent a year delayed credit,” he said. “If they took the benefit at 70, they’re going to pick up another 32 percent. Now, someone who retires earlier, say at 62, they will be penalized 25 percent or more. Tonight we’ll be going into all the different retirement age scenarios and their benefits or issues.”
Allnet president Ken Longo, who headed up the presentation, said that their event are usually so well-received that attendees occasionally need some gentle prodding to go home afterwards.
“What usually happens at our presentations is at the end, nobody wants to leave. Nine times out of ten, the library has to come in and announce that they’re closing because it’s a very interesting topic,” he said. “It’s also a dynamic presentation and it’s very thorough.”
“We do this mostly with the libraries,” Ernst added. “We do this as a community service so you can get important information as well as get to know us. We also offer a free 45-minute consolation at our office if you have any questions on financial planning or retirement, and hopefully, if they like us, they’ll come to us for some services as well.”
Nadine Fitzgerald of Plainview attended the seminar; approaching retirement age, she said that it was important to her to gather as much information about the complex process as possible to ensure that she made the best choices for her future.
“I’m getting up there, and because I’m divorced, I have to plan my retirement with greater care because I’m going into it alone,” she said. “But I got some fantastic information here tonight...for example, I wasn’t aware that I was eligible to collect on my ex’s benefits, and you can sure bet that I will.”
For more information on Allnet Group, visit their website at www.allnetgroup.com.