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Almost 50% of Beneficiaries Taxed on Social Security Income, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


The 1983 law that started taxing Social Security benefits on the wealthiest seniors has never been updated. That means that it now taxes far more people than originally intended and if not changed, will tax more and more people in the future.

What to do about the anticipated revenue shortage for Social Security that will reach its breaking point in 2035 is a big issue in Washington D.C. and in the current Presidential election. This is not the first time politicians have been concerned about the long term prospects of Social Security. In the early 1980s the system was also in need of saving.

One idea floated back then, and sometimes mentioned now, some form of “means testing” for benefits. In other words, that means giving reduced or no benefits to taxpayers defined as wealthy. However, that has never been a politically popular option with seniors.

For example, instead of doing that in 1983, lawmakers decided that some Social Security benefits would be taxed for wealthy people. At the time it was anticipated that only about 10% of beneficiaries would be taxed on any portion of their benefits. Nevertheless, the law included no mechanism to adjust for inflation.

Consequently, the same raw numbers from 1983 are still used today to determine whose benefits get taxed and how much of those benefits gets taxed. As My San Antonio points out in “Care to Guess How Many Seniors Could Be Taxed on Their Social Security Benefits by 2030?” that means many more Americans are taxed today than was originally intended.

As of 2010, 47.1% of beneficiaries were taxed on some portion of their Social Security benefits. That number is expected to rise to 58% in 2030 if no changes to the law are made.

If you are nearing retirement, then be aware of these taxes and plan accordingly for the impact on your retirement.

Reference: My San Antonio (April 10, 2016) “Care to Guess How Many Seniors Could Be Taxed on Their Social Security Benefits by 2030?

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

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The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

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Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

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