There are no prerequisites.

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Self-Study Video


Course Description

There is an increasing amount of confusion and misinformation with regards to Social Security. With the surge of Baby Boomers seeking financial and tax planning advice on retirement, having the answers to questions about how and when to claim Social Security is increasingly critical to financial professionals.

Join Martha Shedden, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) and National Social Security Advisor (NSSA), as she discusses the basics of the Social Security program. Topics covered include important historical information, how benefits are calculated, available benefits, funding mechanisms, and a review of the most recent rule changes made in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

Optimizing Social Security benefits is of utmost importance. As is the timing of claiming benefits. This course will guide you through various claiming strategies so that you can create a reliable retirement financial plan for your clients. Case study examples of the most commonly used rules and strategies provide a valuable comparison of the best vs. worst claiming decisions.


Martha Shedden

Martha is passionate and enthusiastic about educating financial professionals and retirees on the details of Social Security. Over 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring every day and they need accurate, detailed information to make the very best individual Social Security income election decision. Social Security planning is also the foundation and first step to creating a financially secure retirement plan.

In addition to certification as a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), through the College of Financial Planning, Martha is also a National Social Security Advisor (NSSA).

Course Specifics

Sep 12, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

IRS Provider #: 0MYXB
IRS Course ID: 0MYXB-T-01181-17-S
IRS Federal Tax Law Credits: 2
CTEC Provider #: 2071
CTEC Course ID: 2071-CE-1133
CTEC Federal Tax Law Credits: 2
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize important Social Security program historical facts, changes to the program, and possible future adjustments for the trust fund to remain solvent
  • Identify the components of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, noting it's late passage, phase out of claiming strategies, options, and age deadlines
  • Recognize the most commonly used Social Security terms and acronyms
  • Note the funding mechanisms of Social Security, including maximum taxable earnings amounts
  • Recognize the elements of calculating social security benefits, including how to calculate AIME and PIA
  • Note the age at which full retirement benefits can be collected, time windows to fix an incorrect income election, and the life expectancy of men, women, and couples
  • Identify the mechanics of the earnings test, noting exempt amounts and earnings in excess of the exempt amounts
  • Recognize the rules and requirements for spousal benefits, divorced couples, and survivors
  • Specify Social Security income amounts for clients electing to start at various ages, noting ways to optimize Social Security benefits through reduced benefits and delayed retirement
  • Recognize the importance of aligning the Social Security election decision with management and withdrawal of other retirement assets

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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