Bridgeriver Advisors - March 2020


MARCH 2020


3 Social Security Hacks You Need to Know

2. Consider a restricted application. When you file for Social Security, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is going to pay you the highest amount you’re eligible for, whether it’s 100% of your current benefits based on your earning record or 50% of your current or divorced spouse's (which applies only to certain circumstances). However, you can tell the SSA you don’t want your own benefits, even if they may be higher. Instead, even if you are the primary income earner, you can request the spousal benefit amount. This is a good route to take once you reach full retirement age (FRA) at age 66 — for those born between 1946 and 1954. When you hit FRA, you can file for a restricted application and take the spousal benefit while your own benefits continue to grow at a rate of 8% per year. Then, when you reach age 70, you can switch from spousal benefits to your own, and your Social Security benefits will be much higher. Just keep in mind that you can only do this if you were born before Jan. 2, 1954. Congress caught on to this great hack and began to phase it out in 2015. 3. Hold off on collecting Social Security. If you’re married, a good rule of thumb is to hold off on collecting the benefits of the highest wage earner. This is similar to the previous hack in that you’re letting your Social Security benefits increase in value. Every year past FRA, your benefits increase 8% if you defer collecting on them. Ideally, you want to wait as long as possible to collect. This ensures that what you do finally collect is as high as possible. This can benefit both spouses for many years, even after one spouse dies. When someone who was the higher wage earner dies, their spouse will see their benefits bumped up to the decedent’s deferred rate. They can continue

We know that navigating Social Security is difficult, but anything you can do to build your benefits as much as possible is a good thing. This is income that lasts the rest of your life, and it’s money you can count on. So, what can you do to get more out of your Social Security benefits? Here are three hacks you need to know. What’s nice about Social Security is that no matter what your overall income looks like, your Social Security will always be at least 15% tax free. But you can potentially change the rate so only 50% of your benefits are taxed. You can even get 100% of your benefits tax free. It just takes some strategizing and repositioning of assets. It all comes down to your provisional income. This is a completely different calculation than any other income you collect. If you know how your provisional income is calculated, then you can maneuver your assets so your Social Security benefits are tax-free or tax- reduced. Provisional income calculates together 50% of your Social Security benefits, along with generally everything earned from your nonretirement accounts, including dividends, interest, and capital gains. It also includes withdrawals from retirement accounts. If you’re still working or have rental homes, for example, the calculation becomes more complicated, but this gives you the basic idea. If you keep your provisional income under a certain amount, the way your Social Security benefits are taxed can change. It may shift from the standard 15% nontaxable to 50% nontaxable or potentially 100% nontaxable. 1. Know how your Social Security benefits are taxed.

to collect the higher amount for the rest of their life. This is why it’s so important to wait, if possible. It maximizes both your and your spouse’s income. If you are getting ready to collect Social Security benefits, then consider these strategies to get the most out of your return. And if you’ve been collecting Social Security for less than 12 months, there is still hope. If you need help getting started or have questions about Social Security benefits, we’re one phone call away. • Tuesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 26, from 6–8 p.m. at Loccino's in Troy, Michigan Visit our website for more information and to register at UPCOMING SEMINARS Join us for one of our upcoming seminars discussing the SECURE Act and how to maximize your life savings: • Tuesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 12, from 6–8 p.m. at Andiamo in Clarkston, Michigan • Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19, from 6–8 p.m. at Troy Community Center in Troy, Michigan

248.785.3734 1 -Dan Casey


On March 8, 1971, all eyes were on the world of boxing as people watched what would become known as “The Fight of the Century.” It was one of the most anticipated

and Madison Square Garden sold out to a crowd of 20,455 spectators. The fighters possessed polar opposite tactics, backgrounds, and social impacts, but when it came to skill, they were evenly matched. The fight captivated the nation. As Sports Illustrated put it at the time, “The thrust of this fight on the public consciousness is incalculable. It has been a ceaseless whir that seems to have grown in decibel with each new soliloquy by Ali, with each dead calm promise by Frazier.” The fight exceeded all expectations with a fully engrossing 15 rounds. For the first quarter of the match, it seemed Ali would best his opponent, but Frazier came back with fury. Even though Ali continued to rise to his feet round after round, Frazier emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, dealing Ali his first professional loss ever. The landmark event highlighted an unforgettable night of skillful prowess like the world had never seen. Even though the title fight was only the beginning of the rivalry between the two boxers, the matchup rightfully took its place as one of the greatest fights in the history of the sport.

matchups the sport had ever arranged: Current heavyweight champion Joe Frazier and former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali were finally facing off, the first time two undefeated boxers would fight each other for the heavyweight title. Spectators were hungry for a battle. Both fighters held rightful claims to the title of world heavyweight champion. Ali won it in 1964 and successfully defended it for several years, but he was stripped of the title during a legal battle over his induction into the U.S. armed forces. In his absence from the sport, Frazier earned two championship belts through major knockout fights. But when Ali settled his court case and came to reclaim his title, Frazier wasn’t ready to give it up easily.

Ringside seats for the fight sold for today’s equivalent of over $1,000. Millions watched the broadcast in over 50 countries around the world,


It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring-greening, and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. Explore alternative laundry detergents. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous,

you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on, and read up on ivy detergent at English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. Say goodbye to paper towels.

Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick.

If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.



March 29 is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, which is huge for small businesses everywhere. Mom-and-pop businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy; Small Business Trends reports that mom-and-pop businesses account for 64% of gross domestic product (GDP) and generate 78% of all new jobs. Furthermore, no matter what turns the economy takes, small-businessowners are less likely to lay off their

employees than big corporations. Mom-and- pop businesses support all communities, and you can support them by celebrating this unofficial holiday! Give your local economy a boost! Shopping locally has a massive impact on your community. Local businesses return three times the amount of money to the local economy than larger corporations do. With that big of a returned investment, your community can support even more small businesses that generate a wealth of jobs and keep the cycle going. In addition to the economic boost, products from small businesses are usually higher quality, which makes them a better value for your dollar. Take this day to shop for birthday and holiday gifts for your loved ones that will bring them great joy and last a lifetime.

Get social and spread the word!

While small businesses utilize every form of marketing available, social media is essential for their success and growth. After shopping at your favorite mom-and-pop business, share that experience on your social media! When you write a post on Facebook or take a picture for Instagram, be sure to tag the business and use relevant hashtags so your friends, family, and everyone else in your community can shop there, too. Writing reviews on Google Reviews and Yelp helps establish validity for the company. When another potential customer looks for reviews, they know they’re getting quality products and services from a well-established pillar of the community. The local businesses that are active on social media may post deals and sales for that day only, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to follow all your favorite businesses!


Pesto ChickenWith BlisteredTomatoes

Inspired by


• •

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided

• • • • •

1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted 6 tbsp spinach pesto 2 cups cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 1 tsp red wine vinegar

4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to a 1-inch thickness

• • •

Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup whole-wheat panko 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese


1. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium- high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. 2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add it to pan. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then remove pan from heat. 3. In a bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and butter. 4. Spread pesto over chicken and top with panko mixture.

5. Broil chicken for 2 minutes on high heat until browned. 6. In a skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. 7. Add tomatoes and cook for 6 minutes. 8. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 9. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, and add red wine vinegar. 10. Serve tomatoes with broiled chicken.


3 248.785.3734




INSIDE This Issue Social Security Hacks You Need to Know Boxing’s Greatest Battle 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning On National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day Pesto Chicken With Blistered Tomatoes

March Madness Fun for the Whole Family

Reward the winners with prizes.

One of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them — and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can. Turn each game into an event. Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn each March Madness matchup into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities.


Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant. Create a learning opportunity. Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker