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Social security seminar planned for Dec. 3

Those interested in learning more about Social Security will have the opportunity to attend a free seminar Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at Jefferson State Community College.

The seminar is sponsored by Stifel, a company that focuses on helping individuals understand how to claim certain benefits.

“Our goal is to help people be better prepared,” Vice President of Investments at Stifel Ying “Springna” Zhao said. “One day, we will all face this. Our country’s economy is changing more and more. The more we learn, the better we will be able to prepare for the future.”

Zhao said recent changes in Social Security including the fact that the Social Security Trust Fund is declining will be discussed at the seminar.

“On Nov. 2, President Obama signed into the law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015,” Zhao said. “This new law includes several changes to Social Security that could affect people, and it is important that they know what the changes are.”

Zhao explained some of the changes including the fact that anyone reaching the age of 66 before May 1, 2016, will be “grandfathered in” under the old rules. This means individuals are still eligible to file and immediately suspend benefits at full retirement age so that spouses and/or dependent children can receive benefits on their work record while their retirement benefits continue to grow at 8 percent each year until age 70.

Those who file before the May 1 deadline will also retain the right to request a lump-sum payout of suspended benefits any time up to age 70.

“Social Security is very complex, and a lot of people unfortunately don’t understand all of the things they are entitled to,” Zhao said. “We are here to help people understand.”

Although Zhao said there is not a specific age group that should attend the seminar, individuals who are nearing retirement age would benefit from the topics covered.

“If you do the right planning, you can help your loved ones reach the right goals,” Zhao said. “You can be wise in your investments and go far in life. It is important that people are aware of what is available to them.”

Individuals planning to attend will need to enter the school’s rear parking lot, to the bottom area of the parking lot on the conference center side and the doors will be marked for entrance.

For more information, call Christine Brown with the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at (205) 280-8211.