Gail and Carl were soul mates and had lived together for several years. But now it was time to turn on their Medicare A&B, select a medical plan, and turn on their Social Security benefits.
As we met with them, they had several questions on many retirement topics. As we enlightened them on their selections, they were delighted to find out that many Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans give a 5-6% household discount if they were both on the same plan and carrier and if the applicants were living at the same address, married or not. “Finally! Some benefits of living together,” they
As we continued our discussion on Social Security questions, they found out that since they were not married neither could claim spousal benefits. Even worse, since Carl’s monthly benefit check amount was much larger than Gail’s, if anything happened to Carl, she could not claim spousal benefits and get the larger of the two monthly benefit checks. If Carl passed away, she would only continue to get her much smaller benefit check, instead of his much larger check as the surviving spouse.
As we closed out their meeting, we joked about them just tying the knot with a shotgun wedding and a preacher. After all, it’s not like they didn’t care for each other after several years. We all had a good laugh and they said they’d be back with more questions after they digested all the information we gave them.
The following week, Gail called back the office and informed us that she needed to update some information in their files. Specifically, change from “Single” to “Married”! They had indeed called their kids and invited them over to their house, where a local pastor presided over a quick service and then the deed was done!
Then there was a backyard BBQ party!
We could not have been happier for them both! Their adult children and all their friends were delighted! There were endless jokes that they were doing it just for financial benefits, but Carl quickly put an end to that nonsense. “I just needed a nudge to propose” he exclaimed. “I intended to make an honest woman of her all along”. To which Gail replied, “What made you think I would say yes”? This brought out another round of laughs.
So, if you haven’t tied the knot with your loved one yet, as a couple you could be missing out on benefits provided by Government programs! Not sure? Call us we can help!