How Social Security works as part of a retirement plan

Published June 19, 2019

Senior couple in deck chairs_cropped

President and CEO

If there's one message Kurt Czarnowski wants you to take away from his presentation on the basics of Social Security, it's this: The program, while valuable and important to the vast amount of retirees, is not and was never intended to be the sole source of income in retirement.

The U.S. Social Security Administration's former Communications Director for New England, Kurt emphasizes that Social Security is meant to be the foundation of a retirement program that also includes pension and/or a 401(k) plan, personal savings and, if applicable, other sources of income.

Helping you make informed decisions

In much the same way, that message serves as the foundation upon which Kurt's seminar on Social Security is built. During his roughly 52-minute presentation, he explains the basics of the program, including essential details such as:

  • when you're eligible to collect
  • when most recipients choose to opt in
  • how benefits are calculated
  • spousal benefits and/or payments to an ex-spouse
  • tax implications
  • how working in retirement affects benefit distribution.

Well-paced, organized and concise, it's a presentation that invariably draws enthusiastic reviews from our clients and other visitors to Sylvia Group, which is why we happily welcome Kurt back to our Dartmouth offices each spring.

Hosted in conjunction with our financial services division, Sylvia Financial, this year's seminar, Maximizing Your Benefits: Social Security and Retirement, took place on June 11. Due to the number of clients we've heard from who were interested but unable to attend, we're presenting the seminar in the video below, as well as in our YouTube Seminars & Webinars playlist.


Supporting materials and contacts

To complement Kurt's presentation, we distributed a packet of Social Security Administration materials including:

In addition, the packet included a flier on the people, products and services of Sylvia Financial.

For more information on planning your retirement, speak with one of the Financial Advisors at Sylvia Financial. To arrange an appointment, click on the button below.


About Maureen Sylvia Armstrong and Sylvia Group

Maureen Armstrong_croppedFor more than three decades, Maureen Sylvia Armstrong has served her clients and her community, distinguishing herself as a recognized business and civic leader on Massachusetts' SouthCoast. From the time Maureen entered the agency founded by her grandfather in 1950, Sylvia Group has grown from a staff of 10 employees to a team of almost 50 highly trained professionals providing insurance, employee benefits and financial planning solutions to businesses and individuals throughout the SouthCoast and beyond. A graduate of Bishop Stang High School and Boston College’s Carroll School of Management with degrees in finance and marketing, Maureen has been honored by the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce as Small Business Person of the Year, by SouthCoast Media Group as Woman of the Year and by Bristol Community College as a Benevolent Entrepreneur. In October 2018, she was inducted to the Bishop Stang High School Hall of Honors.

A repeat winner of the SouthCoast Media Best of the Best award as the region's top insurance agency, Sylvia Group helps businesses and individuals protect their future by designing performance-based insurance, benefits and financial planning programs. We’re a fourth-generation agency known for our commitment to our clients and the community, as well for our industry expertise. Founded in 1950 and serving businesses and individuals throughout New England and beyond, Sylvia Group is certified by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office as a Women Business Enterprise and has the distinction of being the first six-time recipient of the Five Star designation awarded by the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) for all-around agency excellence. 

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