March 6, 2014|Cliff Newell, The Lake Oswego Review

Baby boomers urged to find best way to receive benefits

The boom is on when it comes to people signing up for Social Security.

Many baby boomers have already retired and many more will be retiring soon.

That is why it would be a good idea to attend the “Savvy Social Security Planning” workshop March 15 in Lake Oswego.

“This is geared for baby boomers getting closer to retirement,” said Joseph Alfonso, a Lake Oswego financial planner who will be giving the workshop. “They need to learn how to make the transition from work to retirement and how to maximize their income after their paycheck ends. I’ll have an eye toward getting maximum benefits by using different strategies.”

Going to the workshop is a good idea if for only one reason: People will be disabused of the notion that the Social Security system is on the verge of collapse. Not so, said Alfonso.

“Many people think Social Security is in dire straits and that their money won’t be there when they need it,” Alfonso said. “That is not true unless Congress makes some changes. One-hundred percent of benefits are projected to be paid (according to the trustees of the Social Security Trust Fund) until 2033. After that, and assuming there are no changes to the system, approximately 77 percent of scheduled benefits are scheduled to be paid.

“This is due to the projected depletion of the Social Security Trust Fund and the need to rely solely on annual payments into the system by working people to pay out benefits. The system is definitely not on its last legs or going away.”

This false belief can cause bad results.

“It makes folks start taking benefits as soon as they can,” Alfonso said. “That could be the wrong thing to do. The Social Security benefits could be discounted and the person would have to live with that for the rest of their life.”

Alfonso is founder and principal of Aegis Financial Advisory.

The free workshop will be held at Lake Grove Presbyterian Church, located at 1040 Sunset Drive, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

To attend the workshop, send an email to, call 503-290-1089 or sign up online by clicking on the “Eventbrite” button.

Last year Alfonso held a workshop on widowhood in Lake Oswego.