Retirement is one of the most pivotal milestones you will reach in life. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for all aspects of the transition so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. One major aspect to consider is Social Security. For most Americans, Social Security is a significant retirement asset. Born out of the Great Depression as a retirement safety net, it has grown to cover 96% of workers in the U.S. (1) These days, a record high of around 173 million people are working and paying into the system that provides benefits for over 62 million people. (2) In fact, the majority of retirees get more than half of their income from Social Security. (3)
But despite its importance, many people make incorrect assumptions or get intimidated by the details. Unfortunately, not having a complete picture of the system and how your benefits work could be financially devastating. If you’ve ever tried to understand Social Security or navigate the system on your own and found yourself confused, you are the perfect candidate for a Social Security review.
Why You Need A Social Security Strategy
The Social Security Administration provides you with 567 ways to claim Social Security benefits (4) and the Social Security Handbook has 2,728 separate rules governing your benefits. (5) As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy for Social Security. There are several factors that play a role in the amount of benefits you receive and the ideal date for you to start claiming those benefits, including your health status, life expectancy, need for income, whether or not you plan to continue working, and how concerned you are about running out of money.
While having a strategy for when to begin Social Security benefits is important, it is also critical to analyze your Social Security benefits in conjunction with all of your retirement assets. Incorporating your benefits into an overall retirement income plan may make a world of difference in the amount of income available to you in retirement.
What To Expect
When it comes to Social Security, there’s an overwhelming number of options. In our Social Security review meeting, we’ll help you navigate these as well as discuss a few questions, including:
- How do I decide when to start collecting? Is it worth it to wait to collect my benefits until I reach Full Retirement Age (FRA)?
- Should I delay claiming past FRA to get a larger payment?
- How are my benefits calculated?
- How should I plan to maximize my total lifetime benefits?
- Should my spouse and I coordinate to maximize our total benefits?
- Can I work while collecting Social Security? If so, what are the limitations?
At 1on1financial, our goal is to support you in making smart decisions to protect your lifestyle and preserve and grow your assets. If you have questions and want to make sure you receive every penny that’s rightfully yours, we are pleased to offer you a Social Security review meeting to help you navigate and most effectively use your benefits before and during your retirement. Call our office today at 909-981-1720 or simply click here to schedule a free 15-minute introductory phone call!
Philip A. Board MSFS, CFS, is a retirement planning specialist and the founder of 1on1financial, an independent comprehensive investment firm serving individuals and businesses throughout the United States. He is also the owner and CEO of Medi-cal Benefits.
(4) “Social Security: There is a better way,” Center for Retirement Research, Boston College, September 2012.