MAXIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Social Security can be far more valuable than you realize. Not only does it provide annual inflation adjustments, but it’s also one of the few sources of income you can’t outlive. And, because your Social Security retirement benefit is a relatively known quantity, it is an important consideration for your retirement plan.

But deciding “when to take Social Security” is very often a complex question. To begin your analysis, we recommend you consider the following factors:

  • Your health status
  • Your life expectancy
  • Your income needs
  • Any plans for part-time or full-time work

If you are married, you would also consider your spouse’s:

  • Health
  • Life expectancy
  • Work plans
  • Survivor needs

By coordinating spousal benefits efficiently, you can maximize both of your Social Security retirement benefits while you are living, and better provide for the surviving spouse later in life.

It is also important to consider your Social Security decision in the context of your other retirement resources, which may include:

  • Pensions
  • IRAs and 401(k)s
  • Your investment portfolio
  • Salary or income from work

We also recommend considering how required minimum distributions, work income, and other factors could affect your income and your taxes.

Learn more about Required Minimum Distributions in this free guide.

DECIDING WHEN TO TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY

Deciding when to take Social Security retirement benefits can affect your income by hundreds of dollars a month. Yet, only 23 percent of workers actually try to maximize their benefits by planning when and how best to claim Social Security, according to Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey.

Since you can only make your Social Security decision once–and it cannot be changed–it’s important to plan ahead.

If you’re one of the 77 percent who haven’t made a plan yet, we encourage you to take the first steps toward making a Social Security decision. After all, how can you know if you’re financially ready for retirement if you don’t understand your options regarding Social Security income?

To begin your plan of action:

  1. Determine your full retirement age by going to the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Age Calculator.
  2. Create a My Social Security account at ssa.gov. Once you have an account, you’ll be able to see estimates of your future benefits.
  3. Decide when to take Social Security retirement benefits. This decision can be one of the most important and most complicated ones you’ll make in your retirement planning. The best answer for your Social Security decision will depend upon your individual circumstances, and talking through your many options can help you to get the most out of Social Security.

Download a free guide to help with your Social Security decision.

ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY DECISION

After considering the factors above, you may find that the decision regarding when to take Social Security is more complex than you realized.

You may also see that to maximize your Social Security retirement benefits, it’s best to perform a customized analysis that coordinates with your overall retirement plan. Our advisors offer a free Social Security analysis to guide you toward an informed decision.

Schedule a meeting with a Retirement Planners of America advisor today so you can make an informed decision.