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. Since 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:
- 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:
- 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.