Getting retirement right means careful planning and thoughtful decision-making about several things…including Social Security. The number one question is this: when should I begin? Although we addressed this roughly one year ago, it’s very important and deserves another look.
You may begin drawing Social Security at the tender age of 62; however, you can delay those payments if you wish. Here’s something to consider: every year you wait, up to age 70, your starting payment will increase by roughly 7%. Although not an effective strategy for everyone, it can be an excellent opportunity to improve your financial security and/or income diversification upon retirement.
Are you single, reasonably healthy, with sufficient income to meet your expenses, and… worried about outliving your income? Consider delaying until age 70, and you’ll enjoy a significant income increase as a result…up to double what you would have received at age 62. Get past that “break-even” age of roughly 77, and you’ll come out ahead of the game.
Are you married? If you are, remember that the surviving spouse is entitled to receive the larger of the two Social Security payments for life, so…it frequently makes sense for the higher-earning spouse to delay payments until age 70. As a general rule, couples should assume that both spouses will live long lives, thus requiring a stable income that is adjusted for inflation.
Still not sure what to do? Here are a few suggestions:
- Start with your Social Security statement.
- Visit the Social Security Administration website, www.ssa.gov.
- Make an appointment at the nearest Social Security office.
- Last but not least, talk to your Wealth Manager.
For most people, Social Security will be a major source of retirement income. Make sure you get it right!