For most American retirees, Social Security benefits form a vital part of their income – in fact, for many these benefits provide most if not all of the funds retirees live on. That’s why older Americans need to make careful decisions about when to take their benefits – and which benefits to take – so that their income can be maximized.
We discovered this helpful related article on the Kiplinger financial news website (Click here for the link.) It’s titled “9 Worst Social Security Mistakes You Can Make,” and while the article is a few months old, the information is highly relevant today.
Some of these mistakes seem obvious. For example, not all seniors plan for the correct retirement age – they fail to realize that while the full retirement age for benefits is 66 for people born between 1943 and 1954, if you’re born in 1955 or later the retirement age rises gradually, reaching age 67 for those born during or after 1960. Another common mistake most seniors have heard a great deal about is claiming benefits too early, starting at age 62 – not realizing that waiting until 66 boosts benefits by 25%, and waiting until 70 generates an extra 32% on top of that in Social Security payments for the rest of a retiree’s life.
Other tips, however, may be more complex but can add significantly to the income of both you and your spouse. For example, the practice known as “filing and suspending” is a powerful way to increase benefits, but many couples make the mistake of failing to consider this income-boosting technique. Another mistake many couples make is failing to consider all their options to maximize spousal benefits both now and later. It’s essential to plan carefully to decide when each of you should begin taking the Social Security benefits you’ve earned.
Protecting your assets is a top priority as you plan for a comfortable retirement, so learning strategies to maximize your earned benefits is important. But it’s only one elements of a much larger plan that we encourage our clients to make – a Life Plan that covers other important aspects of retirement, including your Health, your Legal affairs and your Family relationships. If you’re looking for a blueprint to help begin laying those plans, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming Life Planning Seminars, where you’ll gain invaluable information to help you plan for your future as you age. Simply click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website for dates, times and locations.
Of course, should you desire, we welcome the chance to meet with you in person. Contact us for an appointment, and we’ll help you plan for a more secure future.
(originally reported at www.kiplinger.com)