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Monday, August 27, 2012

Social Security Benefits

If you’ve recently updated your financial plan with your advisor, hopefully you did not forget a key component of that plan – social security benefits.  With historically secure retirement plans (such as employee pensions) becoming more and more rare, retirees are realizing the need to become more creative with their social security benefits.  Gone are the days where soon-to-be retirees automatically wait until full social security retirement age to start receiving benefits.  Now these baby boomers should be asking questions such as:

·         If I start social security at age 62 what is my breakeven point vs. waiting until full retirement age? 

·         What if I am full retirement age and still working, but my spouse is eligible for benefits and not working? 

·         How does it affect my spouse if I start my social security retirement benefits earlier than full retirement age? 

·         How does it affect my benefits if I was previously married? 

·         Should I take social security retirement benefits before full retirement age if I am still working? 

·         I don’t get a statement in the mail anymore, how do I find out what my projected benefit will be?

These are just some of the many questions that should be answered as you prepare your spending plan during retirement.  Remember that most non-tobacco using married couples are preparing for a 20-30 year retirement for at least one of the spouses.  Wouldn’t it be best to be efficient with the money you worked so hard to earn for the previous 30-40 years?