Smart ways to maximize your social security benefits

May 29, 2013 

What’s the greatest fear of today’s retirees? It is not having enough money to maintain one’s lifestyle throughout retirement. More than any other time since the inception of Social Security in 1935, retirees and those planning to retire are more dependent on America’s retirement entitlement program. Unfortunately, many retirees do not understand the complicated rules and calculations surrounding their projected lifetime benefits. Sadder still, a poor claiming decision can permanently reduce a retiree’s standard of living and increase the probability that they will outlive their resources and be a financial burden to their family.

The “perfect storm” is here…there are 76 million Americans in the retirement phase and 10,000 boomers are calling it quits every day. While some are simply uninformed, others are dangerously misinformed by the “ conventional wisdom“ surrounding their Social Security benefits.

A significant portion of pre-retirees and early retirees do not “do the math” to maximize their Social Security income stream. They are not aware of the various claiming opportunities including File and Suspend, Do-Over Option, Claim-Now and More-Later advantage, Divorced Spouse’s Benefits, Windfall Elimination Provision and the taxation of their benefits.

The decisions you make today can have a tremendous effect on the total amount of benefits you stand to receive over your lifetime. You are now your own pension manager; Social Security Administration personnel are neither trained to nor allowed to give advice to you about claiming strategies…take the time to learn the answers to your questions; maybe it makes sense to delay benefits and when it does not, how to coordinate Social Security income with your other sources of retirement income, or what is the long term financial impact of poor Social Security choices?

A smart claiming strategy can often mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in added benefits over a retiree’s lifetime. A new generation is getting ready to collect their Social Security checks, find out why advance planning is essential and how some little-known rules can help you make the most of your valuable asset.

Bill Regan serves as a personal wealth coach for Summit Pointe Financial Group

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