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Social Security

A comprehensive retirement income plan shouldn't overlook how to maximize Social Security benefits.

The decision of when to file for Social Security benefits is perhaps one of the most important decisions you'll make as you prepare for retirement. You generally only have one chance to get it right, and the consequences of that decision can have a dramatic effect on how well your financial needs are met in retirement. It's imperative that you have more than just a basic understanding of how Social Security works in order to fully maximize the benefits available to you.  

Let me help you make sense of Social Security and uncover ways to maximize your benefit amount. Together we can address:
    When to file for Social Security benefits
    Various Social Security options and how to qualify
    Advice for ensuring you're receiving your maximum benefits
    Challenges for those with special circumstances
    Considerations for the future of the program

If you have questions about Social Security benefits, look to me as a resource for navigating this complicated and sometimes confusing landscape.

Here are some helpful links:

Social Security Administration
SSA Retirement Estimator


#1 CLAIMING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS: One of the biggest challenges facing Americans nearing retirement is deciding when to start collecting Social Security benefits. Many contributing factors are at play including health, expected longevity, spousal and family situation.


Did you know? 48% of women and 42% of men begin taking their monthly Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, the earliest age possible. Just 4 percent of women and just 2 percent of men delay taking their Social Security retirement benefits to age 70 or older (source: Social Security Administration, BTN Research).


#2 LIFE EXPECTANCY: When the Social Security retirement age 65 was enacted in 1935, average life expectancy was 65 for those who made it to adulthood. Consider that today; average mortality age for 65 year old men and women is now 84.3 and 86.6 respectively, according to the Social Security Administration. We've gone from half of Americans not accessing Social Security at all to half of 65 year olds living another 20 years.


#3 SENIOR WOMEN: With longer life expectancies than men, senior women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. Women reaching 65 in 2015 are expected to live, on average, an additional 21.5 years compared to 19.1 years fro men. Women represent 56.0 % of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older and approximately 66.0 % of beneficiaries age 85 and older.


#4 SURVIVING SPOUSES: Widowed? In order for you to receive 100% of your late spouse's Social Security benefit, you must wait until your full retirement age to claim it. Otherwise, it will be reduced by a certain amount for each month you file your claim before your full retirement age. Remarriage won't affect survivor benefits as long as you're 60 or older when you remarry.


#5 DIVORCED SPOUSES: Divorced? If you were married for 10 years or more, you're entitled to receive an income from Social Security that is based on 50% of your ex spouse's Social Security benefits. Of course, anything connected with Social Security can get complicated, so you need to know the restrictions for collecting spousal benefits. Contact me to learn more.


#6 DISABILITY BENEFITS: Unlike Social Security retirement benefits, which are reduced if you claim them before your full retirement age, Social Security disability benefits are n to reduced regardless of age. At full retirement age, disability benefits automatically converts to retirement benefits. There are ways married couples can maximize their combined benefits but the rules are complicated and vary depending on situation. Contact me to learn more.


#7 TAXATION: Does paying taxes on your Social Security benefits seem inevitable?Married couples can strategies a bit to help minimize the pain. For example, it may be best for one or the other to delay filing for benefits, not only to keep taxes low, but also to let your benefits grow. Learn more, contact us today.


#8 SOLVENCY: Even if no action is take to improve Social Security cash flow, the program is expected to pay full benefits unit 2034. Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay about 75% of scheduled benefits through the end of 2091 according to the Social Security administration.


#9 WOMEN WORKING WITH AN ADVISOR: According to a survey by Nationwide Financial, nearly 9 in 10 women surveyed who work with an advisor (86%) say their Social Security payment was as expected or more than they expected. Maximizing benefits can result in less chance of outliving other income sources and reduce the chance of not being able to maintain your lifestyle. Let me help you make sense of the variety of efficient filing strategies available to you.




It's never too early to plan. Schedule a no-obligation consulation, today. We'll help you make sense of your options.

(281) 842-1229



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