It’s time, you’ve been in the workforce for decades and you are thinking of pulling the trigger and retiring from your job. You worked hard at putting your financial house in order, reviewed your potential retirement expenses and income sources and now it’s time to think about collecting Social Security.
Did you know that there are over 1,300 different strategies for collecting your benefit? Some of these strategies will net you over $75,000 (during a lifetime) more than others. Additionally, there are over a dozen different items that you need to make a decision about and an eight year time frame during which you can make those decisions. And that’s just if you are single. There are nearly twice as many decision points if you are married and you can add more months to the equation. And you thought Common Core math was tough?
It is estimated that 90% of American retirees don’t maximize their Social Security benefits. Before you potentially leave a significant amount of money on the table, consider speaking with an advisor who can prepare you for the decisions that you face. Seek an financial advisor who is familiar with the process that can help guide you when it comes to making some very important decisions like:
- Choosing between a spousal benefit or your own.
- Whether to file or suspend.
- Collecting against your ex-spouse versus collecting your own benefit.
- Collecting early or letting your benefit build for a few years.
Let’s focus for a minute on collecting early versus letting your benefit build. It is Economics 101 that inflation on a higher amount will net you more later in life. However, every situation is different and finding a professional that can advise you on your unique financial circumstances may be the difference between being comfortable in your golden years or having to ask the kids for help.
If you are married, one of the other things you need to consider is making sure that your survivor receives the best possible benefit when you are gone. By maximizing your benefits and exploring your options you can help ensure a successful retirement.