Social Security – fact and fiction

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Social Security – fact and fiction

by | Aug 8, 2017

  • You should never work after you file – if you file early and continue to work, your benefits will be reduced based on your earnings.  But those benefits are only delayed.  At full retirement age, you’ll received increased payment to make up the difference.  
  • File as soon as you can – filing before you reach full retirement age will begin benefits sooner but at a lesser amount.  Higher earning spouses often delay benefits to ensure a higher payout for their widow or widower, who would be eligible for 100% of their benefit.
  • Rely on advice from friends and family – relying on advice from nonprofessionals may not maximize benefits.  Best bet is to speak with your financial advisor and accountant to determine the best plan. 
  • No benefits if you’ve never worked – Those who haven’t worked for 40 quarters can receive half of what a spouse of ex-spouse would receive (if you were married for over 10 years and haven’t remarried).  Surviving spouses and exes may also be eligible for full benefits on the spouse’s record.
  • Social Security may not be around – Social Security is replenished by working Americans, interest on its bonds and taxes on some retiree benefits.  If the existing surplus is depleted, future retirees may be paid part of their benefits promised but not zero.
  • File as late as possible – waiting to retire after full retirement age may make the most sense financially.  But filing early may make sense – if you need the extra income, want the payments during your younger years or have health concerns.
  • All you need is Social Security – Benefits are meant to supplement retirement savings. Although Social Security benefits do see increases for cost of living, it is important to maximize your retirement savings for as long as possible. 

sources: ssa.gov; investopedia.com; forbes.com; thefiscaltimes.com; marketwatch.com; cnnmoney.com

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Thomas Fleishel and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.

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