Taking Social Security
Social security will not be around forever but it remains a tremendous benefit for Baby Boomers in retirement. Many Americans don’t realize that they aren’t maximizing the benefits they could be receiving. Here are three basic rules when it comes to maximizing Social Security benefits:
1. Your benefit amount depends on your age.
Full benefits are available at the age of 66 (the full retirement age rises for younger Americans). Every year earlier than full retirement Social Security is taken will reduce your benefits by 8%. For example, if you take Social Security at the age of 64 you will receive 16% less.
2. Individual circumstances make a difference.
The right time to take Social Security benefits is different for everyone. In order to maximize your benefits it’s important to first consider your specific financial situation and other sources of retirement income (such as a pension).
3. Social Security benefits can be shared.
Married couples are permitted to take 50% of their partner’s Social Security benefits. This can be especially helpful if one spouse makes considerably more income than the other. This can also come into play for divorcees, widows and widowers.
Visit the sites below for more information on maximizing benefits:
- ssa.gov (can login to see your benefit and earnings record.)
- AnalyzeNow.com (free Excel programs for retirement planning)
Gross Investments is happy to answer any questions you have about Social Security. We also offer retirement planning which includes maximizing Social Security benefits.