By Paul S. McNulty, CFP®
These days, Social Security is a significant retirement asset for the majority of Americans. Born out of the Great Depression as a retirement safety net, it has grown to cover 96% of workers in the U.S. (1) A record high of around 173 million people are working and paying into the system that provides benefits for over 62 million people. (2) In fact, the majority of retirees get more than half of their income from Social Security. (3)
Even still, despite the huge role Social Security plays, many people continue to make incorrect assumptions or even become intimidated and overwhelmed by the details. The danger is that not having a complete picture of the system and how your benefits work could be financially devastating. If you’ve ever tried to understand Social Security or navigate the system on your own and found yourself confused, a Social Security review can be the perfect strategy for you.
Why It’s Important To Understand Your Benefits
To say the system is difficult to navigate is a bit of an understatement. The reality is that the Social Security Administration provides you with 567 ways to claim Social Security benefits (4) and the Social Security Handbook has 2,728 separate rules governing your benefits. (5) As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy for Social Security, not even close. Several of these factors play a role in the actual amount of benefits you receive, as well as the ideal age for you to start claiming those benefits. Some of these vital factors include your health status, life expectancy, need for income, whether or not you plan to continue working, and how concerned you are about running out of money.
While having a strategy for when to begin Social Security benefits is important, it is also critical to analyze your Social Security benefits in conjunction with all of your retirement assets. Incorporating your benefits into an overall retirement income plan may make a world of difference in the amount of income available to you in retirement.
What To Expect
Surely you have questions and want to make sure you receive every penny that’s rightfully yours. We want to help you make sure that happens and answer any questions you may have as well. Therefore, we are happy to offer you a Social Security review meeting. In our meeting, we will help you navigate and more effectively use your benefits before and during your retirement, as well as help you wade through the overwhelming number of Social Security options. We will discuss questions including:
- How do I decide when to start collecting? Is it worth it to wait to collect my benefits until I reach Full Retirement Age (FRA)?
- Should I delay claiming past FRA to get a larger payment?
- How are my benefits calculated?
- How should I plan to maximize my total lifetime benefits?
- Should my spouse and I coordinate to maximize our total benefits?
- Can I work while collecting Social Security? If so, what are the limitations?
Here at Boston Metro Advisor, our goal is to support you in making well-educated decisions designed to protect your lifestyle and preserve and grow your assets so that you can live out your dreams for your golden years. Contact us for a complimentary consultation by calling (781) 995-0253 or email Paul directly at [email protected] today!
Paul McNulty is the founder of Boston Metro Advisor with over 20 years of experience helping people navigate the ups and downs of the economy toward the financial future they envision. His education consists of a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Rhode Island and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional designation.
Paul’s experience and education have made him a multi-faceted professional capable of assisting people with virtually all their financial needs. His services include every facet of retirement planning, from 401(k) rollover services and income planning to wealth management and estate planning. Paul has been active in his community over the years as a youth sports coach. When he’s not spending time with his wife, Cindy, and their two children, who are both recent college graduates, Paul enjoys reading, playing golf, and fishing. Learn more about Paul by connecting with him on LinkedIn.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
(4) “Social Security: There is a better way,” Center for Retirement Research, Boston College, September 2012.