By Paul S. McNulty, CFP®
For many Americans today, Social Security holds a significant place among their retirement assets. A safety net born out of the Great Depression, Social Security has now grown to cover 96% of workers in the U.S. (1) These days, a record high of around 173 million people are working and paying into the system, which provides benefits to over 62 million people. (2) In fact, the majority of today’s retirees receive more than half of their income from Social Security. (3)
Despite its widespread utilization and importance in so many lives, most people still make incorrect assumptions on how it works and become easily intimidated by the details. But this is not something that should be shrugged off, as not having a complete picture of the system and how your benefits work could be financially devastating for your future. Therefore, if you’ve ever tried to understand Social Security or navigate the system on your own and found yourself frustrated and confused, coming in for a Social Security review may be the perfect strategy for you.
Why You Need A Social Security Strategy
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) To put it simply, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy when it comes to Social Security. In fact, there are several critical factors that play a role in the amount of benefits you receive, as well as the ideal date for you to start claiming those benefits. Some of these 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.
Having a strategy for when to begin receiving your Social Security benefits is important. However, it is also imperative that you analyze your Social Security benefits in conjunction with all of your retirement assets in order to successfully incorporate your benefits into an overall retirement income plan. This important process can make a world of difference in the amount of income available to you in retirement.
What To Expect
When you come in for your Social Security review, we’ll help you wade through the overwhelming number of Social Security options and discuss a few 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?
Our goal is to support you in protecting your lifestyle, as well as give you the guidance needed to make educated decisions on how to preserve and grow your assets. If you have questions and want to make sure you receive every penny of your Social Security benefit that’s rightfully yours, we are pleased to offer you a Social Security review meeting. Let us help you navigate and more effectively use your benefits before and during your retirement. Contact us by calling (781) 995-0253 or email me 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.