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2,700 Rules: Planning Your Retirement and Social Security


b2ap3_thumbnail_Money-Management-1.jpgAt first glance, Social Security may seem simple. You work for decades while paying into the Social Security fund, and you’re eligible to start getting some of it back when you hit 62. However, did you know there are more than 2,700 rules that loom over the federal government’s program? If your answer is “no,” planning your retirement may now seem a little more complicated.

You can be a prudent saver and investor, yet you can still make mistakes with Social Security that can cost you thousands of dollars. Everyone’s situation calls for a different take on how a smart strategy should appear. What makes sense for a retired widow or widower could be the wrong option for a retired married couple.

The following is a list of topics that are most commonly missed when planning your retirement:

·         1. Consider waiting before drawing your Social Security benefits. In many cases, if you wait until you’re 70, your payment could reach a level that’s up to 76 percent more than someone who withdraws benefits at age 62. The difference is in delayed retirement credits, which increase by eight percent plus inflation for every year you wait after your full retirement age.

·        2.  If you have the option to file two types of benefits, it is usually best not to do both at the same time. For instance, if you’re eligible for survivor benefits as well as your retirement benefits, investment experts recommend that when planning your retirement, take the smaller one first, and the larger one later.

·         3. Some retirees don’t realize they are eligible for getting a spousal or a survivor benefit and lose out on thousands of dollars. Spousal benefits for married couples are worth half the benefit of the partner’s retirement benefit. Even if you’re divorced, you could be eligible for that spousal benefit. Survivor benefits can be worth as much as 100 percent of the deceased spouse’s full retirement benefit, so it pays to stay on top of your eligibility.

·        4.  Planning your retirement includes knowing when to file. There are many opportunities and choices for filing. For example, you may not know in order for your spouse to get benefits, you may have to file for your retirement benefit first.

·        Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you and your former spouse get excluded from spousal benefits, but you have to have been married for at least 10 years.

Find more helpful tips about planning your retirement at Family Investment Center. Our team of professional investment advisors is ready to help guide you concerning any number of complex investment decisions, and we will provide that guidance in a way that is easy to understand. In fact, we can offer Social Security maximization tools and  unbiased, direct conversation with our experienced team. Contact us today and let’s get started exploring Social Security maximization as one piece of your retirement strategy.

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