MAKING SENSE OF SOCIAL SECURITY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Those who work with individuals planning for retirement focus on making sure retirees will have enough income on which to live.
During the early pre-retirement phase, plans center around wealth accumulation and maximization of tax-favored savings. When our clients near retirement age, their focus usually shifts to
- Figuring the right age for retirement,
- Maximizing income when retirement starts, and
- Minimizing risk in the portfolio.
For most individuals, social security retirement benefits play a key role in solving the first two problems. While social security will not usually be the only source of retirement income for our clients, the benefits can be substantial.
Clients want to have their social security questions answered when they near retirement age:
- When does social security allow me to retire?
- How much will my benefit be when I retire?
- Can I continue to work after I start to take retirement benefits?
- How does my decision to retire affect my spouse’s benefits?
- How much of my social security retirement benefits will be taxable?
- Is there any advantage to deferring retirement to much later?
- Are there any special rules that affect my decisions about social security?
Financial professionals need to be in a position to answer these questions and provide perspective as to how social security retirement should be coordinated with overall retirement planning.
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