Social Security

Jeffrey Haxton
Certified Financial Planner™

A common term associated with retirement is Social Security. It is a critical piece of a comprehensive income plan during retirement. Unfortunately many people go into retirement not understanding Social Security and often make improper decisions when electing benefits.

The Basics of Social Security

If you are currently working, you are most likely contributing to Social Security. A contribution from your paycheck as well as a match from the company you work for is put towards this government program. This program is available to assist in guiding retirees into retirement. You can start taking benefits at age 62 or can delay as late as age 70. The monthly benefit amount will be different depending on the age you start receiving it. You can receive an 8% “raise” for every year you delay taking benefits.

How Social Security helps Mitigate Risk

By receiving the benefits of Social Security you are able to mitigate some of the risk that comes with being retired. For example Social Security benefits:
1.) Provide income a retiree or spouse cannot outlive.
2.) Are not affected by volatility in the market.
3.) Are typically adjusted to account for the cost of living increase.

What to Consider

When you decide to begin receiving Social Security benefits there are a few things to consider. Making the right decisions could impact your success in retirement. Here are some examples to consider:
1.) If married, you should factor in your spouse and how it will impact them in the future; especially if your spouse has much lower lifetime earnings.
2.) If divorced, you may be able to receive benefits on ex-spouse’s earnings.
3.) If you are a widow you can receive survivor benefits at an earlier age while possibly delaying your own benefits.
4.) A pension may eliminate or reduce Social Security benefits.

Planning for the future

If you think Social Security benefits will provide you enough income to comfortably retire you may need to decide what comfortable is to you. For the average individual you will receive $1,400 per month from the benefits. Social Security was never designed to be the sole retirement source; only to help people get there. It is important to consider additional income sources during retirement if you feel your Social Security benefits won’t meet all your needs. Working with a financial planner will help to assess your personal situation, allowing you to understand your benefits available to you.

If you’d like to see your estimated Social Security benefits go to: https://www.ssa.gov/

To learn more about Social Security you can listen to my interview with Clay Moden on 106.5FM WYRK.

And watch our commercial on Life Insurance:

WEEKLY SEGMENT ON WYRK

You can catch our weekly Plan.Protect.Invest. segment live on WYRK 106.5FM at 7:20am every Wednesday. Each week we will have a Sgroi Financial planner on with Clay Moden and the WYRK morning show to discuss financial topics to educate and help their listeners.
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