Maximizing Social Security should be a priority.
You may be young with retirement not even on your radar.
You may be older with retirement just around the corner.
Either way, this article is for you.
According to a recent Washington Post article titled “Don’t believe these Social Security myths,” understanding Social Security is important.
The choices you make regarding Social Security can help or haunt you for years.
What are common misunderstandings involving Social Security?
The “when” matters greatly.
Your benefits would increase about 7 percent each year from age 62 to full retirement age.
If you wait even longer, the amount will increase about 8 percent for each year between full-retirement age and when you turn 70.
If you wait, you will get a larger check and your surviving spouse will receive greater benefits when you die.
If you live a long life, you will need the additional money each month, if you deplete your savings.
I should claim early and expect to die early.
Yes, there is no guarantee you will live into your 80s or 90s.
Still, people are living longer.
It is a fact.
Of men who reach age 65, they can expect to live to age 84.
For women who reach age 65, they can expect to live to be 86½.
If you are still just in your 50s, your estimated life expectancy is even longer.
Do not sell yourself short.
Unless you have a terminal illness, you should probably plan for a longer life.
You also need to consider your spouse.
When one of you dies, your Social Security check comes from the spouse who had a larger check.
Delaying Social Security checks may not benefit you for many years, but it could be a significant blessing for your spouse.
Investing my early Social Security check is wise.
The 7 percent and 8 percent increase each year is a guaranteed return.
Do not risk this money in the market.
Take what you know you can get.
I must file for Social Security when I stop working.
There is no requirement on when you must file.
You can use savings if needed.
Delaying from age 62 to age 66 would increase your standard of living by 33 percent.
I should get my Social Security before there are no more funds.
Even with no action taken, the government will still be able to pay Social Security into 2035.
The amounts may be decreased to 80 percent of the original value, but it is still something.
Nevertheless, we can all hope that Congress will address and propose Social Security fixes before this.
Now you have a better understanding of Social Security.
Use your knowledge to make educated decisions and work with a financial advisor well-versed in retirement planning.
Reference: Washington Post (June 10, 2019) “Don’t believe these Social Security myths”