SOCIAL SECURITY: WHEN TO TAKE IT

#SocialSecurity #retirement #savings #earnings
It’s a question discussed numerous times in this space: when to take Social Security.
Maurie Backman of The Motley Fool took it on in a Christmas Day article, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Take it early, at age 62, and you get a lesser amount than you would at your full retirement age. But, if you have already retired and need to cobble together an income, taking Social Security early is an option.
Of course, the longer you wait to take it, the bigger your check will be. Wait until age 70, and your check could be pretty good-sized.
Backman cites three reasons he believes taking Social Security at age 62 might be a good idea for you: first, you are unable to work (or are having trouble finding a job, even though you are able to work); you’re in bad health; and, you’ve earned the right not to wait.
All those reasons make sense for some people. But everyone’s situation is different. Here’s one rule of thumb for everyone: don’t take it early just because you fear the government will run out of money and the checks will stop. Most experts believe Social Security will be around for quite some time, even if the government does nothing about the funding. Benefits may have to be adjusted in the future, they say, but it’s unlikely to go away entirely.
When making the Social Security decision, consider the following: what other income do you have, or will you have, in retirement. Income includes pensions, dividends and interest from your savings and investments and, perhaps, a no-stress, part-time job. Income, for some, may also include a full-time job. Yes, there are those who love their jobs enough that they don’t want to retire. If you are fortunate enough to be in that situation, and your employer will keep you on forever, that’s excellent.
Most folks, though, have jobs that will get old after a while, if they haven’t already. Others may have employers that are eager to get them retired, or at least out of their employ.
It’s a good idea, if you are among the latter categories, to have a Plan B in place that will give you income that will enable you to go with whatever happens, “retire” when you want and potentially give you financial freedom. Many such vehicles involve only a few part-time hours a week, with the potential to dwarf your working income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Also, as you ponder when to take your Social Security, know that no matter how many years you paid into it, and no matter how good your income was, that government check alone probably won’t give you enough money to give you the retirement you want. You WILL need some other financial resources.
If you haven’t yet retired, and don’t know what your resources will be when you do retire, it’s time to start planning for it. The earlier you start planning, and the more disciplined you are, the better off you’ll be when you get older.
So, start saving, and get a good, trusted financial adviser to guide you in retirement planning. Remember, too, that retirement planning isn’t all about money, though money is a big factor. Know what you’ll want to do when you retire, and plan to make that happen.
The Social Security office nearest you can give you your options, based on your income. The wise person will have a plan so that, no matter when he or she retires, he or she will never run out of money.
Peter

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