Social Security

Social Security Benefits Planning

Did you know that over 68 million Americans receive some sort of social insurance benefit (July 2019 SSA). The Social Security decision is one of the single most important financial decisions you will face in retirement; filing at the wrong time can be costly. It is a decision that could potentially result in accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional retirement income. How to file can be complex and there are a variety of factors to consider before executing your decision that is almost always irrevocable.


Social Security planning is an opportunity to work with one of our Financial Advisors to lay a solid foundation for a comprehensive retirement income solution. Our Advisors can help you in making the transition from accumulating assets for retirement to withdrawing those assets during retirement.  Our Advisor can also help you understand how to integrate Social Security decisions into a retirement income plan.

Key discussion factors in deciding on a strategy:

What is your life expectancy?

If you are married, what is your spouse’s life expectancy?

Who has the larger estimated benefit?

Do you qualify for spousal benefits?

Are you divorced and/or widowed and were married for 10 or more years?

How much income do you need to replace in retirement?

We will discuss Common Social Security Myths, such as:

Income replacement ratio (higher for low to median wage earners, lower for high income earners)

Social Security is not going to be there so I will just take it early at age 62

When my spouse passes away, I continue to receive both benefit checks

For some, choosing the right time to file for Social Security retirement benefits appears to be straightforward. For most, the decision is more complicated. Some choose to take benefits as soon as they become eligible at age 62 and others choose to take benefits at the same time they stop working or delay claiming benefits to get a higher payout.

Most people wonder:

At what age should I file for benefits?

At what age should my spouse file for benefits?

When does it make sense to claim a spousal benefit?

How do I ensure my spouse gets the largest survivor benefit?

How do we know which of the common filing methods might be right for us?

If one of us lives a long life, how does that affect our decision?