5 Considerations for Your Social Security Strategy
As you prepare to start claiming benefits, be sure to ask yourself these questions.
This year, about 65 million Americans will receive over one trillion dollars in Social Security benefits. If you’re planning to join that total and claim your benefits, timing, strategy and sound decisions can all help you maximize the outcome for your household. When and how you claim, your marital status, your health, and even whether you have dependents can all affect what benefits you receive.
To get the most out of your hard-earned benefits, focus on developing the right plan for you and your family. Doing so could help you enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Where do I start?
Given the complexities involved in claiming benefits, creating a plan of action for Social Security can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Your financial advisor can help you develop an appropriate retirement income strategy based on your individual circumstances – but there are a few key questions you can ask yourself beforehand to jumpstart the conversation.
Five key considerations
Before making any decisions, it’s important to consider the elements of your life that could influence your individualized Social Security strategy. To prepare for your meeting with your advisor, start thinking through these key questions:
When are you planning to retire? Is this date relatively fixed, or is it more flexible?
What will your earnings look like if you continue to work past the age of 62? Would these come from continuing in your current role, or are you considering taking on new or part-time work down the road?
What other sources of income will you have in retirement? In addition to your Social Security benefits, will you be receiving any pension payments, employment income (part-time work) or annuity payouts? What about any business sale proceeds, insurance policies or inheritances? And of course, consider any retirement accounts or additional savings you've built up over the years.
How long do you expect to live? Consider your current health as well as your family history.
What does your family situation look like? Are you single, married or divorced? Do you have any dependents?
As you think through these questions and begin shaping a strategy with your advisor, consider creating a free “My Social Security” account at SSA.gov. Within your account, you can review a statement detailing your estimated benefits as well as explore other resources for developing a sound plan.
Financial Advisors offer securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and securities are not insured by credit union insurance, the NCUA or any other government agency, are not deposits or obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union, and are subject to risks, including the possible loss of principal. First Tech Federal Credit Union and Addison Avenue Investment Services are not registered broker/dealers and are independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.
Raymond James Financial Advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed. Please note that not all of the investments and services mentioned are available in every state. Investors outside of the United States are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this site. Contact your local Raymond James office for information and availability.
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.