When Should YOU Start Taking Social Security?
Many of my readers are already taking Social Security. If that’s you and if you’ve been taking your benefit for over one year, you can probably go back to doing your crossword puzzle or maybe watering the plants. For the rest of you…read on.
I’ve been helping folks with retirement and income planning for over 12 years, but I’ve never seen more hype about Social Security than I have in the past year or two. Where is much of this hype coming from? If you thought “financial planners” you’d be right on the money. Seems for many planners, this became the new hot button to get folks to schedule appointments and maybe become clients.
On top of that, there are software programs galore that will help you decide when YOU should take your Social Security. Loi and I have tested many of these programs and they are fun to play “what-if games” as you try to decide when is best to take Social Security.
For us, these software programs aren’t much use. Why? Because you can’t look at when best to turn on Social Security as a stand-alone decision. Instead, Social Security planning needs to be part of your overall retirement and income strategy. Nope…you shouldn’t make your decision on when to begin Social security in a vacuum…but rather as part of a coordinated income plan.
Here’s the two major points to remember. First, if married, when trying to decide when to take benefits, you need to take into consideration the income needs of the surviving spouse once the first dies.
Second, and most important, to insure you are making the best decision, you must know WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. And if married, when your spouse will die. Otherwise, all this stuff is just a crap shot…which is why you need to make decisions on Social Security as part of a well-orchestrated income plan.
Don’t be romanced into the hands of a high pressure “Social Security expert” or one that claims to be an expert but really only wants to get a shot at selling you products you don’t want or need.
If you made it to the end of this column, now you can go finish the crossword puzzle or water the plants. Have a fun weekend whatever you decide to do!
Your Retirement Quarterback®