Social security benefits are becoming a primary source of income for baby boomers approaching retirement. How you claim those benefits can mean thousands of extra dollars. Financial advisor Carroll Ramer talks about how to approach this source of retirement funding in this report.
Social security planning is important, Ramer says. The difference between the best methods of claiming social security, and the worst, can be up to $100,000 in additional lifetime benefits for an individual. For a married couple, that amount could be as much as $250,000. Ramer points out that there are about 8,000 claiming strategies for married couples, underscoring the importance of social security planning.
Before claiming social security benefits, one should meet with a planner who can use advanced illustration software to show which strategy will produce the maximum benefits. Once you file for your benefits, you have only eleven months in which to make any change in your approach. If you don’t fix mistakes you have made, you are stuck with the choice you made.
Ramer says that 53% of married couples get more than half of their retirement income from social security. For unmarried couples, that number is 74%. “It’s a sign of our times. We aren’t saving as much.” That’s one of the reasons why it is so important for people to put together a solid financial plan well before they retire.
Ramer says that, of course, the longer you wait before claiming your benefits, the larger your monthly payment will be. But there is more to it than simply waiting, Ramer says, and that’s where a plan worked out with a financial advisor can be of real value.
Carroll Ramer is a financial advisor with the Silver Lake Agency in Kasson, Minnesota. Retirement News Today is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.