Nearing retirement … How much do you know about Social Security?

February 4th, 2016 by Anchor Bay Capital's Investment Team

[grwebform url=”″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]How much do you know about Social Security? A whopping 88 percent of Americans ages 65 and older receive Social Security payments. Yet many people feel that they don’t quite understand this federal program that provides income to retired people and those who are unemployed or disabled.  If you are between the ages of 45-64, Social-Security-cards-and-assorted-cash-300x197chances are you have thought once or twice about how you are going to generate enough income in retirement. Social Security has been a large part of an individual’s retirement income plan in the past, and chances are it will continue to be significant for many years to come. As you construct your retirement income plan, here are two things about social security that you need to know:

Your full retirement age. Most people we meet with have an idea that 65 is the retirement age they should plan for.  This may not be the case.  You can start collecting social security retirement benefits as early as age 62. But waiting until full retirement age (67 for those born 1960 and later) can increase your monthly benefit by a significant amount. Holding out until age 70, the maximum age to start your benefits, boosts your payments even further.

There’s more to Social Security than just your own retirement benefit. There are spousal and survivor benefits, too, and you may be eligible if you’re married, divorced or widowed. These benefits can sometimes be more than what you would have received based on your own working record, so it pays to find out if you qualify and what benefits you are eligible for.

Your social security decisions are some of the most important that you could make for your retirement.  A choice of receiving or delaying benefits could be a difference of thousands of dollars over you and your family’s lifetime.  It is important to get as much education as you can.  Beyond your own research, it is essential to ask for help.  A Certified Financial Planner™ professional follows a process that gives you unbiased advice for your specific situation.  If you have questions, send them to [email protected].