SOCIAL SECURITY PLANNING Social Security income is a key component of most retirement plans. This monthly income, however, is often insufficient by itself to finance a satisfactory retirement.The amount you receive in monthly social security or your primary insurance amount is a function of your average indexed monthly earnings during your lifetime. This is the amount you will receive if you claim your benefits at your full retirement age, which varies based upon when you were born. This amount fluctuates based on whether you decide to claim your benefits earlier than your full retirement age (reducing your benefits) or to delay claiming them after your full retirement age (increasing your benefit).The amount you receive when you first claim benefits sets the base for the amount you will receive for the rest of your life. After you start receiving benefits, the amount you receive can be adjusted by annual cost-of-living increases. The best age to start or apply for social security benefits is often an informed decision based upon a number of your individual circumstances. The decision of when to apply affects your monthly benefit amount and how long you receive that benefit. Our plans present you with the information you need to understand how your circumstances affect your benefits and your claiming options. Rather than just explaining each option or relying on you to ask the right questions, we proactively perform an in-depth review of your individual circumstances. We help you evaluate early retirement options and analyze whether you have the resources to support your lifestyle if you delay taking your benefits.If you receive an annuity or lump sum payout option on retirement, we can help you understand how these choices interplay with when to claim your benefits. If you receive an early retirement option from your employer, some pensions include a Social Security-equivalent supplement that stops automatically at age 62.Your benefits may be affected by military service, employment by a railroad, or pensions earned as compensation on which you did not pay Social Security tax. Similarly, there are a number of additional factors that can affect your benefits, such as your life expectancy, marital status, dependents, or whether you plan on continuing to work (even part-time) after age 62 until you reach your full retirement age.You may be eligible for benefits on someone else’s record, or you may have individuals who qualify for benefits on your record. There are additional strategic decisions involved when planning benefits for multiple people. For example, your spouse, minor children, or disabled children can qualify for benefits with you. It is crucial to factor in the value of their benefits along with your own when deciding when to take your benefits. Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses may have an additional opportunity to apply for survivors benefits now and delay their retirement benefit until later. If you delay receiving your retirement benefits until your full retirement age or later, your retirement benefits will be higher.Certain claiming options have been limited to those born before a certain date. Individuals of full retirement age born before January 2, 1954 who are eligible for a spouse’s or divorced-spouse’s benefit and their own retirement benefit can choose to restrict their application and receive only their spouse’s benefit and delay claiming their retirement benefit until a later date. Those born January 2, 1954 or later only have the option to claim one benefit at full retirement age for all retirement or spousal benefits. The Social Security Administration provides an online tool to calculate your estimated benefit. Your estimated benefits are based on current law, and the law governing benefit amounts may change. Personalized Benefit Estimate Calculator Contact us to understand your Social Security claiming options and to develop a strategy to maximize the value you receive from those benefits Name Email Address Phone Question Thank you! Oops!