GREENSBORO, NC -- While Social Security is not the most fun sounding subject, you should pay attention to what Matt Logan of Matt Logan, Inc has to say about it. The Certified Financial Planner knows the ins and outs of how the benefits can best work for you. After all, you're paying in. You might as well get the most benefit.
The longer you wait, the more you receive.
Although some of us feel this is common knowledge, many people do not understand just how much your benefit can increase. Taking social security at age 62 vs 66 or even 70 can have some major impacts on your income. According to a study by Fidelity, an individual who takes a benefit of $1200 per month at age 62 could receive $1600 if they wait until age 66 or $2112 if they wait until age 70. These are big differences that need to be considered.
If you are divorced and have not remarried you may be able to claim on your ex spouse.
With an estimate of 50% of first marriages ending in divorce, this is an important piece of information for a lot of people. If you were married for 10 or more years and divorced and did not remarry, once your ex spouse reaches the age of 66, you can qualify for half of his or her benefit. This is extremely important to know if half of your exes benefit is more than your own full benefit.
Take health and longevity into consideration when making the decision.
Many people do not even think of health when making these decisions. Keep it in mind. If you come from a long line of centenarians, waiting until 70 to take your social security benefits would have much more value for you than it would if you than it would a person with major health problems. Consider yours and your spouses longevity while making social security decisions.
Have you considered how taxes will affect your decision?
Taking social security early while you are still earning a wage can have a major impact on how much you get because taxes can have a huge impact. If you make enough money and take your social security at age 62, one dollar can be held from your social security for every $2 you get.
Know about the file and suspend strategy.
If you are married and have reached age 66, there are some cases where you should file for social security and immediately suspend your payments to wait until age 70. In these cases, the couple can receive much higher lifetime benefits by allowing one spouse to collect spousal benefits while the other waits until age 70 to file and collect a higher benefit. Please consult the social security office and an advisor to see if this strategy would fit your situation.
Use the free government resources.
Before making a decision, go online and go visit a social security office. I recommend to folks who are far from their retirement age to at least log on to the social security site just to verify that the numbers look to be reported correctly. There is a lot of information that you can pull on your own situation just from going to the Social Security Administration website. As you get closer to making the decision, use the social security office. That is what they are there for.
Use your trusted advisors.
If you have an attorney, CPA or financial planner whom you trust and have worked with in the past, reach out to that person and discuss your situation. Ask if they have any advice as it pertains to your situation. You can also go to my website www.mattloganinc.com for more information on financial topics you may find helpful.
Matt Logan is a Representative with Matt Logan Inc and Summit Brokerage and may be reached at www.mattloganinc.com, 336-808-0126.
Matt Logan Inc is an independent firm with Securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FIRNA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.