There are many pieces to the Social Security “puzzle.” While a lot of people know that this program can provide an income stream in retirement, most are not aware that there are literally hundreds of ways that you can structure your Social Security retirement benefits – and that going with a particular option could end up “costing” you thousands of dollars in benefits. With that in mind, what you don’t know about Social Security can hurt you. But, armed with the right knowledge and advice, you can maximize your overall retirement income, and possibly even reduce your income tax liability, too.
What’s Your Social Security IQ?
Recently, the retirement education website SimplyWise asked a survey group five questions about Social Security – and only 1 in 300 got them all correct. This led to the conclusion that a majority of Americans are not familiar at all with the benefits they could be receiving from this source.
But not knowing what you are eligible for can end up costing you thousands of dollars every year in Social Security benefits, in turn, having a significant impact on your retirement lifestyle, and ultimately your life.
The questions that were asked of the survey participants included topics such as:
- The age for claiming benefits that can maximize the amount you receive
- The earliest age that a non-disabled survivor can claim Social Security survivor benefits
- Qualifying for – and maximizing – Social Security spousal retirement benefits
- The ability for a former spouse to claim benefits, based on his or her ex’s work record
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about how much one can receive from Social Security, as well as the types of benefits that are offered. And, while Social Security typically only replaces roughly 40% of an average wage-earner’s pre-retirement income, many financial advisors feel that these benefits may constitute your most valuable asset – particularly because they will continue to pay you income every month for the remainder of your lifetime…but only if you implement the right strategy for claiming your benefits.
Moving through unfamiliar territory when applying for your Social Security retirement benefits can oftentimes be overwhelming and frustrating – in some cases to the point of giving up and just simply starting benefits when you are initially eligible.
That’s where working with an experienced retirement income advisor can be beneficial – particularly if that advisor can help you with coordinating your Social Security with other income benefits you may be eligible for, such as an employer-sponsored pension plan and/or an annuity.
Is Your Retirement Income Plan Moving in the Right Direction?
If you’re concerned that your retirement income plan is actually more of an unrelated mix of financial products, then it may be time to talk with an income specialist who can help you with coordinating your incoming cash flow, as well as filling in any of the “gaps” between what you’ll have coming in and what you need going out in terms of expenses going out.
At Annuity Gator, our primary mission is on educating consumers both before and during retirement on how to maximize income and ensure that it will continue to flow in for as long as you need it to.
If you’re ready to chat with an annuity specialist, feel free to reach out to us directly by phone at (888) 440-2468, or via email through our secure online contact form here to set up a convenient time to talk.
Annuity Gator can help you to determine whether or not an income-generating annuity is right for you, and if so, which type of annuity will best fit your specific short- and long-term objectives. We look forward to hearing from you.