5-Things Savvy Investors Should Know About Social Security

The recent Nationwide Retirement Institute® Consumer Social Security PR Study conducted by Harris Poll queried 1,315 U.S. adults aged 50 and over who collect or plan to collect Social Security benefits. Recent retirees, future retirees and those who retired in 10+ years were polled. The results of this study provide a formidable glimpse into perceptions of Social Security and how they change over time.

Here are 5 highlights for future retirees who seek to maximize benefits and understand how Social Security fits into a holistic financial plan that benefits from guaranteed lifetime income.

Current & future retirees see Social Security as their primary source of retirement income.

Social Security as a primary source of retirement income towers over retirement accounts like 401ks and IRAs for current, future retirees and those who retired over a decade ago. Social Security has become the primary pension for the masses. It’s not an incidental benefit, or ‘icing on the cake,’ to a secure retirement journey. It is now the centerpiece, although it wasn’t designed to be.

Therefore, it’s a future recipient’s responsibility not to succumb to fear mongering (SS IS GOING BROKE!) and plan objectively to get the most out of the program as it exists today. Don’t shortchange lifetime family benefits by at least 25% and file for Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 unless the money is absolutely required to survive. Also, consider a non-working spouse left behind. Survivor benefits are greater if a primary wage earner waits until age 70 to claim retirement benefits.

A third of recent and 10+ retirees say health problems are interfering with retirement.

Poor health can quickly drain the happiness out of retirement. Thankfully, a majority of recent and 10+ retirees enjoy good health. The key is to consider health as an investment you cannot afford to ignore. Medicare included, Fidelity estimates that a couple will spend a total of $280,000 throughout retirement for healthcare costs.

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It’s important to partner with a financial professional who understands the devastating impact of impetuous Social Security claiming decisions. In numerous cases, RIA Certified Financial ...

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