Many of our clients in Richland, Walla Walla, and Kennewick, Washington tell us that social security will probably make up a substantial portion of their income. In fact, the official Social Security Administration website says that Social Security income replaces about the 40 percent of earned income for the average retired American. At the same time, most retirees miss the chance to maximize social security benefits just because they don’t even realize they can.
Tips to Maximize Social Security Benefits
Why do retirees leave money on the table when they choose how to take Social Security payments? Many retirees believe in a couple of myths:
- They believe that the only thing they need to figure out is how and when to enroll, and that the Social Security Administration will tell them everything they need to know.
- They don’t think that there is anything they can do about their Social Security income after they have begun to collect payments.
Both of these myths can cost retirees hundreds of thousands’ of dollars over their retirement years. First Social Security employees aren’t allowed to act as advisors; they can tell you where to find the rules, but they can’t help you interpret them to your benefit. In addition, many people fail to consider the significant financial implications of other taxable income or when they choose to start collecting their payments.
Learn to Make the Most of Social Security
Do you want to maximize your Social Security benefits? If so, you could read thousands of rules and many thousands of pages that explain them. You might take an easier approach and educate yourself with books like “Get What’s Yours” by Dr. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a distinguished scholar who has distilled the essence of these rules into a very digestible publication for people who want to educate themselves about Social Security.
Of course, we hope you also consult with our retirement professionals. Based upon your unique financial situation and retirement goals, we will help you choose the right approach to your hard-earned Social Security payments and any other financial tools that can benefit you. Your comfortable retirement doesn’t solely depend upon how much money you have made in the past or even how much you have managed to save. It largely depends upon making wise decisions with your savings and the way you collect income.