Today I am writing a little about filing a restricted application for Social Security retirement benefits. I turn 62 later this year but have no intention of applying for an early retirement benefit. I have not yet had any personal interactions with a representative of the Social Security Administration. I have heard from others that when a retiree seeks to apply for benefits, they are told what to do and how to do it but generally that is the extent of it.
Based on the emails and comments I receive, there is lots of confusion and uncertainty about how to maximize total Social Security retirement benefits for a married couple. The best strategies allow the couple to leave nothing on the table when collecting benefits now and in the future, including when one spouse dies. I have previously written about the key concepts of Social Security spousal benefits.
The questions and debates about when to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits continue to rage. The news coming from DC about deficit reduction and increasing the debt ceiling has made things worse. While this is going on, new concerns have arisen about changes that may come to the Social Security Retirement System.
The debate over when to start receiving Social Security Retirement Benefits rages on. I have written about it many times, as have others. My general impression is that there is a large group of folks who hit 62, are inclined to take their benefits just to have the money, then look for logic that supports their decision. In the absence of dire necessity or live-limiting health problems, I believe this is a bad approach to the problem. Thus, I appreciated a recent article from CBS Money Watch that looked at the “retire early” issue from an actuarial perspective. [Read more…]
Boomers are in a full-blown Social Security panic. We are claiming benefits at age 62 in record numbers. In 2007, 38% of 62-year olds claimed Social Security retirement benefits. In 2009, it was 42%. Financial planners think the number is even larger now. [Read more…]
A recent opinion piece in the LA Times does an excellent job of separating fact from fiction in analyzing the notion that greedy baby boomers are poised to bankrupt the country. Supposedly, we are mostly wealthy boomers making it grossly unfair for us to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits when we retire. Not so fast, says the op-ed writer. [Read more…]
Most financial experts preach against taking Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 because of the permanent damage it does to the benefit amount received by the retiree and that retiree’s surviving spouse. But there may be an investment-based reason to claim an early benefit. [Read more…]
I am generally a low-tax proponent, but recent tax cutting by Congress is getting me a little worried about Social Security. The employee’s portion of the payroll tax has been cut from 6.1% to 4.1%. What can that mean for future retirees? [Read more…]
Much has been written in recent years about a benefit claim do-over loophole in the rules governing Social Security retirement benefits. Using this loophole, a wealthy retiree could claim and receive benefits at age 62, invest them for several years, withdraw the original application for benefits, then reapply for a larger benefit based on the current age. [Read more…]
The final report from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was released today. Dubbed “The Moment of Truth”, the report has not yet been voted on by the full commission. Vote or no vote, it is all meaningless until Congress actually implements the recommendations. We are months if not several election cycles before that can happen. Nevertheless, it’s helpful for baby boomers to be aware of the thought processes being exercised in Washington and how they might affect our retirements. [Read more…]