4 Thoughts to Maximize Your Social Security Benefit
How long are you and your spouse going to live? My clients’ answer, “Forever!” My long-time client and I were reviewing his investment program when he mentioned that he had just returned from his Aunt’s funeral in Florida. She lived to age 101. My client’s mother had also lived to age 101. His Aunt was actually a Grand Aunt!
Of course, Social Security works best for those who live the longest. But Social Security Benefits are also maximized for those who wait longer to receive them…Survivor benefits are also maximized. Consider Social Security as insurance if you live too long!
What will the inflation rate be in the future? My ability to predict the future is precisely as flawed as your ability. Recently we have gone through a period of long-term averages of 2 to 3% per year. Social Security Benefits under current law are increased (but not decreased) for inflation. Consider your Social Security Benefits as part of your investment plan that will increase with your increasing cost of living.
What will your investment return be in the future on other assets? The future continues to be unknowable. It is tempting to look at the past investment returns for guidance. However, just because the past is measurable does not mean that it is useful to us. As our disclaimer states, “Past performance does not predict future results”. However, can you rely on Social Security payments in the future, or at least most of them? Maybe your Social Security Benefits can be part of your overall fixed-income investment allocation. This approach may allow for an increase in your stock or real estate allocation.
How long will your spouse live after you are gone? The survivor of you and your spouse will receive the greater of your individual Social Security Benefits. Consider making your Social Security Benefit decision with the goal of maximizing the survivor benefit. This approach might be particularly appropriate for Social Security recipients where the benefits are a small portion of a monthly income.
Jim Vaughan and Vaughan & Co. Securities, Inc. provides individual analysis of Social Security designed to maximize your benefits for your personal retirement income investment plan. Contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org