Social security is a major part of most retirees’ retirement income plan. For some it can be their entire retirement income plan. The Social Security Administration tells us that 90% of people over age 65 receive social security benefits, and that social security income represents about 38% of the average retiree’s income. The average check is about $1,294.
With such a large percentage of your retirement income coming from this one source, it’s important to know how much money we are talking about, and how much of a difference it can make if you delay your benefits to a later age.
Estimate your benefits
The Retirement Estimator on the social security website provides an estimate of your benefits based on your specific work record. I use this estimator all the time when I am updating clients’ financial plans or trying to do a projection of what their benefits may be in the future.
It’s also a great tool when planning out the best strategy to maximize your benefits. Frequently, I find that after I pull up a client’s social security benefits on the Retirement Estimator, it makes sense for one or both spouses to delay benefits.
Estimate your life expectancy
Knowing when to take benefits is just part of the equation. The other part is guessing how long you may live. None of us knows how much time we have left in this life, but most of the clients I work with seem to have a pretty strong opinion. If you want to base your estimate on facts, check out Social Security’s Life Expectancy Calculator.
The Life Expectancy calculator is based on data pulled together by the Social Security Administration. It provides a rough estimate of how long you may live based on your age and gender. Of course, it’s just an estimate. Other variables such as lifestyle, health history, family history and others will come into play as well.
Social Security Planning
Social security planning is a huge part of most people’s retirement plan. Like most aspects of retirement planning, what is right for you, depends on a lot of variables. To get an estimate of your social security benefits and how long you might expect to live give these resources a try.
If you would like to know more, just Ask Mike.
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