Tags: Powell | Social | Security | benefits

Retirement Expert Powell: Consider Carefully Before Claiming Social Security Benefits

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 10:00 AM

You've undoubtedly seen reports of the numerous studies showing that many of us are poorly prepared for retirement when it comes to our finances.

So what can we do to ensure that our golden years are financially comfortable? Robert Powell, editor of Retirement Weekly, offers several tips in an article for USA Today.
  • Claim Social Security wisely. Waiting until you're 70 to tap into your benefits will give you and your spouse the maximum possible monthly benefit, he explains. "Consider too strategies that involve claiming and suspending your Social Security benefit and filing a restricted claim. Such strategies can help you maximize your benefit."
  • Work longer. Obviously the longer you can keep working, the bigger the retirement kitty that you can build for yourself.
  • Spend conservatively. You don't have to be a financial whiz to understand that the less you spend, the more you have left to live on if you make it to an advanced age, as many of us will.
Meanwhile, rules of thumb are very convenient for planning your retirement finances, but they also are often wrong. So you need to take any rule you hear with more than a grain of salt.

Tom Sightings of U.S. News & World Report lists several myths concerning retirement finances.
  • "Social Security will pay your bills. Social Security alone probably won't be enough to provide a comfortable retirement," he writes. "The average Social Security retirement benefit is $1,328 a month. Do you really think you can live on $15,936 per year?" Sightings asks.
  • "Inflation is low, so don't worry about it." True, consumer prices actually declined 0.1 percent in the year through January, the first 12-month fall since October 2009. "But remember the 1970s and 1980s, when inflation more typically came in at 5 percent?" At some point inflation will rebound, possibly during your retirement.
  • "Maybe you'll receive an inheritance. The key word is maybe."
Sightings explains that he's not trying to scare you, "but to forewarn you about latching on to a myth or rumor when making important retirement decisions. Retirement rules of thumb often need to be adjusted to fit your personal circumstances."

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You've undoubtedly seen reports of the numerous studies showing that many of us are poorly prepared for retirement when it comes to our finances.
Powell, Social, Security, benefits
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2015-00-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 10:00 AM
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