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  • Steps To Secure Your Social Security Benefits

BEFORE YOU ARE AGE 40

  • Create your personal “my social security” account at ssa.gov
  • Check your statement every year to assure you are getting credit for all your social security earnings.

BEFORE YOU ARE AGE 62

  • Check your social security statement to see your estimated monthly benefit at full retirement age (FRA).
  • Decide if you want to start taking your benefit before your FRA. 
  • FRA is currently 66 years and 2 months and increases by 2 months each year until it is 67 years old for those born in 1960 and later.
  • Your monthly benefit will be reduced by approximately 0.5% for each month you take your benefit prior to your FRA. Example: If were born after 1960, your monthly benefit at age 67 is $2,000 and you begin taking your benefit at age 62, your monthly benefit would be approximately $1,400 (not adjusted for cost-of-living increases) for the rest of your life.
  • If you continue to have employment income after 62 and before 67, your benefit will be further reduced by $1 for each $2 you earn over an annual threshold. This threshold is currently $18,960 per year.

BEFORE YOU ARE AGE 65

  • Enroll in Medicare

BEFORE YOU ARE AGE 67 (Or reach FRA)

  • Check your social security statement to see your estimated monthly benefit at FRA.
  • Decide if you want to start taking your benefit at FRA or defer until age 70.
  • If you defer until age 70, your benefit will increase by 8% per year for each year after your FRA until age 70. Example: If were born after 1960, your monthly benefit at age 67 is $2,000 and you begin taking your benefit at age 70, your monthly benefit would be approximately $2,500 (not adjusted for cost-of-living increases) for the rest of your life.

A QUICK COMPARISON

  • Your monthly benefit at FRA is $2,000 and you live to age 85:
  • You start taking benefits at age 62 – the total lifetime amount of your monthly benefits will be approximately $1,400 for 24 years or $403,200 (without allowing for annual cost of living adjustments). 
  • You start taking benefits at age 67 – the total lifetime amount of your monthly benefits will be approximately $2,000 for 19 years or $456,000 (without allowing for annual cost of living adjustments). 
  • You start taking benefits at age 70 – the total lifetime amount of your monthly benefits will be approximately $2,500 for 16 years or $480,000 (without allowing for annual cost of living adjustments). 

CONCLUSION

  • Maximizing you benefits depends on your unique personal financial situation.
  • If you are married, you will need to coordinate your strategy with your spouse’s unique personal financial situation.
  • Winthrop Partners is a fee only fiduciary that provides wealth planning and investment management services. Please contact us at www.winthroppartners.com or 267-454-7551. Our team can help you make successful retirement, financial planning and investment decisions.