By David Guttery
A typical American couple may be leaving up to $250,000 on the table in Social Security earnings because they do not know the best strategy for when to take benefits.
Recent surveys conducted by Financial Engines, an independent investment adviser, have shown that 75 percent of the respondents taking an eight-question test about Social Security received a “C” grade or less when tested about their knowledge of Social Security.
Most people still take Social Security at 62 years of age or within a month or two of retiring, but benefits increase at about 8 percent per year for each year they are delayed.
Many are unfamiliar with their ability to claim and suspend benefits, and why this is of importance for the benefit of a surviving spouse. Still, others are not aware that continuing to work after claiming Social Security benefits prior to “normal” retirement age may substantially reduce the amount of an already reduced benefit.
I routinely counsel clients with regard to Social Security benefits, as we examine and evaluate their options prior to retirement.
David R. Guttery, RFC, RFS, CAM, is an investment advisory representative of Ameritas Investment Corp. and the president of Keystone Financial Group in Trussville. David has been in practice for 23 years, with a distinctive focus on the management of retirement assets for the production of durable income.