One of the most important decisions you, as a retiree, has to make is when to start your social security benefits, and that one question gives rise to many more questions that you will need to consider as well.

– Should you begin taking your social security at age 62 and receive a reduced benefit? Or wait until age 66 to receive your full retirement benefit?
– Should you delay taking your social security until age 70 in order to earn the 8% bonus credits each year that are available and receive 132% of your full retirement benefits?
– Should you file and suspend?
– Should you file for a restricted application?
– Will your spouse lose a portion of your pension when you die? And if that happens how do survivor benefits factor in?

The answers to these questions really depend on your unique situation, life expectancy, income needs and belief that future benefits will be paid. In my book Sound Retirement Planning. I explain that retirement is all about cash flow not net worth so this is an important question. Taking cookie cutter advice could be a costly mistake.

I met with a couple recently to help them coordinate their social security benefits. The difference in good planning versus bad planning for maximizing their family’s expected lifetime benefit was approximately $100,000.

If you are interested in learning more please try our free Social Security Calculator or give us a call at 1-800-514-5046, and we can help you put together a written report detailing your best strategy.