A Guide to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits

17 Social Security Factors to Consider

Claiming Social Security benefits for your household, whether married or single, is a highly individualized decision. Although many people may fall into groups with similar circumstances, we make very few recommendations that might be the same for another individual in a similar case.

When you consider all of the items in the list below, it should be clear there are many different aspects of claiming social security that will be unique to your personal situation.

Social Security Questions to Ask Yourself

Since Social Security claiming is a topic that touches on the foundations of your retirement planning, it is critical to incorporate complete retirement income planning into the decision-making process.

  1. How much income will you need in retirement?
  2. Are you married?
  3. If you are married, are both individuals entitled to their own retirement benefits based on their work record?
  4. How is your health?
  5. What kind of longevity do you have in your family?
  6. How much do you have saved?
  7. Do you have other sources of income for retirement?
  8. Are you in line for an inheritance?
  9. How are you invested?
  1. Does retirement mean you will not work, even part-time?
  2. Are you willing to work in retirement?
  3. Are you able to work in retirement?
  4. Do you think Social Security is going broke?
  5. Do you have debt that might be paid off or down prior to retirement?
  6. Do you have a divorced spouse from whom you can claim benefits?
  7. Are you entitled to Social Security Survivor Benefits in addition to benefits on your own work record?
  8. Do you understand how your income will be taxed in retirement?

Marketplace Tools

There are multiple software programs in the marketplace that will look at your age, marital status, assumed rates of return, and life expectancy, to come up with a recommendation for claiming your “optimized” retirement benefits. While the answer it gives may be optimized for certain circumstances, that software program doesn’t know anything about your other resources or sources of other income in retirement. Therefore, a standalone Social Security claiming analysis will frequently come up with an entirely different result than one from a program that looks at all your financial resources in retirement.

We at REDW Wealth have many tools to assist you in looking at specific questions about your claiming or incorporating your claiming strategies into a retirement income plan.

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