By Lee Sherbakoff, CPA/PFS, CFP®, RICP®
Are you planning on Social Security making up a significant portion of your retirement income? If so, you’re in the same boat as almost half of Americans over the age of 50. (1) With a program that impacts the lives and finances of so many, you would think people would be more prepared to claim their benefits, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Close to 63% of future retirees are not confident about how the program works, (2) and 92% don’t know how to maximize their Social Security payments. (3)
Even though the Social Security process can seem intimidating, the truth is that not having a complete picture of the system and how your benefits work could be financially devastating. If you’ve ever tried to understand Social Security or navigate the system on your own and found yourself confused, you are the perfect candidate for a Social Security review.
Why You Need a Social Security Strategy
There are countless ways to claim your Social Security benefits and the Social Security Handbook has 2,728 separate rules governing your benefits. (4) As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy for Social Security. There are several factors that play a role in the amount of benefits you receive and the ideal date for you to start claiming those benefits, including your health status, life expectancy, need for income, whether or not you plan to continue working, and how concerned you are about running out of money.
While having a strategy for when to begin Social Security benefits is important, it is also critical to analyze your Social Security benefits in conjunction with all of your retirement assets. Incorporating your benefits into an overall retirement income plan may make a world of difference in the amount of income available to you in retirement.
What to Expect
In our Social Security review meeting, we’ll help you navigate these topics as well as discuss a few questions, including:
- How do I decide when to start collecting? Is it worth it to wait to collect my benefits until I reach full retirement age (FRA)?
- Should I delay claiming past FRA to get a larger payment?
- How are my benefits calculated?
- How should I plan to maximize my total lifetime benefits?
- Should my spouse and I coordinate to maximize our total benefits?
- Can I work while collecting Social Security? If so, what are the limitations?
At The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, our goal is to support you in making smart decisions to protect your lifestyle and preserve and grow your assets so you can live your best life now and later. If you have questions and want to make sure you receive every penny that’s rightfully yours, we’d love to offer you a Social Security review meeting to help you navigate and most effectively use your benefits before and during your retirement. Schedule your complimentary meeting by calling us at (865) 691-0898 or contacting us online.
Lee Sherbakoff is principal and financial advisor with The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC, an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. He specializes in serving pre-retirees and retirees, helping them create and execute financial plans and retirement income plans that lead to sustainable long-term, real-life returns that meet their deepest and most important financial goals and objectives. Lee has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The University of Tennessee and a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College as well as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) credentials. Lee spent over 31 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, including serving at the Army’s highest levels on the Department of Army staff at the Pentagon and being deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm (1991) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2008-2009). When he’s not loyally serving his clients, Lee enjoys giving back to the community and to his profession, acting as a council member of the Tennessee Society of CPAs and a member of the American Institute of CPAs. In addition, he is past President of the Knoxville Chapter of Tennessee Society of CPAs and past President of the East Tennessee chapter of the Financial Planning Association. To learn more about Lee, connect with him on LinkedIn.
DISCLOSURES: The information provided is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product, and should not be construed as investment, legal, or tax advice. The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by third parties and its use and disclaim any liability arising out of, or reliance on the information. These indexes reflect investments for a limited period of time and do not reflect performance in different economic or market cycles and are not intended to reflect the actual outcomes of any client of The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC. Past performance does not guarantee future results.