When you are looking ahead to your senior years, you are probably expecting to be able to retire at some point in time. It is important to take personal responsibility however, because there are no guarantees. Too often when you quit working the money quits as well. Many people who fail to make any careful advance preparations regarding cash flow during their retirement years find themselves unable to retire at all. This is a rather disheartening thought to entertain.
Yes, Social Security will be part of the financial plan, but you have to be aware of its limitations. You will be periodically sent a statement that tells you how much you can anticipate receiving and this should give you a good idea of where you stand.
Clearly, when you do the math you may find that you will have to supplement this income to be able to realize your retirement vision.
Married couples often have some questions about their benefits, and we would like to touch on something here. Let’s say that Mary and John are married and they both worked throughout their lives and they are both qualified for Social Security. John is older than Mary and he is already receiving his benefit of $1400 per month.
Mary’s earned benefit is $600 per month. According to Social Security rules, when she reaches the age of eligibility she will actually get half of her spouse’s benefit amount rather than the amount that she qualified for on her own. So, Mary’s benefit would be $700 per month. But, if her individual benefit was higher than 50% of her husband’s benefit she would get her full individual benefit. In other words, she would get the higher of the two amounts.
If you have questions about how to weave your Social Security benefit into a comprehensive strategy for aging, the first step is to sit down and discuss your unique situation with a licensed, experienced Oklahoma City retirement planning lawyer.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday