Navigating Social Security: Play Your Best Move with Expert Advice

December 4, 2023

by Maryann Keith, CFP®, CIMA®, CDFA®

Picture this: you’re at game night with your friends, and amidst the laughter and cards, someone casually asks “Hey, what age are you planning to take Social Security?” You announce confidently that you’re going to file at full retirement age and your friend says with great conviction that they’re taking Social Security at age 62 and everyone should do the same. You had planned to wait until full retirement age, but your friend is really smart, and the doubt starts to creep in. You lie awake that night wondering if you’re making a mistake.

In a world where we can Google anything and receive a steady stream of information to our email inbox, televisions, and smart phones, it can be incredibly hard to figure out what actually applies to ourselves. What’s right for someone else might not necessarily be right for you and you owe it to yourself to find out what works best for your scenario. You don’t have to figure it out alone.

For many Americans, Social Security represents their only guaranteed income stream at retirement. As such, your decision should not be taken lightly. There are so many factors to consider.

  • Will you be working between age 62 and full retirement age? If the answer is yes, Social Security may give you a pay cut on your benefits by way of the earnings test and it might benefit you to wait.
  • Are you in great health and have parents who lived very long lives? It’s possible taking Social Security later could benefit you.
  • Do you depend on income from your investments for your expenses? Taking Social Security early could put less stress on your investment portfolio and allow it to grow provided you are comfortable with taking risk.

How do you know you’re making the best decision when it all seems like a crapshoot? The most effective way to figure out when to take Social Security is to sit down with an advisor who will review your full financial picture with you, educate you on your options, and help you navigate through the pros and cons of the scenarios available to you. Your friends, family and colleagues will always have their own opinions that are completely valid to them, but you deserve to explore what is right for you.

The team at Beden Wealth Management is ready to assist and welcomes the opportunity to guide you through your decision-making process. Reach out to us today, or before your next game night!



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