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May 8, 2019

Three Key Questions to Answer Before Taking Social Security

Taking Social Security

When to start? Should I continue to work? How can I maximize my benefit?

Provided by Stan Evans, CFP

Social Security will be a critical component of your financial strategy in retirement, so before you begin taking it, you should consider three important questions. The answers may affect whether you make the most of this retirement income source.

When to Start? The Social Security Administration gives citizens a choice on when they decide to start to receive their Social Security benefit. You can:

* Start benefits at age 62.

* Claim them at your full retirement age.

* Delay payments until age 70.

If you claim early, you can expect to receive a monthly benefit that will be lower than what you would have earned at full retirement. If you wait until age 70, you can expect to receive an even higher monthly benefit than you would have received if you had begun taking payments at your full retirement age.

When researching what timing is best for you, it’s important to remember that many of the calculations the Social Security Administration uses are based on average life expectancy. If you live to the average life expectancy, you’ll eventually receive your full lifetime benefits. In actual practice, it’s not quite that straightforward. If you happen to live beyond the average life expectancy, and you delay taking benefits, you could end up receiving more money. The decision of when to begin taking benefits may hinge on whether you need the income now or if you can wait, and additionally, whether you think your lifespan will be shorter or longer than the average American.1,2

Should I Continue to Work? Besides providing you with income and personal satisfaction, spending a few more years in the workforce may help you to increase your retirement benefits. How? Social Security calculates your benefits using a formula based on your 35 highest-earning years. As your highest-earning years may come later in life, spending a few more years at the apex of your career might be a plus in the calculation. If you begin taking benefits prior to your full retirement age and continue to work, however, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 in earnings above the prevailing annual limit ($17,640 in 2018). If you work during the year in which you attain full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 in earnings over a different annual limit ($45,360 in 2018) until the month you reach full retirement age. After you attain your full retirement age, earned income no longer reduces benefit payments.2,3

How Can I Maximize My Benefit? The easiest way to maximize your monthly Social Security is to simply wait until you turn age 70 before claiming your benefits.1,2

Stan Evans may be reached at 410.821.2920 or evans.stan@pmlmail.com.

www.CapitalFinancialMaryland.com

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

With an IRA, once you reach age 70½, generally you are obligated to begin taking required minimum distributions.

Your required minimum distribution (RMD) may be based on your age or the deceased’s age at the time of death. Penalties may occur for missed RMDs. Most are required to begin by December 31 of the year following the date of death. Any RMDs due for the original owner must be taken by their deadlines to avoid penalties. You will pay taxes on any distributions you take. Consider speaking with a financial professional who can help you evaluate the potential impact an inheritance might have on your overall tax situations.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Federal and state laws and regulations are subject to change, which may have an impact on after-tax investment returns. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties.

Registered Representative of and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC., Registered Investment Advisor Member FINRA/SIPC.  4 North Park Drive, Suite 400, Hunt Valley, MD 21030 410.821.2920, Capital Financial Benefit Solutions LLC and other listed entities are unaffiliated with Hornor, Townsend, & Kent, LLC.

HTK Does not provide tax or legal advice – please talk to the proper professional regarding your situation.
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Citations.

1 – nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/take-social-security-benefits/ [5/18/18]

2 – thestreet.com/retirement/social-security/maximum-social-security-benefit-14786537 [11/20/18]
3 – fool.com/retirement/2018/12/01/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-filing-for-social.aspx [12/1/18]