Social Security Planning from the 2012 January / February issue of Planning Perspectives

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NAPFA Planning Perspectives Jan-Feb 2012

The latest Jan/Feb 2012 issue of NAPFA Planning Perspectives has interesting articles. The first is entitled “When Is the Best Time to Begin Taking Your Social Security Benefits?” by Clarissa R. Hobson of Carnick & Company and includes this:

Deciding when to take Social Security benefits is critically important to maximizing long-term benefits. Benefits may be claimed as early as age 62, but if income isn’t needed, or if you’re still working, you can wait up to eight years. Taking benefits early results in a permanent reduction; the earlier benefits are taken, the greater the reduction.

Postponing benefits beyond full benefits age results in a credit of 8% per year (up to age 70), plus annual cost-of-living increases (COLIs). So if full retirement age is 67, monthly benefit amounts will be 24% higher (plus COLIs) if benefits are delayed to 70. The COLI will be applied to the higher benefits and will apply to survivor benefits.

Married couples have many factors to consider prior to filing:

  • Are both individuals eligible for benefits based on their own working records?
  • What age should each claim benefits?
  • Can strategies be used to increase benefits?

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You can read this issue or you can peruse the entire list of back issues.

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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.