Broker Check

Questions About Social Security?

January 12, 2023

We get a lot of questions about Social Security – and rightfully so!  Social Security income can be key to a successful retirement, and we are here to help you navigate social security rules and strategies.

We are most commonly asked “when should I start taking social security benefits?”  Like most topics in planning your financial future, it depends!  First, you need to know your full retirement age.  Depending on your date of birth, your full retirement age will fall somewhere between age 66 and 67.  At that full retirement age, you are entitled to your full social security benefit.  The earliest you can take social security is age 62, but keep in mind that your benefit is reduced when you take it before your full retirement age.  On the flip side, you can defer your benefit all the way to age 70.  The longer you defer, the more your benefit grows! 

If you’re in good health and expect to live into your late 80’s or even 90’s, deferring could make sense.  The timing of your retirement and the impact of drawing on your portfolio can also help direct your decision.  Keep in mind that this shouldn’t be a stand-alone decision.  It’s important to evaluate your broader financial picture and future goals as you make the decision about when to draw your social security. 

There are plenty of other factors to consider when we talk about social security.  For example, did you know that depending on your income level, your social security could be taxed?  Or maybe you didn’t know that if you start taking your social security while working, there could be additional tax withholding on your social security income!

Another common area of confusion is around spousal benefits.  What if you or your spouse took time away from your career to help raise your family?  Or maybe you’re wondering what happens to your social security when your spouse passes?

If you’re currently wrestling with tough social security decisions or struggling to go-it alone on your social security journey, please reach out to us.  At Stonegate, we understand the importance of these decisions and are happy to answer any questions you might have.