Is timing social security payments possible

We all know that timing the market is impossible but is timing social security payments possible?

With new technology, it may be possible to input your information and choose the correct time to draw monthly benefits.  This information may not help people age 65 and older, but their children will certainly appreciate the advice below.

When to elect Social Security may be the most important decision a couple makes about their retirement.  In fact, the difference between the best and worst Social Security election decision can be to a $100,000 difference in lifetime benefits. This is critical when you consider how important Social Security income is to the average retired couple. Social Security benefits in 2008 accounted for on average 64.8% of total income for recipient households with someone aged 65 or older, according to a SSA report, Income of the Population 55 or Older, released in 2008.

It is estimated that over 50% of people draw S.S. benefits at age 62, the earliest possible time a non-disabled American can qualify for benefits.  Many people view this as an income boost or worry about the solvency of our system.  However, these people may be leaving thousands of dollars on the table over their lifetimes.

Upcoming retirees have resources available to them that take a person’s specific factors, income, contributions, ages, health, spousal status, ect.  and help them make an informed decision about the best time to draw benefits.  Our agency can help guide you through the benefit decision making process, choosing the time that will maximize your monthly benefits.     

Many people mistakenly think they can go to the Social Security Office for advice on when to elect. What they don’t realize is that SSA representatives are actually prohibited from giving election advice.  Plus, SSA representatives in general are trained to focus on monthly benefit amounts for an individual, not lifetime income for a family.  As a result, many SSA representatives don’t understand the mechanics of Unusual Claiming Options, which the Wall Street Journal referenced in a recent article, well enough to help a retiree understand when they should be used.

Most of the people we work with are already on Social Security and drawing Medicare A and B.  However, younger friends or children would certainly benefit from timing the social security decision correctly.  How did you decide when to take benefits?