(yes, they exist during economic uncertainty)
Claiming Social Security benefits probably sounds like a simple process to those who are several years away from partaking in the process. You inform your employer of your planned retirement date, file for your Social Security, and begin receiving your monthly benefit for the rest of your life. However, the path to maximizing your Social Security is not always an obvious one. And unless you’ve had the opportunity to go through that process, you may be surprised to find out there are many important considerations you should make beforehand.
Osiwala Financial Group has worked with retirees and their Social Security options for years. My advisors don’t look at Social Security in a vacuum but at how it may affect your overall financial plan from an income standpoint. And then, we guide you through personal situation checkpoints, like your health status, life expectancy, and your need for income. If you’re married, you must remember that your plan doesn’t just impact you, it also impacts the surviving spouse. If one person passes, the highest benefit sticks.
When many people file with the Social Security Administration to begin taking their benefits, they forget or don’t realize there could be as many as 400 different iterations when you file. It’s essential to understand when the best time for you will be to start receiving benefits, which can only be accurately discovered through the planning process. More times than not, it always comes back to the plan because that is the heart of what proper financial planning is about. Osiwala Financial Group advisors provide this service to our clients by taking a holistic approach to all its various aspects, including investments, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and Social Security.
When people are getting ready to retire, the most common concern clients ask me is if they have enough money. That’s a good question and one that needs a lot of research. If we are meeting for the first time, we ask questions that include:
- How much have you saved?
- Do you have a pension?
- Are there other assets you own outside of the conventional retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s?
One of the most common barriers people encounter that affects their retirement date (beyond having enough income saved) is Medicare. People often wish to retire at the age of 62. And if they have enough money saved up for retirement, they might be able to pull off a timely retirement. However, healthcare expenses will most likely be eating into your spendable income if one of you isn’t working with an employee-sponsored healthcare plan. One possible solution is to wait until you are 65 and claim Medicare instead of privately paying insurance which is typically very expensive.
It’s essential to stay patient. I know many people turn 60 and start getting anxious to retire. I get it. And while I don’t want to start sounding like a broken record, if there is any chance you may want to retire at a particular age before 65, make sure that reality is factored into your retirement plan. But don’t confuse being patient with doing nothing. There are a lot of opportunities out there, even with the struggling economy we are currently experiencing. Some opportunities may include a Roth Conversion, tax-loss harvesting, maximizing Social Security, rebalancing your portfolio, or something else.
Whenever I tell people that we need to take advantage of our financial opportunities, people look at me like I’m crazy. And that’s because they think there aren’t viable strategies available. However, we can utilize a number of different strategies when we’re in these environments to compound the benefits. If we’re diligent and ensure these opportunities apply positively in the retirement plan, we can make lemonade out of lemons.
At the end of the day, you must plan for retirement; the earlier, the better. You don’t want to go through life with a plan of hope. To help you out, Osiwala Financial Group is offering an incredible opportunity. Go to OFGwealth.com/radio, and on the right side of the page, hit the “Start Building Your Plan” button and enter some basic information to start building your retirement plan today!