Posted By RichC on March 12, 2015
In discussing FICA taxes the other day, I discovered just how much I didn’t know about one of the biggest taxes we pay throughout our entire working lives. I’m guessing most Americans are in my shoes?
Now “let me be clear,” as President Obama has been known to say, I’m NOT “that” close to retirement or Social Security yet, but learning and planning is definitely the key to maximizing benefits. I heard about Laurence Kotikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman’s new book and decided to download the a fairly extensive eBook: Get What’s Yours, the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. The informative book was published in February 2015 and explains many of the complicated rules (traps and loopholes) that retirees need to navigate when they reach a decision point … as early as 62 … or in the case of disability far earlier.
One of the charts in Chapter 1 that surprised me was just how few Americans decide to wait until “full retirement age – currently 66” or the “maximum benefit age -70+” to begin collecting their Social Security. Perhaps the Great Recession contributed to such high percentages claiming Social Security at age 62 when their lifetime check is the smallest? What it tells me is how ill-prepared our population is for their retirement years.
One would think that if a person could prepare to either work a few more years or have saved enough retirement saving to “last until they were 70” (or a little of both) … they they would receive far more from Social Security by waiting IF they are healthy and had an average life expectance over 81 years.
On the other hand, maybe I’m “opining” a bit too much prior to reading the book and that there is a bit more to the calculation … like “filing and suspending” or “applying for spousal benefits?” Ah … that’s why you need this book or may at least plug your information into the $40 Maximize My Social Security Planner service.
Amazon Book Description: – BUY eBook
Learn the secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits and earn up to thousands of dollars more each year with expert advice that you can’t get anywhere else.
Want to know how to navigate the forbidding maze of Social Security and emerge with the highest possible benefits? You could try reading all 2,728 rules of the Social Security system (and the thousands of explanations of these rules), but Kotlikoff, Moeller, and Solman explain Social Security benefits in an easy to understand and user-friendly style. What you don’t know can seriously hurt you: wrong decisions about which Social Security benefits to apply for cost some individual retirees tens of thousands of dollars in lost income every year.
How many retirees or those nearing retirement know about such Social Security options as file and suspend (apply for benefits and then don’t take them)? Or start stop start (start benefits, stop them, then re-start them)? Or—just as important—when and how to use these techniques? Get What’s Yours covers the most frequent benefit scenarios faced by married retired couples, by divorced retirees, by widows and widowers, among others. It explains what to do if you’re a retired parent of dependent children, disabled, or an eligible beneficiary who continues to work, and how to plan wisely before retirement. It addresses the tax consequences of your choices, as well as the financial implications for other investments.
Many personal finance books briefly address Social Security, but none offers the thorough, authoritative, yet conversational analysis found here. You’ve paid all your working life for these benefits. Now, get what’s yours.