Social Security was designed as a safety net. Just how much it matters to your financial well-being will depend on your other retirement income sources, including how much you’ve managed to save; whether you’ll receive a pension from your employer; and whether you will have any other sources of income in retirement. Once you understand these benefits, it becomes clear that Social Security is an income stream that can play a key role in funding your retirement.
Whether you’ve given Social Security much thought over the years or not, you have been involved in the program since the first time you had wages withheld for FICA (The Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. All of those FICA contributions you’ve made since then will eventually be returned to you in the form of monthly Social Security benefits checks and hospital insurance coverage under Medicare.
Social Security benefits are generally not inconsequential. In 2009, a higher wage-earner and / or someone who paid the maximum into Social Security each year and who files for benefits in 2009 would expect to receive in excess of $25,000 for the full year. For a dual-income couple, with each spouse entitled to benefits under their own records, annual benefits could add up to a significant amount of income.
Better still, Social Security benefits are adjusted annually for inflation and are guaranteed to last your lifetime. Your benefits can even continue throughout your spouse’s lifetime if he/she outlives you.
Retirement is Not as Far Off as it Seems
We all want to find ourselves enjoying a comfortable lifestyle when the time comes to retire. The tough part is anticipating all of the steps required to get there-especially when each of those steps requires us to make decisions that may not be as simple and straightforward as we’d like.
See Your Choices More Clearly
Living the retirement you’ve always imagine will take foresight, patience, and a smart plan. So you’ll want to turn to someone who can help you break down your decisions and shed light on your options-someone like your financial advisor. You’ll see things more clearly if you can filter out the confusing and sometimes conflicting messages, such as those surrounding the role Social Security can play in supplementing your retirement income.
Is Social Security Part of Your Plan?
Social Security is among the largest of the big government programs. Yet, if someone were to ask you what you know about it, and about what role it might plan in funding your own retirement, how well would you be able to respond? Learn more.
The program has been in the headlines for years, but the news regarding its health has been so confusing, you may not have taken into account your potential benefits under the program when planning for retirement. You may also not have considered that those benefits could be sufficient enough to impact your plans.
But, when it comes to Social Security, there may be more to the program than you might think. In fact, the more familiar you become with its features, the more likely you are to find that it could, depending upon your circumstances, play a key role in creating a comprehensive retirement plan. Learn more about the Social Security timeline.
It All Starts with a Smart Plan
Advisors who have made a commitment to understanding the ins and outs of the Social Security program and who have the background needed to help you make the right decisions when it comes to fitting Social Security into your future can be a valuable resource. For example, your advisor can assist you when it comes time to make such key decisions as:
- When and how to begin the filing process
- When and how to file for Medicare
- How to coordinate your Social Security benefits with your other sources of retirement income
- How to maximize your benefits
- How to coordinate your benefits (and other retirement assets) so that they last throughout your lifetime
Jeffrey G Thatcher®, HVFCU Financial Services located at Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union,
9 Mall Plaza
1810 South Road, Suite 121
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
845.463.3366, (fax) 845.463.4172
email: [email protected]
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA /SIPC. Insurance products offered through LPL financial or its licensed affiliates. Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union and HVFCU Financial Services are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial.
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