Broker Check
6 To-Dos Before Claiming Social Security

6 To-Dos Before Claiming Social Security

October 25, 2023

You’ve probably worked your whole life to save for retirement, so when it comes time to live your retirement life, don’t let the small things go forgotten! See these Social Security To-Dos to prepare:

1. Know Your Full Retirement Age
The full retirement age is commonly noted as 65-67. But each person’s full retirement age is unique based on when they were born and will fall within that range. You can find your full retirement age by using the Social Security Association’s (SSA) Retirement Age Calculator.

2. Check If Your Income History is Properly Recorded
Part of the calculation that goes into your Social Security benefit amount is the average earnings of your top 35 years of income generation. So, if the SSA makes a mistake in recording your earnings, your monthly payment could suffer for it.

3. Make an Online Social Security Administration Account
You might not know this, but the SSA has an online resource that can make getting the information you need much more accessible! If you have a Social Security number, email address, and mailing address, you can create an account.

4. Figure Out Where Your Income Will Come From
Part of your Social Security benefit amount is based on how much additional income you’ll have. Before you estimate your Social Security amount, you’ll need to factor in how much you expect from retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s.

5. How Much Do You Expect to Spend?
For many, optimizing spending is more important than making as much money as possible in retirement. Create an expected budget and factor in your lifestyle needs and desires.

6. Factor in Your Spousal Situation
Depending on who is earning more or is the primary financial supporter, you can optimize and strategize your Social Security claiming timelines to make sure that you both are protected and the optimal amount of money enters your household.