People’s judgments concerning retirement benefits may be influenced by unfavorable news about the future of Social Security.
Here are the areas experts advise you to pay attention to instead if you want to make a claim.
The first Republican presidential debate mostly avoided talking about Social Security.
But a new study from the Nationwide Retirement Institute reveals that Americans are very concerned about the program’s future.
According to a survey of 1,806 people conducted between May and June, 75% of those over 50 are concerned that Social Security may run out of money within their lives.
These worries have become worse as the program’s funding deadlines get near.
Social Security’s trustees, the program’s combined reserves will run out in 2034, when 80% of payments become payable.
The retirement benefit fund that the program depends on is expected to survive until 2033, barely a decade from now, with 77% of payments due then.
As more Americans depend on Social Security as their primary source of income, with 21% doing so as of Nationwide’s most recent retirement study, up from 13% in 2014, there is uncertainty about the program’s sustainability.
Just 31% of respondents claimed they presently get pension income, compared to 48% ten years ago.
Maximizing Social Security Benefits in Uncertain Times
While Social Security’s future is still up in the air, experts say there are a few things individuals can do to put themselves in a position to get the maximum amount of benefits.
Adapt your claim approach to your unique circumstances: According to a recent Schroders poll, uncertainty about the future of Social Security is the main factor driving many retirees to file claims before full retirement age, when they are eligible to collect 100% of the benefits they have earned, and age 70, the age at which waiting to receive benefits may pay off. Using this calculator, you can determine when you can fully retire.
However, experts advise basing your retirement claim strategy on your circumstances rather than worries about the program’s future.
If there are changes in the future, you will be in a good position if you focus on the claim strategy that will provide you with the most rewards.
Become knowledgeable about the details of the laws: According to a poll by Nationwide, despite the complicated requirements of Social Security, 49% of respondents stated they know how to make the most of their benefits.
Only 13% of people, however, can accurately predict the age at which they are fully eligible for all of the benefits they have accrued—the age at which they can retire.
According to experts, the best course of action is to familiarize yourself with the program’s guidelines, including the data provided by the Social Security Administration.
It is beneficial to create an online Social Security account where you can verify your salary history and other important data to estimate how much money you may be eligible for in retirement.
Workers at the Social Security office shouldn’t be consulted for help by prospective beneficiaries since they may need to be more knowledgeable about effective claim tactics.
Instead, speaking with a financial counselor knowledgeable about Social Security may assist you in determining the best claiming approach for your unique circumstances.
Tina Ambrozy, senior vice president of strategic customer solutions at Nationwide, counsels against waiting until you’ve already filed and are beginning to collect before realizing your mistake.