Social Security Myth #4 – You Must Take Social Security As Soon as You Retire

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myths-of-social-security-4Myth: You must claim Social Security benefits as soon as you stop working completely.

Answer: False. You can delay your earned benefits until age 70 to get a higher monthly benefit, even if you stop working earlier. Though your approach will depend on your financial situation and life expectancy, you could benefit by delaying.

The Scoop: Everyone faces this question: “When should I start taking Social Security?” The answer is not as simple as you might think. The real answer is, “It depends.” Continue reading

Social Security Myth #3 – Once You Start Taking Social Security, It’s Fixed Forever

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myths-of-social-security-3Myth: Once you start collecting Social Security benefits, your payments are adjusted for inflation.

Answer: True. Social Security will adjust for inflation every year to help you keep up with rising costs.

The Scoop: Once you start taking Social Security, you are setting your benefit based upon your age. Because that information is based on your personal information, the amount you get will also be very personal. You can get an estimate based on your age and earnings from the Social Security Administration. Continue reading

Social Security Myth #2 – If Your Spouse Dies, You Can’t Collect

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myths-of-social-security-2Myth: If a working, married person paying Social Security taxes dies, the spouse can get survivor benefits from Social Security even if there are no children.

Answer: True. Survivors can collect benefits based on their deceased spouse’s work history and earnings once they turn age 60, even if they have no children. If they’re caring for a qualifying child, they can collect benefits before age 60.

The Scoop: Social Security provides survivors benefits for the spouses, children, dependent parents and former spouses of deceased workers. Continue reading

Social Security Myth #1 – When It Comes to Social Security Age Doesn’t Matter

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myths-of-social-security-1Myth: You’ll receive the same monthly Social Security benefit no matter how old you are when you start collecting.

Answer: False. You can start your earned benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. For every year you wait, your payments increase by 6-8%.

The Scoop: We aren’t sure how the rumor got started, but many people think that Social Security is a fixed amount of income. That no matter when you decide to start taking it, you’re going to get the same amount of money. That’s just not true.

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Income in Retirement – A Concept That Can Scare Those Wanting to Retire

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Financial Engines Hopefully, there will come a time when you no longer have to work. You might do something on the side or have an encore career, but ideally it will be because you want to do it, not because you have to. When you retire, you won’t have your normal income from your job, but that’s where the money you saved in your 401(k), SEP or IRA account and Social Security will come into play.

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Why Awareness and Guidance Matter When it Comes to Social Security

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FinancialEngines_Social_Security_Infographic_3_th You might already know that you are eligible to start claiming Social Security benefits when you reach age 62. But are you aware that there are thousands of possible claiming options (we found more than 8,000 different claiming options for a married couple!)? Or that the right claiming strategy could increase the amount of lifetime Social Security benefits you receive by as much as $100K for a single person or $250K for a married couple?

If that’s news to you, you are not alone. Continue reading

Check Out Our New Financial Engines Infographic: Demystifying Social Security

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FinancialEngines_Infographic_D8On Tuesday, Financial Engines issued a new research study, conducted by Greenwald & Associates, highlighting the disconnect between what near-retirees think they know about Social Security and what they actually know. Below are the key findings in an easy-to-digest infographic. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

And don’t forget to test your own Social Security knowledge in our quiz, which was just highlighted in Forbes.

Nearing Retirement? Seven Facts to Get You Thinking About What’s Next

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blog-200x290As you finally get the kids off to college or at least into high school, you might start to think about what it might take to retire. Of course, today, with the New Retirement, what that means exactly is pretty much up to you. One thing is for sure, as we get older, as a cohort, there are things we have in common. Our income will likely be affected. Our relationships may evolve and change. And how we live may change too.

Here are some fast facts to help you understand the retirement landscape so you can start thinking about what you’ll want to do to plan for the next chapter in your life. Continue reading

What to Consider When Passing On Your Legacy

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iStock_000020028955SmallWhen it comes to legacies, it’s never too early to start planning. We know that thinking about what will happen to your money and assets after you die can be stressful and overwhelming and that’s why we’re here to help.

How can you ensure that your retirement needs are met while also providing for your loved ones? Is it best to give now or later? Leaving an inheritance means you’ll hang on to your money until you die. Gifting can start right now as you start to divest your savings and give your money away while you are alive. Continue reading

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