The Road To Retirement - Planning for Social Security


Are you ready to retire? Do you know enough about your social security? Do you think that are ready to retire? Are you certain that you have all the steps in place to make sure that you can take care of yourself after you stop working? I thought that I had a good grasp on all the necessary information for this period of my life. However, after I attended a Merrill Lynch seminar on Social Security earlier this week, I was shocked to discover all of the things that married couples need to talk about. As you can imagine the rules and regulations have changed drastically since our parents have retired.

Timing is everything!

One of the important things to know about your Social Security is when to start withdrawing from it. Is it 67 or 70 years old? If you can afford to, it is wise to wait until age 70 to begin claiming benefits. Why? Waiting an extra three years allows you to receive 8% interest annually on this income. This extra time generates an additional 30% for you to enjoy in your advanced age. However, keep in mind that if you do not claim this assistance at 70 – you give up your benefits for each month that you do not apply for them. If you claim your Social Security at 67, you lose 25% of your lifetime Social Security. Additionally, if you change your mind within a year, you have the option to return all of the money that you have received and claim your Social Security at 70. Keep in mind that because of past fraudulent activities, this process has several stipulations in order to prevent seniors from abusing the law.

When should you think about retirement?

In my opinion, we should start thinking about retirement as soon as we enter the workforce but it is a must in our 50’s. The sooner you start planning for your future, the more secure your retirement years will be. One of the steps you can take to get ready for this time in your life is investing in real estate. For those of you who say that it is too uncertain to bank on this market, I say, “look at the cycles.” When buying property you must ask yourself, “Can I financially hold on to this property for ten years?” If the answer is “Yes,” then investing in real estate makes sense as the market has never remained under a 5% appreciation average in a ten-year period.

What can I do if I am a senior and not ready yet?

If you are already in your senior years, you can consider the reverse mortgage process. A reverse mortgage is “a type of mortgage in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the mortgage (principal or interest) is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold.” This process makes it easier for seniors to stay in their home and the absence of mortgage payments creates disposable income.

To finish, good planning is always a wise path for seniors. I recommend finding a great advisor who understands the retirement process. Partnering with someone who can guide you through the process and ensure that you can enjoy your golden years is essential. If you have not started thinking about retirement, I urge you to begin doing so. The years go by very quickly and it is necessary to safeguard your ability to take care of yourself.

 Are YOU ready for retirement?