Social Security Planning

Spokane, WA area Financial Advisor Helps with Social Security Planning

Determining Social Security and Medicare Benefits for You and Your Spouse

A secure, comfortable retirement is every worker's dream.  And now because we are living longer, healthier lives, we can expect to spend more time in retirement than our parents and grandparents did.  Being prepared when you retire can open new avenues of possibilities. Combined with pensions, savings and investments, your Social Security benefits are an important element of your retirement portfolio

Previously, the Social Security Agency (SSA) sent all working Americans an annual statement about three months before their birthday. The statement included one's lifetime earnings record, as well as estimates of retirement, disability, and family survivor benefits. It also reported earned credits, which indicated if you would qualify for Medicare at age 65. 

Now, by creating a my Social Security online account, you can and should review your current Social Security Statement annually to ensure the SSA has current and correct information about your work history.  You can also Find Out if you Qualify for Benefits, and Estimate your Future Benefits using the online download options at Additionally, consider using one or more of the following methods to help with your retirement planning:

• The Retirement Estimator gives estimates of your retirement monthly benefit, based on your actual Social Security earnings record. The estimator shows early (age 62), full (ages 65-67 depending upon your year of birth), and delayed (age 70). The Retirement Estimator also lets you create additional "what if" retirement scenarios based on current law.

• If you do not have an earnings record with Social Security or cannot access it, there are also other quick calculators that do not tie into your earnings record. 1 The calculators will show your retirement benefits as well as disability and survivor benefit amounts if you should become disabled or die. Social Security should be a part of your retirement income planning. Make a point of checking out your estimated benefits at least annually so you know how much to expect -- and how much you'll need to provide from your own savings.

• In most instances, you become eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month you turn age 65. Whether you need to sign up, and how to go about doing so, depends on the type of coverage you select and whether you collect Social Security benefits prior to becoming eligible for Medicare

Determining a Strategy to Choose the Best Retirement Age

One question to consider as you begin to develop your retirement strategy is to know when you should begin collecting Social Security? The answer depends in part on how long you think you'll be around to collect it. Those choosing to collect before their normal retirement age face a reduction in monthly payments by as much as 30%.

A growing number of Americans have chosen to delay their planned retirement date due to job and savings losses.  Postponing retirement not only means working longer, but also delaying when you start collecting Social Security. Currently, workers can begin collecting Social Security as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. The longer you wait to start collecting, the higher your monthly payment will be. Your Social Security monthly payment is based on your earnings history and the age at which you begin collecting compared with your normal retirement age. This normal retirement age depends on the year you were born.


Year Born

Normal Retirement Age

1937 or earlier



65 and 2 months


65 and 4 months


65 and 6 months


65 and 8 months


65 and 10 months




66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 or later



For those opting to delay collecting until after their normal retirement age, monthly payments increase by an amount that varies based on the year you were born. For each month you delay retirement past your normal retirement age, your monthly benefit will increase until you reach age 70 when monthly benefits will stop increasing even if you continue to delay taking benefits.

In summary, Social Security should be a part of your retirement income planning. Make a point of checking out your estimated benefits at least annually so you know how much to expect -- and how much you'll need to provide from your own savings

The most important thing you can do to help secure a financial future that aligns with your goals is to begin planning today. Your financial planner can help you get started with a free, no-obligation appointment.

Estimates are based on basic data and are not your personal numbers

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