So You're An Expert In Social Security? Really?

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Think you know enough about Social Security to make the best decision about when to claim your benefits? Join the crowd. In a just released survey of 55 and older workers, 24% say they are “very  confident” and another 53% described themselves as “somewhat confident” that they know enough to make that big decision.

Those numbers alone should give you an uneasy feeling. If three-fourths of older Americans think they know when to claim their Social Security benefits, don't you think at least half of them must be mistaken? Since when do 75% of Americans agree of anything?

The survey results in the recent Forbes article "Big Retirement Mistake: Thinking You Know When To Claim Social Security, When You Don't" should prompt you to speak with an elder law attorney. He or she can help you make the decision to claim your Social Security benefits—not when other older workers believe it's right—but rather based on your specific situation.

As you read more of this article, you will see that the majority of Americans claim Social Security right at age 62 or within a few months of retirement (the latter of the two), but don’t start spending their 401(k)s and IRAs before age 70½ when the required minimum distributions from traditional pre-tax accounts must begin. Many individuals would be further ahead if they were to spend some 401(k) money earlier in retirement and postpone claiming Social Security.

Your estate planning attorney will work with you and your financial advisors to maximize your income throughout retirement, and analyze your specific family situation, pensions, savings, investments, and taxes to determine what the best course of action is for you—regardless of what the others might think is correct.

If you want to talk with an estate planning attorney, visit

 Reference: Forbes (March 11, 2014) "Big Retirement Mistake: Thinking You Know When To Claim Social Security, When You Don't"


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