How long does it take to plan a 7-day family vacation? Can’t it be stressful? The easy part is figuring out where you want to go, deciding what you want to do, who you want to do it with. The hard part is coordinating it all. Can you coordinate schedules for those you want to attend? Can everyone afford the destination you’d like to visit? Is the destination a safe and a good fit for all parties? How does everyone get there? Are you getting good deals on travel? And the list goes on.
Well, what if your vacation was to last longer? Say 30 years? That’s how long some of us will live in our retirement years. Studies show that people spend more time planning their vacations than their retirement. Making an uninformed decision for a 7-day trip might result in a bad room or a few bad meals, but making an uninformed decision when it comes to your retirement could be disastrous for the rest of your life. A common concern among Baby Boomers is “am I going to outlive my money or is my money going to outlive me?” This is a valid concern as most don’t want to become a burden on their loved ones in their later years.
One of the main questions Boomers are facing is how to claim Social Security benefits. For some, Social Security will be the only guaranteed income stream they have in their retirement years. Understanding Social Security claiming strategies and maximizing your benefits while coordinating with other assets can be very challenging if you don’t have a clear understanding of the rules. Currently, a couple has 567 ways to claim Social Security benefits. Filing incorrectly could cost you and your spouse tens of thousands of dollars.
The issue is this: it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan. The best claiming strategy of Social Security is different for each individual. Each couple has different pieces to the retirement puzzle that could influence their decision. So, understanding all of your options is necessary.
For the average couple, the combined benefits could have a “lump sum” value of north of $1 million over their life expectancies. That isn’t something that should be taken lightly. As you begin to plan for your 30-year vacation, make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your family and loved ones.
To learn how to take charge of your retirement plan, we’d like to invite you to join us for a two-day class focused on the topics of Social Security, Annuities and Retirement Income. Our class will be held at SIUE in B. Barnard Birger Hall at 6:30 p.m. March 15 and March 22, and again at 5:30 p.m. March 16 and 23. The cost of the class is $30 per household. For more information, please contact us at (618) 659-5133 or email email@example.com.
Mark Allaria is a wealth management adviser.