Preparing For Retirement: Understanding Social Security And Making It Work For You

  • Forbes | by: Eric Brotman |
  • 2019-02-06
On every paycheck, we’re reminded that we will have an income once we retire: Social Security. But how many people truly understand what it is, how it works and where it came from?

When Social Security was first introduced in 1935, it was a program created to make sure the elderly weren’t destitute in retirement. At that time, if a person lived long enough to see retirement at 65, they only had an average of seven years to plan for financially. Social Security was meant to ensure financial stability during these years.

Now, retirement still tends to start at 65 but people are living well into their 80s or longer. What used to be a seven-year period to plan for can now be more than 20 years. Social Security is still in place, but we need to be strategic about how and when we use it in order to maximize the benefits we receive.

When should I file for Social Security?

There are different ages at which you can begin receiving Social Security income, but they don’t all yield the same benefit. In fact, the earlier you file, the less you may be entitled to receive.

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