Two easy fixes for Social Security's biggest mistake


[retirement couple social security]
How to undo your Social Security mistakes  Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 | 8:30 AM ET | 01:33Feel like you need to take a mulligan on your Social Security strategy?

More than one-third of retirees decide to claim their benefits as soon as they can, at age 62. 


"They feel nervous Social Security will not be there, so they take it early," said Jennifer Birchett, principal wealth advisor of True Wealth Management in Atlanta. "We try to encourage confidence that, yes, it will be there."

Retirees may have good reason to be worried. The program's trust fund is projected to run out of money in 2030, meaning there won't be enough cash to pay recipients 100 percent of their benefits. Republicans, led by house speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), are proposing reforms such as raising the retirement age or capping payouts for high-income workers — something President Donald Trump has yet to officially weigh in on.

Still, many financial advisors, including Birchett, say claiming right away is a bad idea since you'll only get 75 percent of your monthly benefit than if you had waited. Ideally, older Americans should wait at least until they reach their full retirement age — which is currently 66 — in order to get the entire amount you are entitled to. Delaying your benefit even longer will mean an even bigger payout. 

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