When is the best time to take social security?

This is a question that is usually on the minds of many clients that are approaching retirement age. We like to initiate the conversation with our clients by asking them for their thoughts toward taking social security.  Some have preconceived ideas about when to apply for social security but most have not done any real analysis.  The answer about the best time to apply for social security is highly dependent upon the individual or couple’s unique situation.  Health, wage history of spouse, age differential between spouses, amount of other income sources, and risk tolerance can all be factors that can influence the optimal time to begin receiving social security benefits. Our office has the ability to perform a social security analysis and incorporate it into your retirement plan. You have paid into social security during your working years and now you want to be smart about managing the benefits.

What’s the best way to save and should I change the way I invest as I get closer to retirement?

There is certainly a difference between being in the accumulation phase of life and in the distribution phase.  Accumulation means using the tax code to your advantage and utilizing the appropriate investment vehicle based on your income and employment status.  If you are an employee you may be able to take advantage of plans that your employer has established. If you are self-employed you may want to create a plan for your business. We have experience with both.
Additionally in the accumulation phase inevitable market declines allow individuals to “buy more shares as cheaper prices.” However in the distribution phase market volatility can create havoc as it can force an investor to sell more shares to raise a set dollar amount. Managing money means managing risk. 

I work(ed) for a company and they are offering a lump sum payout of my retirement plan, should I take the lump sum or stay with the annuity payment?

This is a question we are seeing more frequently as companies try to shed the liability of their pension plan. The answer is highly dependent upon the client’s unique situation. What is the client’s health status? If there is a survivor benefit, if so, what is the health status of their spouse? How much in wealth has the client already been able to accumulate for retirement? What is the client‘s risk tolerance? Knowing the answers to these questions can help the client make an informed decision about the option that is right for them.

Do I have enough money to retire?

This is a question we get frequently. Many of our clients have a working career that spans 30-50 years. They are accustomed to receiving a paycheck and have no experience being retired. We can run a retirement plan to help see if you are on course to meet your retirement goals. Whether you are on course on not, we can make recommendations to help you address your goals.