Social Security: The Bridge Method

Determining when to take your Social Security may be one of the most impactful decisions you choose when it comes to your retirement. There are several factors that you should consider when determining the best time to take your own Social Security and one strategy you may want to implement – the bridge method.

Factors To Consider For Social Security

When you’re trying to determine when the best time to take your own Social Security might be, there are several factors to take into account – from your potential life expectancy, to your investments and income, to your family structure. Each of these factors plays a role in the timing of your retirement and Social Security. For example, if you have a family history of longevity, you may feel more comfortable delaying Social Security. If you’re currently working and bringing in income, you may wish to delay your Social Security due to potential tax implications. You expenses and investments certainly play a role in when you want to take your benefits, as does the structure of your family and if you have a spouse, when they may take their own befits.

The Social Security Bridge Method

While all of those factors are important and go into the decision making process, you may also wish to implement the Social Security bridge method. While you can begin collecting your Social Security at age 62, this is considered to be early – everyone reaches a Full Retirement Age (FRA) where they can then collect 100% of their benefits, usually around age 66 or 67, so if you collect before that (say at age 62) you’d lose out on your maximum benefits. If you continue to wait beyond your FRA, you can collect even beyond that 100% of your benefits – up to age 70 where you’d receive roughly 132% of your benefits.

As you can see, the longer you wait to take your benefits the more you stand to earn. Here’s where you can “bridge” the gap – instead of taking Social Security early at age 62, take money our of an IRA or 401(k) at that time instead.

This way, you’re allowing that Social Security to continue to grow 8% year over year – the key being that you don’t take more money from your IRA/401(k) than your Social Security benefit. It also benefits you if you pull the funds from your more conservative investments as they are more likely to surpass that 8% rate of return needed to eclipse the Social Security growth.

As with anything regarding your retirement, it’s best to talk through your personal situation with a financial advisor so they can tailor your plan to your specific goals and risk tolerance.

Disclosure: Diversified, LLC is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the SEC. A copy of Diversified’s current written disclosure brochure which discusses, among other things, the firm’s business practices, services and fees, is available through the SEC’s website at: Investments in securities involve risk, including the possible loss of principal. The information on this website is not a recommendation nor an offer to sell (or solicitation of an offer to buy) securities in the United States or in any other jurisdiction.

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