Social Security Checkmate, part 3 of 5 taken from the entire episode of Right on the Money, Conservative Investors and Savers.
Synopsis When you’re deep into the game, there are only so many moves left on the board. If Social Security is to remain part of our retirement culture, it must change because of the immutable truth of the math, not because of the politics. You can extend the full retirement age. You can raise FICA contributions. You can reduce benefits. You can eliminate recipients through means testing. Every idea is on the table.
Content The worst first: Imposing means testing is one solution—but it’s a bad one. It’s bad enough the government taxes the Social Security benefits of seniors who have other retirement income. But flat out taking away benefits earned is tyrannical taxation.
Another idea is reduced benefits. If you keep FICA contributions static, reduced benefits just becomes a stealth tax. You could raise FICA taxes, but that’s not likely until during an election year and it would devalue the benefits you received later on. You could change the Social Security timeline by first moving survivor benefits from age 60 to age 62 and early access to Social Security from age 62 to age 65 and full retirement age to age 70. Then you extend the maximum benefit to age 75. With life expectancy increasing, changing your timeline may be a matter of time.
Six months ago, no observer of the Social Security system would have ever dreamed the government would tinker with baby boomer retirees. But late last year, Congress reallocated billions of dollars away from the Social Security retirement program to prop up the failing Social Security disability fund. To accomplish this, the government eliminated the File & Suspend provision for those not age 66 before April 30, 2016, and the use of a Restrictive Application for those not age 62 by December 31, 2015. So after last year’s congressional maneuverer, boomers are nervous. Could Social Security be tinkered with again?
If you’re near retirement, you have some serious thinking to do. If you can work until age 70, you should. The extra years you delay in taking Social Security can pay off big when you begin take maximum benefits at age 70. The difference between taking your Social Security benefits at age 70 rather than age 62 is significant, especially if you live longer than your mid-80s. Watch the video interview on Social Security with financial advisor and author Eric Judy, taken from the talk show Right on the Money. Eric also has co-authored The New Retirement, a Paradigm Shift. Whatever moves you’re considering to take, consult a financial advisor who has expertise in Social Security.
Syndicated financial columnist and talk show Steve Savant interviews Eric Judy, financial adviser, best selling author and top online video blogger on Right on the Money Part 3 of 5 taken from the entire episode entitled Conservative Investors and Savers.