Richard W. Paul/Kiplinger Consumer News Service
The dot.com crash in 2000. The 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The collapse of the housing market in 2008. And now the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Over the past two decades these events—which had huge financial repercussions—have all been labeled as “black swans.” Can you draw comfort from the thought that each of these crises was considered so random, so rare and so difficult to predict that no one saw them coming? Investors, there is always something coming!
Myth #1: You must claim social security at age 62.
The earliest you can claim SS is at the age of 62 but waiting until at least 70 can have more benefits. To get started, you need to figure out your full retirement age or 'FRA' by visiting SSA.gov. If you claim SS prior to your FRA, you will permanently reduce your monthly income. If you delay claiming SS after the age 62, there is roughly an 8% additional monthly income per year for each year you delay (up to age 70).
Myth #2: You will never get back the money you put in.
Everyone's situation is different, but if you live a long time, you may actually get more money from the program than you contributed. One great feature of Social Security is that it provides an inflation-protected guaranteed income stream in retirement. Therefore, even if you live to 100 years old, you will continue to receive your monthly income. If you predecease your spouse, your spouse also receives survivor benefits until his/her death.
Myth #3: My Ex's actions could negatively impact my benefits.
If you were married for 10 consecutive years, have not remarried, reached your FRA, than you are entitled to your own benefit or to 50% of your ex's SS benefit, whichever is higher. There is no need to discuss with your ex-spouse and your claim does not reduce your ex's benefits.
Myth #4: Your benefits are based on income prior to age 65.
Your benefits are calculated based on 35 years of earnings (not consecutive or before the age of 35). If you don't have 35 years of income (even part-time income counts), than zeroes will be calculated.
Myth #5: You can claim benefits early and get added income once you reach FRA.
This is a misconception. There is no ‘bumping’ up of income once you have claimed your social security benefit.
Claiming your social security is an important part of your retirement plan, but start planning early. Questions about your Social Security benefits? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Brien@traditionswealthadvisors.com or 979-694-9100. We are here to serve you!
Source: Fidelity Viewpoints. 24 August 2020. https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/social-security-myths
7 Tips on how to detect phishing e-mail scams:
1. Read the e-mail address carefully and don't trust the 'display' name. It is easy to make a false e-mail address with the same display name as someone you know and trust.
2. Trust your instinct! If something in the e-mail looks off even when the e-mail address is correct, don't reply.
3. Don't click links in e-mails you are concerned about.
4. Check for grammar and spelling errors as a sign of a false e-mail.
5. Don't download attachments as those could lead to a virus on your computer.
6. An immediate 'call to action' such as 'update password immediately' is a red flag for a phishing e-mail.
7. Don't send your personal information through e-mail. Instead, login to the website and update through a secure site.