The “Social Security Elephant” in the Room: When, Why, and How You Should File for Social Security

Social Security is the biggest source of government-guaranteed, inflation-adjusted, lifetime income you’ll have in retirement, but much of the available information is contradictory, confusing, and downright incorrect.

96% of Social Security claimants fail to make the optimal claiming decision. That means they lose out on an estimated $3.4 trillion in potential retirement income (on average $111,000 per household). The average recipient would receive 9% more income in retirement if they made the financially optimal decision about when to claim this retirement benefit.1

Even the Social Security Administration (the one place you would expect to get the best information) frequently gives out bad advice. In fact, a 2018 report by the SSA itself found that bad Social Security advice has cost Americans $131 million.2

There’s no such thing as a boilerplate Social Security strategy. There are over 2,700 Social Security claiming rules, yielding over 567 separate filing strategies for a married couple to consider.3

Somewhere in all those rules and regulations is one optimal way for you to file to maximize your guaranteed income, protect your spouse’s income, and create your tax-optimized retirement paycheck.

Discover when, why, and how to maximize your benefits in this free guide. This guide breaks down the complex considerations governing your Social Security claiming decision into clear questions (and includes a simple decision flowchart you can complete in 5 minutes).

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Inside the Investor Mind: Bias, Belief, and a Better Way to Make Financial Decisions

Inside the Investor Mind: Bias, Belief, and a Better Way to Make Financial Decisions

What do you think it would take to make better—or even perfect—financial decisions? More information or more time? Even with that, you can also use less to do more with your money. And that means less bias when it’s time to make key financial decisions. Our feelings, muddled memories, and even faulty reasoning can all nurture our biases. So can our fears and “intuition.” Still, with a little understanding of those biases, we can start to break free of them.1 That’s the focus of this month’s Visual Insights Newsletter. Click here to see it! No...

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