Social Security: Why it is important to do the homework enough in advance before eligibility

Social Security. Do these words bring images of relief or fear? Perhaps relief for some, and fear for many. Relief for those receiving payments or are fairly confident of its solvency when it is time to receive payments, fear for the skeptics.

In addition to the above, this insightful study conducted by the BMO Retirement Institute highlights additional findings that validate the subjective considerations when people decide when to begin to cash in this benefit.

Before deciding when to begin taking payments from Social Security, it is vital to understand all the options available, for self and spouse, pros and cons of taking payments at the date of earliest eligibility vs. waiting until an appropriate time based on years expected in retirement, other funding sources to satisfy cash flow requirements, among the many other considerations.

As with most financial decisions of a long term nature, such as this one, it is very important to have enough information of your financial situation to decide when to start the planning process, and how far in advance of the eligibility to receive payments.

Gathering that data in advance helps stay mentally prepared when the time comes.

So, the question is: Where are you in this cycle, and if close to retirement, have you begun the preparation? If retirement is not in the near future, are you in the skeptics camp, and if so, are you preparing Plan B?

Something to think about, and decide how, and when to act.