Money & Career | Retirement Roundup
SOCIAL SECURITY AND YOU by Kristy Como Armand
Whether retirement is 30 years away or 10, at some point you’ll wonder if you have enough money to cover your daily living expenses. Hopefully the question comes sooner than later, says Certified Financial Planner Denise Rau, President of Rau Financial Group. Maybe it’s already been asked and answered. Or maybe you’re not giving it much consideration because you know Social Security will be there to cushion the fall. If that’s the case, you have some more mulling-over to do, Rau says. “It’s certainly nice to know that Social Security is there to help provide for your financial future,” she says. “After all, it’s income for life, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, especially when you’re ready to turn in your work badge for a life of well-deserved leisure. But it’s important to appreciate the potential reality of your situation and understand that Social Security was not designed to be enough for you to comfortably retire.” Most comfortable retirees supplement Social Security with a work pension, IRA, or other savings. Few are able to get by solely with Social Security, Rau explains. Still, millions of people don’t have anything else tucked away. “It’s crucial for those people to understand the role Social Security will play in their retirement,” says Rau. According to Union Plus Retirement Planning Center, Social Security, which is more than 70 years old, provides $539 billion in annual benefits to nearly 49 million retired and disabled workers, their dependents and families that have lost their wage earners. Millions of people rely on Social Security
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as their only source of income. Every year, the Social Security Administration sends workers a record of their earnings and estimates of benefits. This statement outlines what recipients can expect to receive at the ages of eligibility—62 or 70. Benefits are based on earnings during the 35 highest-earning wage years. Unfortunately, Social Security resources are expected to decline after the year 2040. That’s because the Baby Boomer generation will soon reach full retirement age and, for the first time in Social Security’s history, there will be more people taking from the system than contributing to it. Although Social Security provides a blanket of funds in retirement, other expenses—such as unforeseen medical expenses, increased cost of living, and caregiving expenses, to name a few—can compromise its impact. “I suggest that everyone obtain a copy of their benefits statement from the Social Security Administration (available online at www.ssa.gov) to get an idea of where you stand,” Rau says. “If you can start a retirement fund or increase contributions to a work plan, do it. If you have nothing saved and you know you want to retire comfortably—whether it’s a year or 20 years from now—make an appointment with a trusted financial advisor to put a plan in place for the life you want to have after retirement. You don’t want any financial surprises at the time when you should be enjoying a work-free, low-stress lifestyle.” For more information about retirement planning, call Denise Rau at Rau Financial Group at (337) 480-3835.
September 2017 issue of Thrive Magazine