Four Questions to Ask Yourself About Social Security & Retirement

Four Questions to Ask Yourself About Social Security & Retirement

August 30, 2022

Ernest Ackerman was the first person to receive a Social Security benefit. In March 1937, the Cleveland streetcar motorman received a one-time, lump-sum payment of 17¢. Ackerman worked one day under Social Security. He earned $5 for the day and paid a nickel in payroll taxes. His lump-sum payout was equal to 3.5% of his wages.1

Do you know your social security benefit?

Over 62 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each month, with an average monthly benefit of about $1,614.2

Do you know what your benefit will be? You may remember receiving paper statements once a year from Social Security, but they moved entirely digital several years ago. The best thing to do is create an account at You should also review it periodically to make sure your income is being reported correctly.

How much will you need for retirement?

The average Social Security recipient collects about $19,368 per year, but most Americans in that age range spend $46,000.

Some may overestimate how big of a role Social Security will play in their retirement. While significant, they will likely need to secure additional income sources to make up for any shortfalls. This is why it’s important to maximize contributions to other accounts, like employer-sponsored plans, and traditional or Roth IRAs.

How long will your money have to last?

Could you live to 100? In 2021 there were 97,000 Centenarians. By 2060, this number is expected to increase to 589,000.3

Average life expectancy continues to increase. You may need to plan on the probability of living much longer – perhaps 30+ years in retirement – and invest a portion of your portfolio for growth towards maintaining your purchasing power over time.

When should I take my Social Security?

Deciding when to claim benefits will have a permanent impact on the benefit you receive. Claiming before your full retirement age can significantly reduce your benefit, while delaying increases it.

For example, If someone delays claiming Social Security until age 70, they could receive a 77% increase in their monthly benefit compared to taking Social Security at age 62.1

Developing a strategy with an understanding of how to optimize your Social Security may put you in a better position when you start to draw your benefits.

Working with a financial professional may help equip you to find solutions that are designed to fit your retirement lifestyle.

We can help you analyze your financial situation and develop a strategy for pursuing your retirement vision.

If you or anyone close to you would like to discuss how to maximize your Social Security benefits with a professional, please give our office a call to schedule a complimentary consultation.

  1. Social Security Administration, 2022
  2. Fox Business, June 2020
  3. United States Census Bureau, June 2022