Do You Have Questions About Your Social Security Benefits?

Do You Have Questions About Your Social Security Benefits?

By Scott D Abrahamson, CFP® and Chris Pawlowski, CFP®, CRPC®, APMA®

For most Americans, Social Security is a vital part of retirement. Created during the Great Depression to help retirees create stability, around 181 million people are currently working and contributing to this system. (1) Providing benefits to over 70.6 million people, for many retirees, Social Security makes up more than half their income. (2)

Despite the significance it has for many retirees, people often make mistakes or feel overwhelmed by the details. Not fully understanding how Social Security benefits work in the context of a comprehensive plan can have serious financial consequences. If you’ve tried to figure out Social Security on your own and felt confused, you’re an excellent candidate for a review of your Social Security benefits and how they impact your plan.

Knowledge Is Power

To say the system is difficult to navigate is a bit of an understatement. The reality is that the Social Security Administration provides you with more than 500 ways to claim Social Security benefits, and the Social Security Handbook (3) has around 2,700 separate rules governing your benefits. As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all claiming strategy for Social Security—not even close. There are several factors that play a role in the amount of benefits you receive and the ideal date for you to start claiming those benefits, including your health status, life expectancy, need for income, whether or not you plan to continue working, and how concerned you are about running out of money. 

While having a strategy for when to begin Social Security benefits is important, it is also critical to analyze your Social Security benefits in conjunction with all your retirement assets. Incorporating your benefits into an overall retirement income plan may make a world of difference in the amount of income available to you in order to retire comfortably.  

What to Expect

If you have questions (we know you do!) and want to search for a claiming strategy that best fits your situation, we are happy to help you with a comprehensive review that addresses your Social Security benefits. In our meeting, we help you analyze your goals and values while also navigating and more effectively using your benefits before and during your retirement. We make it a priority to help you wade through the overwhelming number of Social Security options so you walk away with clarity and confidence in your plan. 

During this meeting we discuss questions including:

  • How do I decide when to start collecting? Is it worth it to wait to collect my benefits until I reach full retirement age (FRA)?
  • Should I delay claiming past FRA to get a larger payment?
  • How are my benefits calculated? 
  • How should I plan to maximize my total lifetime benefits?
  • Should my spouse and I coordinate to maximize our total benefits?
  • Can I work while collecting Social Security? If so, what are the limitations?

At SpringSource Wealth Advisors, our primary objective is to assist you in making informed decisions aimed at optimizing your lifestyle and improving the growth of your assets. We do this through a comprehensive review of your overall financial plan that includes an analysis of your Social Security benefits. Our commitment is to guide you toward reaching your goals for a satisfying, comfortable retirement. 

Whether you’re seeking advice on planning for Social Security benefits or want to reassess your current claiming strategy, we invite you to connect with us. Set up a meeting today, call (503) 714-9531, or email scott@springsourcewealth.com to get in touch.

About Scott

Scott Abrahamson is Owner and Wealth Advisor at SpringSource Wealth Advisors, a fee-only fiduciary Wealth Advisor with a passion for making the retirement planning process simple. With their goals-based planning approach, SpringSource helps individuals, families, and small businesses make smart financial decisions and realize the core value of their finances: living an abundant life. As an independent CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with over 20 years’ experience, Scott’s mission is to empower clients to reach financial freedom through exceptional, caring service. He takes time to explore each client’s core values about money and partners with them to formulate clear goals based on those values. The result is a powerful, personalized road map designed to help each client successfully navigate every life phase. Scott loves watching clients experience a sense of peace and financial independence through smart financial planning over time.

Outside of the office, he enjoys playing and coaching sports, boating, outdoor activities, spending time with family, and serving in the community. To learn more about Scott, connect with him on LinkedIn.

About Chris

Chris Pawlowski is Wealth Advisor at SpringSource Wealth Advisors, a fee-only fiduciary Wealth Advisor with a passion for making the retirement planning process simple. With their goals-based planning approach, SpringSource helps individuals, families, and small businesses make smart financial decisions and realize the core value of their finances: living an abundant life. Since entering the financial planning industry in early 2013, Chris enjoys understanding his clients’ goals and working hard to formulate effective strategies for them. With the technical experience in the planning industry that puts him in a strong position to help clients through every life stage, Chris desires to empower families to reach financial freedom through exceptional, caring service.

As a Veteran who served in both the U.S. Army and the CA Air National Guard, Chris has a special passion for helping his brothers and sisters at arms in pursuing their financial goals. He holds the CFP®, Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®), and Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM (APMA®) designations. Outside of the office, Chris devotes his time to his beautiful wife, Yvette, his church, and his hobbies, which include backpacking, kayaking, hiking, and enjoying time with his family and friends. He also partners with Hope World Wide, a faith-based charity organization in Portland, to serve local families in need. To learn more about Chris, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Information provided herein is provided by SpringSource Wealth Advisors, LLC. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Information was compiled from third-party sources believed to be reliable and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. Investment advisory services are offered through Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither SpringSource Wealth Advisors, LLC  nor Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc render any legal, accounting, or tax advice. All investments involve risk, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. We recommend that all investors consult with a qualified adviser to assess your personal situation before implementing any strategy.

Please remember to contact your advisor when your financial circumstances or objectives change. Your advisor may recommend adjustments to your financial planning and investment strategies to better suit your current situation.

(1) https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2023/fast_facts23.html#:~:text=Earnings%20in%20Covered%20Employment%2C%201937%E2%80%932022&text=Of%20the%20181%20million%20workers,peak%20of%2036%25%20in%201965.

(2) https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v77n2/v77n2p1.html#:~:text=We%20find%20that%20about%20half,percent%20of%20their%20family%20income.

(3) https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.html