Pricilla called our office wanting to ask a few questions about retirement in general. So, our customer service team member let her know right away that she indeed had called the right place.
“If it’s got to do with retirement, we do it.” she simply stated.
As the call was routed to me there is usually a note about the subject matter, but there was no note. So, I started the conversation with what I usually do “How can we help you today?”
Pricilla let me know very quickly that she was somewhat vexed that she could not find anyone at her office to give her a straight answer to her retirement questions. We encouraged to fire away.
She was still working at age 64 and wanted to know, can she turn on her Social Security check right now even though she was still working, and would there be any issues? She wanted the extra income to start a savings account to create a small nest egg when she retired at age 66 and 2 months.
I was quick to let her know that there are some issues she needed to be aware of before making this decision that could impact her financially. If she makes more than $18,240 in income, she will get a penalty for taking SS check benefit early and making too much income. She could actually wind up owing money back to SS.
As far as creating a nest egg, if she waits to collect her check at full retirement, she can request that that SS backdate her start date by 6 months, and she will get a lump sum check for those months. If she waits after the full retirement date, her SS check benefits will continue to grow at approximately 8% guaranteed. There is
nothing in the market right now that’s paying 8% guaranteed.
These answers to her question threw an entirely different perspective on her decision making. “Finally! Some real answers so I can make an informed decision”! She exclaimed.
While there is more detail to each of these scenarios than we have space for in this article, we strongly recommend attending our “Basics of Social Security and Claiming Strategies” workshop before making any final decisions on when to activate your Social Security benefits.