Securing Social Security

A few notable points…

From our discussion with Gail Buckner, VP and National Financial Planning Spokesperson for Franklin Templeton Investments

Social Security is an integral part of many people’s retirement and income planning as they age. It’s never too early to understand how the system works and what to look for when hints of a change are coming. We were fortunate to have Gail Buckner join us for a discussion on the fundamentals of how to potentially maximize your benefit and are happy to share a handful of those points here.
  • Social Security benefits are based on your earnings over your entire lifetime. Your 35 highest years of income are adjusted for inflation and then used to determine your monthly benefit. It is important to check your earnings record to make sure Social Security recognizes all of your earned income.
  • If you can manage to do it, wait until Full Retirement Age (FRA), today around age 66.  Filing at age 62 reduces your benefit by 25% to 30%; waiting to file until age 70 increases you benefit by 8% per year.
  • If you are at least at your FRA, you can “suspend” your benefit if you took it early but review this option carefully – anyone receiving a benefit tied to your record will have their checks suspended and in addition, any Medicare premiums that were being deducted from your monthly Social Security check, you will need to pay yourself.
  • Per the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, regardless of your age, if you are entitled to more than one type of benefit, you will receive the one that is higher – this is permanent and you do not need to choose.
  • A divorced spouse can get a benefit based upon the earnings record of her/his “ex” even if their “ex” has not filed yet.
  • To learn more about Social Security Benefits visit  and while you are there consider creating your personal my Social Security account where you can access personalized tools and data, whether you currently receive benefits or not.

Your Social Security

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