The phrase “patience is a virtue” is very relevant when you are engaged in the process of long-term financial planning. If you rush things you may wind up with a lower quality of life during your retirement years.
With the above in mind let’s take a look at Social Security. It is possible to start receiving a benefit when you are 62 years of age. However, if you go this route, your monthly benefit amount would be 30 percent less than it would be if you waited until you became eligible for your full benefit.
After you reach the age of full benefit eligibility, you can start to collect the entire monthly benefit that you have earned, and if you want to you can continue working without being penalized at all. If you accept a reduced benefit before you reach full retirement age, there is a limit with regard to how much you can earn in a given year before you start to see a reduction in your benefit as a result.
You may also want to consider putting off your application for Social Security until you are 70 years of age. While the age of full benefit eligibility is between 66 and 67 for people not yet receiving benefits, you earn delayed retirement credits if you don’t apply as soon as you are eligible.
These credits will boost your monthly payouts when you do apply for Social Security as a 70-year-old (you no longer accrue delayed retirement credits once you reach the age of 70). The amount of the increase is 8 percent for every year that you refrain from submitting your application after you have reached the age of full eligibility.
Many people love what they do, and you may enjoy interactions with coworkers. If you are not in a rush to retire, you may create a more comfortable financial situation and wind up enjoying your spare time more when you do put your working years behind you.
Beware of Elder Financial Abuse
When people have considerable resources others are invariably going to be aware of it, so you have to protect your wealth.
Wealth protection comes in a number of different forms. You can protect assets from creditors and claimants by taking certain courses of action. You can also position your financial assets with tax efficiency in mind.
We frequently discuss these matters here on the blog. At this time we would like to look at a different threat: elder financial abuse.
The MetLife Mature Market Institute has conducted a survey, and they have concluded that American seniors lose some $2.9 billion to elder financial abuse each and every year.
One very high profile case of note involves convicted financial abuser Anthony D. Marshall and his mother, Brooke Astor. A few years back Marshall was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from his mother. He appealed, and the New York appellate court recently upheld the conviction.
Diminished mental faculties are not always present when an elder is being targeted by a financial abuser, but this can certainly be a factor. One out of every eight people aged 65 and older is an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer. Around 45 percent of people who are at least 85 have contracted Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
This is a sensitive subject, and it can understandably be difficult to discuss. However, for the sake of pragmatism, you may well want to discuss the matter with your estate planning attorney. Legal steps could be taken that would make it difficult for a financial abuser to victimize you during your elder years.
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