People trying to get your attention tend to walk a well-worn path when addressing Social Security. They will often tie together two topics that make a lot of us nervous: retirement and money. We hope this series has helped to demystify understanding Social Security for you and reduce overall anxiety.
Through benefits for spouses, disability support, and looking at the recent changes to the system, we hope you’ve found what we have about Social Security: it’s complex, but it’s nothing to be afraid of when you have the information you need to make decisions that affect your financial future.
First, we discussed the often complicated changes to the system in Social Security in 2018 – Changes in 3-D, which specifically looked at retirement age and small raises in the monthly payouts. Next, we discussed taxes and part-time jobs for retirees in Social Security and Retirement Income – Navigating the New Country.
From there, we moved on to discuss a brief history of the Social Security program and how we came to where we are today, specifically in raising in the retirement age, in The Times They are A-Changin’ (Incrementally) – Social Security in 2018.
Finally, we looked at how Social Security disability benefits are calculated – what qualifies and the different categories and amounts involved. We concluded with a post about understanding Social Security and spousal benefits, in which we talked about how marital status – married, divorced, or widowed – affects benefits.
Conclusion: Trust (but Verify) the Process
The first time we heard about Social Security might have been around our grandparents in some of our earliest memories – grandma or grandpa received a check “from the government” mysteriously every month. Soon enough, our parents started to discuss when they could start “taking benefits” and perhaps counting down the days on a calendar until the magical age of 65 arrived. Then one day, we find that we are the ones looking forward to these golden years, making travel plans and building up our supplies for hobbies we’ll have more time for.
Understanding Social Security isn’t easy – there’s no doubt about it. Although there are trillions of dollars at play, which are depended on by millions of people, we all want to know what we can count on. But the Social Security program doesn’t have to add to your retirement stress and irritation. The mechanisms of the program are there for a reason, which can make itself apparent at a closer look. For example, a spouse still receiving benefits even though they didn’t technically “work” outside the home but supported someone who did.
Your financial journey is just like life, the path forward to your goals isn’t always clear or straightforward. At Atlas, we want to help you clear a path that puts you in a better position to reach your financial goals and enjoy your life one you get there. Let’s touch base and talk about your portfolio, your future, and how Social Security may affect them both.