We hear it everyday: “I should have started saving sooner”, “I wish I would have known this when I was young”, “If only I could go back in time.” As people approach retirement they often look back at different points in their lives and wish they would have done more earlier. It’s easy to play the “shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’” game with retirement planning. And yes, it’s best to start early and contribute often, but you won’t be doomed if you are getting a late start. There are different phases to your retirement planning life and you can make successful investment decisions no matter which phase you are in. Whether you are just starting a career, hitting the stride of the middle aged, or the end of your working days is in sight, there is an attainable retirement planning strategy waiting for you.
The time when you feel as though you've been working for as long as you can remember and are longing for the respite the proverbial golden years will provide is nigh. You know you're eligible for Social Security (SS) benefits, and you're thinking about when you should start taking the income you've worked so hard to earn. But when you go to weigh your Social Security options — depending on a number of factors, of course — you may decide that you can survive the workforce for a few more years if it means getting a bigger monthly benefit.
If you cannot delay your retirement until age 70, remember than if you were born after 1959 (making your full retirement age 67), and you elect to start taking SS benefits at age 62, your monthly benefit is cut by 30 percent.
The earlier you begin taking Social Security benefits, the smaller your monthly payouts will be. Conversely, the longer you wait, the higher the monthly benefit will be. If you defer your benefits until the maximum age of age 70, your monthly benefit could be as much as double what your “full retirement age” payout would provide. No mater your choice, you'll receive the same amount of money from the Social Security Administration (SSA) — if you take your funds early, they'll need to last longer; if you take a later withdrawal, the money you would have earned has simply accrued to a higher amount, due to your older age.