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Use Fixed Annuities to Delay Social Security Payments

In John F. Wasik of The New York Times’ opinion, there is a “Two-Step Retirement Plan That Strengthens Your Nest Egg.”  One of the best things you can do for yourself financially is to delay receiving Social Security payments.  While you are able to get them as early as age 62, you will get the most money if you wait until age 70.  Even if you feel that you can’t wait that long, each year you go past 62 will earn you a certain percentage increased payment, depending on when you were born.  If you are in poor health or have too much debt to manage, it may make sense for you to receive your Social Security sooner.

The way to determine how long you can wait to collect Social Security is to figure out how you’ll fill the income gap in retirement.  Fixed annuities guarantee monthly payments that can help you meet your basic living expenses while waiting for your government benefits.  Defined-benefit retirement plans usually offer choices for fixed annuities, although not many workers have these plans anymore.  If you have a 401k or other defined-contribution plan, some offer 401k annuities while others require you to take out your money and buy an annuity on you own.  A recent study showed that people with net wealth between $349,000 and $1.5 million almost always maximized their retirement income when they delayed Social Security payments and used fixed annuities to supplement.

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