Social Security Planning Starts Now

Social Security Planning

Although you won’t become eligible for Social Security until your 60s, there’s a lot you can do to prepare before then. Here’s a rundown of steps you can take during each decade of your life:

In your 20s

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re embarking on a career. At this point, there’s no guarantee that Social Security will be around in its current form when you’re ready to retire. The smart move is to build up retirement savings on your own. For instance, you should be participating in a 401(k) or other qualified plan at work. If done, Social Security benefits will be a pleasant surprise when you retire.

In your 30s

As you continue make retirement contributions, begin checking on your Social Security wage history. Go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) website to set up and review your account. Eventually, benefits will be based on your work history. Make sure your wages are being reported correctly and correct any errors that occur. As the same time, increase retirement plan contributions.

In your 40s

Typically, this is a time when your earnings increase significantly. Be aware of the key rules relating to Social Security benefits. For example, realize that the SSA uses your average earnings for the 35 highest-earning years to calculate your payments in retirement. So keep track of this and continue to have lower income years be replaced with higher income years. This will result in higher benefit checks when you retire.

In your 50s

Circle a target date for retirement. While not etched in stone, is allows you to analyze whether you’ll be able to sustain your current lifestyle based on your expected income and expenses. This exercise is more important if you’re considering early retirement. Continue to check income being reported to the SSA and create a forecast for the future. If you wait until your 60s to begin this planning process, it may be too late to save enough to meet your retirement goals.

In your 60s

Decide whether you want to begin taking benefits at age 62 (the earliest age), full retirement age (or age 70), or somewhere in between. The longer you wait, the greater your monthly benefits, but you’re giving up use of the money. Factor in aspects like your health, plan payouts, required minimum distributions and other earnings. Finally, remember that up to 85% of Social Security benefits are taxable, so it’s worth planning now!


This publication provides summary information regarding the subject matter at time of publishing. Please call with any questions on how this information may impact your situation. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission, except as noted here. This publication includes, or may include, links to third party internet web sites controlled and maintained by others. When accessing these links the user leaves this web page. These links are included solely for the convenience of users and their presence does not constitute any endorsement of the Websites linked or referred to nor does Ijaz Group LLC have any control over, or responsibility for, the content of any such Websites. All rights reserved.