When All Else Fails

SUPPOSE YOU HAVE LITTLE OR NOTHING saved for retirement. What to do? You might focus on one overriding goal: not claiming Social Security retirement benefits until age 70.

Social Security is a wonderful income stream: It’s government guaranteed, at least partly tax-free, it rises every year with inflation, you get it for as long as you live and your spouse may receive your benefit as a survivor benefit. By delaying until age 70, you ensure that you will get the maximum possible monthly benefit. With any luck, that monthly check will allow you to retire in moderate comfort.

Of course, you might lose your job or your employer might compel you to retire before age 70. If that happens, look to continue working, even if it’s at a modest wage, so you can delay Social Security.

Meanwhile, save what you can. Also look to slash your cost of living. In particular, consider trading down to a less expensive home and try to get all debts paid off by the time you retire. With maximum Social Security benefits, some savings and low living costs, you may be able to enjoy a modest retirement.

Next: Life Stage No. 3: Age 65 and Beyond

Previous: Playing Catch-Up

Have a question or comment? Add it here:
SHARE