Retirees' Bad Arithmetic Reduces Social Security Trust Fund Withdrawals by $3.4 Trillion -- Making the Trust Fund Last Longer

Retirees' Bad Arithmetic Reduces Social Security Trust Fund Withdrawals by $3.4 Trillion -- Making the Trust Fund Last Longer


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This article was first posted July 1, 2019.


Financial planning firm United Income just released a 24 page report on their study that attempts to measure how much income American retirees lose by claiming Social Security suboptimally (i.e., usually too early.) It's a big number.

"The Retirement Solution Hiding in Plain Sight: How Much Retirees Would Gain by Improving Social Security Decisions,"
https://unitedincome.com/documents/papers/RetirementSolutionHidinginPlainSight.pdf

Retirees will collectively lose $3.4 trillion in potential income that they could spend during their retirement because they claimed Social Security at a financially sub-optimal time, or an average of $111,000 per household. The average Social Security recipient would receive 9 percent more income in retirement if they made the financially optimal decision about when to claim this retirement benefit.

Current retirees will collectively lose an estimated $2.1 trillion in wealth because they made the sub-optimal decision about when to claim Social Security, or an average of $68,000 per household. Most retirees will lose wealth in their 60s and early 70s if they choose to optimize Social Security, but will be wealthier in their late 70s through the rest of their lives.

Only 4 percent of retirees make the financially optimal decision about when to claim Social Security. About 57 percent of retirees would build more wealth through their life if they waited to claim until they were 70 years old (when only 4 percent of retirees currently claim), while only 6.5 percent of retirees would have more wealth if they claimed prior to turning 64 (when over 70 percent of retirees currently claim benefits)

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The only positive thing you can say about this is that innumerate retirees are actually improving the survivability of the Social Security Trust Fund. They are collectively withdrawing a lot less money out of the fund than they could be.

They're our new Patriots -- making America stronger.




Resources for additional information.

Social Security Administration website
https://www.ssa.gov/



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Copyright 2000-2019 John P. Greaney, All rights reserved.


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