Don’t Lose Out on Higher Interest and More Social Security

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[154] Think Social Security will cover all your retirement expenses? Think again.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil dives deep into critical retirement topics, focusing strongly on Social Security, strategies to maximize interest rates, and wise approaches to investing your savings. This episode aims to arm you with actionable insights for a financially secure retirement.

Jeremy discusses:

  • Why Social Security isn’t enough for retirement and how to claim smarter
  • How to turn regular savings accounts into high-yield goldmines
  • Where you can get in on the high Treasury Bill rates before it’s too late
  • How to boost your portfolio with a fail-safe hybrid strategy
  • The importance of personalized financial advice for effective retirement planning
  • And more!

Your Top 5 Retirement Questions Answered

Many questions arise during the retirement process. These questions are often about Social Security, investing, and treasury bonds. These common questions will help you understand your options better so you can make informed decisions.

Will Social Security Be Enough in Retirement?

Social Security serves as a crucial safety net for retirees, but it’s vital to recognize that it isn’t designed to replace your entire income. Understanding how Social Security benefits work and when to claim them can significantly impact your financial security during retirement.

Social Security replaces only a portion of your income, and the replacement rates vary based on your earnings history. In general, your first $13,000 per year of earnings is replaced at a rate of 90%, followed by the next $67,000 at 32%. However, earnings from $80,000 to $160,000 are replaced at a mere 15%.

Social Security is designed to replace a specified amount at your Full Retirement Age (FRA). Unfortunately, many people claim benefits before reaching their FRA, resulting in a lower monthly benefit, sometimes up to 30% less than the promised amount.

One crucial factor affecting Social Security benefits is the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which is based on inflation rates. While recent years have witnessed higher COLA raises, like 5.9% and 8.75%, it’s anticipated that the 2024 COLA will be around 3%, bringing it more in line with the long-term average of 2.4% before 2022, suggesting a return to normal inflation levels.

Delaying your Social Security benefits can lead to higher monthly payments. For every year you delay, you can potentially receive approximately 8% higher payments when you eventually start claiming again.

When Should I Claim Social Security?

Deciding when to claim Social Security can be a pivotal financial decision. Delaying benefits can offer several advantages. If you and/or your spouse have a history of longevity, waiting until age 70 can maximize your cumulative benefits. This strategy can also be a lifesaver for those with insufficient retirement savings, bridging the financial gap effectively.

If you’re still employed, delaying Social Security allows you to continue building benefits while earning a paycheck. Similarly, if your spouse didn’t work or has a lower benefit, delaying your benefits ensures they receive higher survivor benefits. Remember, delaying Social Security past your FRA results in an 8% increase in benefits each year up to age 70, providing you with a guaranteed income boost.

However, there are instances where claiming Social Security early makes sense. Immediate income needs or health issues may necessitate an early claim, as the need for financial support might outweigh the potential for higher benefits later.

A combination of early and delayed claims can be advantageous for couples eligible for Social Security. Some individuals may need to claim Social Security early to enable their spouse to receive spousal benefits. Concerns about Social Security’s stability may also push some to claim early, but it’s crucial to perform a comprehensive financial analysis before making this decision.

How to Maximize Your Savings’ Interest

To make the most of your savings, exploring various avenues is essential. Certificates of Deposits (CDs) with competitive interest rates can be a good choice. However, be cautious of “callable” CDs, which the issuer may redeem before maturity.

Another option is high-yield money market accounts, which typically offer better interest rates on your savings. Additionally, reducing outstanding debt can save you money on interest payments.

Delaying your pension and Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments, providing another source of increased income. Paying your taxes early can also help you avoid penalties and interest charges.

Regularly shopping around for financial products offering higher interest rates can make your money work harder for you. To determine the best strategy for earning more interest on your money, assess your monthly expenses, debt situation, and long-term investment options carefully.

When Should I Redeem Series I Bonds to Maximize Interest?

Deciding when to redeem Series I Bonds depends on your specific financial goals. If you aim to maximize interest on a particular I Bond, consider the fixed rate, which may change every six months. If it’s currently favorable, it might be a good time to redeem it; otherwise, holding onto it could be more beneficial.

For those planning to include I Bonds in their long-term investment portfolio, waiting may be the wiser choice, as the fixed rate might remain stable or increase in the future. Additionally, consider the tax implications of redeeming I Bonds in a particular calendar year, as waiting a few months can impact your tax liability.

Should I Invest All at Once or Gradually?

When it comes to investing in the stock market, historical data shows the potential for positive returns over time. Investing a lump sum upfront can capitalize on this trend, as the market generally rises more often than it falls.

However, concerns about market timing can lead to hesitation. To mitigate this, consider a middle-ground strategy: invest half of your funds immediately and the remainder over a period of 3-12 months. This approach balances the potential benefits of immediate investment with risk mitigation.

To learn more about how to get higher interest and more Social Security, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using the contact information provided below!


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