Weekend Reading: 7 Social Security Mistakes to Avoid

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading social security mistakes to avoid Weekend reading social security mistakes to avoid
Weekend Reading

Your optimal Social Security claiming strategy doesn’t need to be complicated, but it does involve making sense of complicated rules and regulations.


📌 Not accounting for longevity: Understanding your personal life expectancy and the odds you'll make it to certain ages is vital to making the best Social Security decision for you.

📌 Mistakes with spousal benefits: If married, you may be eligible for spousal benefits based on your spouse's work record. This can be beneficial if one spouse earned significantly more than the other.

📌 Not looking at the big picture: You can begin receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but monthly benefits will be permanently reduced if you file before your full retirement age. Waiting to file can result in a higher monthly benefit, so it's important to carefully consider your options.

📌 Not accounting for COLA: Cost-of-living adjustments help keep your benefits in tandem with inflation.

📌 Not planning early enough: The sooner you understand the variables that play into Social Security benefits (longevity, taxes, earnings records, etc.), the better.

You don’t need to know ALL of the rules and regulations that play into Social Security, especially if you’re partnering with a professional. At the very least, however, it’s wise to know the basics so you can better understand how to maximize your benefits.