Arguments for Claiming Social Security Early

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

Believe it or not, legitimate arguments exist for claiming Social Security early.

Tax Considerations When Delaying Social Security

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

Delaying Social Security can potentially contribute to an overall tax strategy for retirement. Every case is different, but generally speaking, when you add taxes to the mix, the case for delaying Social Security becomes even stronger than usual.

Social Security: The Best Annuity Money Can Buy 

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

A final frame for viewing the Social Security claiming decision is as an annuity purchase.

How Time Horizon and Discount Rate Affect Social Security

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

One way to view the decision to delay Social Security as an “investment” is by using a present value calculation to identify which strategy can provide the most lifetime Social Security benefits and which strategy creates the lowest funding needs for your investment portfolio. This calculation requires deciding on a time horizon and a discount rate.

Social Security as an “Investment”

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

The alternative to treating Social Security as insurance is to view it as an investment, or as a gamble on how long one lives. This can be problematic.

Justifying a Delayed Claiming Age for Social Security

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

With an understanding about how benefits are calculated, the important question to consider becomes how to develop a Social Security claiming strategy. When should you apply for benefits?

When Are People Claiming Social Security?

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

One of the hottest topics in retirement income planning over the past several years has been how to help individuals strategize on their Social Security claiming decisions.

Philosophy of Social Security Claiming Strategies 

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

Social Security claiming strategies can be extremely complicated. Treaties on this topic, some of which are listed in the table below, provide page after page of details, nuances, and exceptions.

Keep Social Security Changes in Perspective

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

As you may have heard, Congress made some notable changes to Social Security last week. I’ve received more emails asking about these changes than any other event in the retirement income world.

Calculating Social Security Retirement Benefits

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

I will discuss the philosophy of claiming strategies later, but first, it is meaningful to first consider how retirement benefits are calculated.

The Social Security Administration has now followed the same approach for calculating benefits since 1979.

Protecting Your Assets and Making Your Wishes Known

By Bob French, CFA

A lot of things get lumped under the broad title of estate planning. Not only are you arranging the financial aspects of your estate, but you’re letting everyone know your intentions regarding healthcare and any other wishes you may have. This process…

Introducing the Social Security Claiming Decision

By Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA, RICP®

For the vast majority of Americans, Social Security benefits serve as the core of a retirement income strategy. As a government-backed, inflation-adjusted monthly income for life, Social Security benefits help to manage longevity risk, inflation risk, and market risk.