Web Wealth: Social Security and other delayed gratifications

Articles from SmartMoney and other sources can give you direction in determining your retirement. Some of the information may surprise you.
Articles from SmartMoney and other sources can give you direction in determining your retirement. Some of the information may surprise you.
Posted: June 11, 2012

Delaying your Social Security benefits could be one of the smartest things you do in retirement. That and other tips are covered on these helpful sites.

SmartMoney's Encore blog says spending from your savings to make up for a delay in taking Social Security benefits is like buying an annuity. The article, "Social Security: the cheapest annuity in town," says putting off Social Security in order to get a higher monthly benefit later amounts to a handsome investment. There's math to prove it. The writer is Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. http://sm.wsj.com/NmEsZJ Download the center's full brief on the subject from this page: http://bit.ly/Kowlr3

Choosing not to delay gratification and ignoring numbers that matter are among the "curious behaviors that can ruin your retirement." That's the title of this 10-minute interactive video feature from the Center for Financial Literacy, also run by Munnell at Boston College. http://fsp.bc.edu/curious

Is retirement advice biased against you? Yes, according to this post at the U.S. News Money site. Some economists take financial advisers to task for consistently telling people they need to save enough money to maintain 80 percent of their incomes after retiring. The problem? Hardly anyone can save that much, even by starting early in life. So they just get scared. Instead, the article says, the key is to plan for retirement based on spending — a curious shift in thinking that puts individuals in greater control. http://bit.ly/LIY9qK

Overlooked retirement tips from Robert Powell at MarketWatch include advice for married couples to consider carefully the timing for starting to take Social Security. "It's not usually a good idea for both spouses to begin Social Security as early as possible." Again, odds favor the delay, many experts say. http://bit.ly/LDvD9z

Retirement and working go together these days. Some folks want a new career. Others need to stay busy. And many simply need the extra money. The AARP area called "work & retirement" talks about finding work. www.aarp.org/work

Contact Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.

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