It's a decision that impacts a family for the rest of their lives, deciding when to take their Social Security benefit. There's now a tool, created by an Omaha man that helps calculate the best benefit possible.
Patty and Pat Sheridan faced the same anxiety thousands of soon-to-be retired couples face on a daily basis, when to take their Social Security benefit. "Course people at our age we were always told to take it at 62 because you can never make that money up," Pat Sheridan said.
And like many, the Sheridan's poured over bills, calculated numbers and simply were just baffled by the process.
Then, clarity to the murky waters of retirement, their financial advisor helped them pinpoint how and when they should start their benefits. Joe Elsasser created Social Security Timing.
Today, if you walk into the Social Security Administration, they would help you find the best deal at that time.
Social Security Timing helps you maximize your benefit, which could mean delaying taking it.
“One of the neat strategies you can do, is collect as a spouse for a period of time, then later switch over to your own benefit, which will have grown by 8% per year, while you waited to take that benefit,” Elsasser said.
The Sheridans did just that. They elected to draw on Patty's Social Security while delaying Pat's. Her benefit drew in an extra $550 a month, while Pat's kept growing.
Elsasser explained through a series of calculations, Social Security Timing helps pinpoint the best time to take your benefit.
"The piece of mind for me comes in as that I know I’m doing the right thing, that's the piece of mind,” Pat said.
For Elsasser, it's about finding money that's already there for his clients, just making sure they get all of it. "You can see there eyes light up when they know they won't outlive it, they can see the tax advantages and how it plays out with their other assets, it can have a major impact,” Elsasser said.
Elsasser's Social Security Timing is not a one size fits all design. It's important to first consult with your financial advisor before making any decisions.