Social Security provides income to retirees and their families and is an important element of any household’s financial plan. However, the rules regarding claiming Social Security are numerous and complex, making it difficult to determine how to maximize your benefits or how to determine which filing strategies are most suited to your particular situation. The Quicken Social Security Optimizer is used by investment professionals at many of the world’s largest financial institutions. Now, our institutional-quality Social Security Optimizer is available to you.
Our system will tell you how you can get the most out of your Social Security benefits. But every person’s situation is different, and getting the most may not always be practical for you. One of the leading ways to maximize benefits is to delay claiming Social Security as long as possible (up to age 70). Often that means supporting those “gap” years (between retiring and claiming benefits) with income generated from an investment portfolio, like a brokerage account or IRA. But what if, like many people, your investment accounts are not large enough to support all, some, or any gap years? What if you can’t wait to claim? You still need to know how to file for your benefits in order to get the most out of Social Security in your specific situation. Should you file for your own benefits, or for a spouse’s, whether still married, divorced, or widowed? We know no two situations are alike, so our optimizer lets you compare various scenarios of your choice to see which filing strategy is best for you. Even if either you or your spouse have already filed for Social Security benefits, our system can give you valuable recommendations for how to proceed going forward.
You provide some basic information about
yourself (and your (ex-)spouse) and Quicken Social Security Optimizer
figures out the specifics of how you can maximize your Social
Security income. This includes detailed instructions on when to file, how to
file (e.g. for your own or your (ex-)spouse’s benefits), and whether you should
switch filing strategies at a certain point in time. It lets you compare this
“optimal” strategy to various strategies of your own choosing – like filing
earlier than recommended – so you can find the most appropriate strategy for
There are numerous factors that need to be taken into account when determining the benefits and drawbacks of various Social Security filing strategies.
Some examples of these considerations incorporated into our optimizer are:
Once you have used the Quicken Social Security Optimizer to determine the specific filing strategy that is right for you, the best and easiest way to file for benefits is through the Social Security Administration’s online application, which you can get to by clicking here. It takes a bit of time for the SSA to process your application, so we recommend applying three months before you want to start receiving your benefits.
The rules regarding Social Security change from time to time. Typically, any changes are minor, with the annual Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) updates being a good example, but sometimes the changes are more significant. On November 2nd 2015 the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 came into effect, and included some meaningful changes to Social Security which are most relevant to married couples and divorcees. Quicken Social Security Optimizer has been updated to reflect the new rules, so what are they and how might they affect your benefits?
When looking through all the potential scenarios for a couple or a divorcee, Quicken Social Security Optimizer considers the old rules for any scenarios where they are still available, and applies the new rules in all other cases. This means it’s easy to find out whether taking advantage of the “file and suspend” option before it goes away on April 30th is a good strategy for you, and also helps you plan ahead on requesting spousal benefits in the future if you are eligible to do so. If neither of these options are available or the best option for you, Quicken Social Security Optimizer suggests the filing approach that maximizes your lifetime benefits and lets you compare alternative strategies, just as you’d expect.
Subscribe now and get the most out of your Social Security benefits!