Planning ahead for your retirement is complicated and difficult. To make matters worse, when you try to figure out what you will need to retire, all the financial planners and websites and calculating tools assume that Social Security will be there. I think you have to assume that unless you are within a few years of retiring, the Social Security amounts you are quoted are not what you will get. We have to assume that we will need to self-fund more of our own retirement and depend less on Social Security than we have been led to believe.
If you are close to retiring, that may mean taking the reduced amount at something before full Retirement Age (now 66), to make sure you get that amount before it is somehow “adjusted.” Without considering this issue, the question of when to start taking RIB (Retirement Insurance Benefits) has been looked at time and time again.
I tell people who are not disabled that if they do become disabled DIB (Disability Insurance Benefits, or Social Security Disability) probably won’t be enough to live off, so they should consider taking out a Long Term Disability policy now. The same thing is true for RIB. Social Security was never designed to be your only retirement income. For far too many people it is, but if you read this while you still have time, do everything you can to maximize your other retirement options. In my opinion you’re going to need them!