If you have done any sort of financial planning, on your own or with an advisor, Social Security sort of gets thrown in and is then forgotten, a constant rather than a variable. However there are a variety of things that can be done using your entitlement to Social Security Retirement benefits (RIB) to maximize or enhance your retirement planning.
Even though Social Security Disability is my area of practice, I will confess that some of these tools were new to me and I have saved the article I am referencing for my own use, as well as for advising clients. It originally appeared in print in Smart Money magazine and can be found online here.
Beyond pointing you to resources to analyze the well known question of when to take your benefits, and the recently publicized technique of taking early benefits and repaying them in order to then get the highest possible rate at a later age, the article talks about some other benefits that work best when one spouse receives benefits and the other takes his/her benefits on the spouse’s account while continuing to work. At a later date the working spouse can switch to taking benefits on their own account without being penalized for the additional work.
Read the article and use its links to understand and implement the strategies. My point here is that your RIB can be used creatively in an overall financial plan to maximize income and benefits.