Livens & Reed, PLLC

Elderly planning for retirement

Elderly Americans use Social Security as a major source of monthly income. To be eligible for retirement benefits, an applicant must be at least 62 years old and have earned a minimum of 40 working credits. Studies show that in 2017 nearly 1 trillion in benefits will be paid, and forty-two million of that will be paid to retired workers. For elderly planning in Texas, that amounts to an average monthly payment of $1369, the equivalent of one Social Security credit.

Experts agree that there are many misconceptions regarding Social Security, and many believe that the program is broke and funds will soon dry up. In 2016, Social Security ended with a surplus of 2.85 trillion, and reserves are expected to continue growing. Everyone who has paid enough into the system is eligible for retirement benefits. Studies show that one-third of Social Security beneficiaries rely solely on this as their only source of income, and many do not have enough savings to sustain them after retiring.

A husband or wife who has earned significantly less income than his or her spouse is also eligible for benefits. If his or her lifetime benefits do not make up at least half of the other spouse's monthly amount, an additional spousal benefit will be paid to make up the difference. The amount is based on a calculation of lifetime earnings to attain this average.

Knowing what options are available and understanding how the program works is essential to a successful retirement plan. When preparing for retirement in Texas or any other state, the best advice is that of an attorney who is well informed in elderly planning and Social Security. With expertise in the areas, he or she can provide guidance for smart financial decisions that will allow for many years of comfortable retirement.

Source:, "12 Facts About Social Security You Didn't Know -- The Motley Fool", Matthew Frankel, Oct. 10, 2017

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