retirement

4 ways to transition into retirement

Plan your Social Security strategy
Plan your Social Security strategy © Goodluz/Shutterstock.com

No pressure, but after you retire, you're responsible for your own income for the rest of your life. Planning an income strategy early can help you avoid making costly errors later, such as claiming Social Security at the earliest possible moment.

For a smooth transition into retirement, your strategy for collecting Social Security should be planned 10 years in advance, says Masiello.

"Take the time to do a retirement income projection, comparing the maximum versus minimum benefit," he says. Claiming Social Security at age 62 instead of at full retirement age can lower monthly benefits by as much as 30 percent. (Full retirement age ranges from 66 to 67 for future retirees.)

Though the number of people claiming at age 62 has decreased, it's still the most popular age to file for Social Security payments, according to research from the Urban Institute. Around half of the men and women born in 1943 and 1944 filed at age 62.

To wait for the maximum benefit, people in their 60s must come up with other income options. Think of it as purchasing an annuity from Social Security, says Sass.

"You get a very good deal on the income in exchange for the money you're laying out," he says. "The cheapest income available is delaying taking Social Security."

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