When should you apply for Social Security?

Retirement savings, benefits influence decision
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Retirement savings, benefits influence decision

Social Security benefits are just one piece of the retirement income puzzle. You also need to take into account how much you -- and your spouse, if you're married -- have in retirement savings, whether you have pension benefits and if you have company retirement health benefits. Tally up how much income you expect you'll need, says Michael Kay, CFP, CPA and a financial planner with Financial Focus in Livingston, N.J.

"You have to look at your cash-flow needs," he says. "How important is it to your financial survival or to your cash-flow plans to have that money early in retirement versus several years down the road?"




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