When to take Social Security retirement benefits will be one of the biggest retirement decisions you ever make. You don’t want to make a mistake.

So let’s say that you’ve read a good bit about this topic… and you know how to maximize Social Security benefits.

At least you know the basic fact that delaying the date that you draw Social Security will increase the monthly benefit you receive. And perhaps you are now convinced that delaying is the best thing for you to do.

There’s just one problem:

How do you afford to delay Social Security benefits?

Because when you turn 62 you will be eligible for Social Security benefits. And if you don’t begin drawing benefits at this time you will need to have a plan in place to provide income during the delay period.

So here are some options to help you afford to delay Social Security benefits.

1. Minimize Your Monthly Expenses.

If you minimize your monthly expenses, then you will need less income in retirement. One of the biggest expenses in retirement (or any time for that matter) is health insurance. If you can minimize this you won’t need as much income to meet your monthly hurdle.

One way to minimize your health insurance expense is to delay Social Security benefits beyond age 65. Most people will be eligible for Medicare once they reach 65.

And the good thing about Medicare is that your health insurance costs will very likely decrease once you are on it. You can usually get a very reasonably priced Medicare supplement at age 65, even a Plan F supplement.

Or you can find a Medicare Advantage plan to handle your health care needs. You can even find some of these plans with a $0 premium. That’s right, $0, zilch, nada on the premium side.

A Medicare Advantage plan may not be right for you, but at least you have the option to get a $0 premium plan.

That can seriously help you with your monthly expenses.

After you can save money on the monthly expense of health insurance, it is easier to cover your other expenses on less income. This makes it easier to delay Social Security beyond age 65, maybe even up to age 70 if you really feel like going for it. 

2. Continue Working Full-Time Beyond Age 62

The best way to afford delaying Social Security benefits is to keep working. If you can keep working beyond age 62 your retirement planning will be considerably easier.

Not only does it allow you to save up more money for retirement, it also means less years to plan for your savings to last.

Also, it allows you to have a higher monthly benefit from delaying Social Security benefits.

The big problem you may face about working beyond age 62 is that you may not be able to. Let’s face it, some jobs are physically strenuous.

And these jobs may be difficult to do as you get older. This is just the reality of aging.

But if you were able to move to a less physically demanding job at your same employer this might allow you to continue working beyond age 62. Your employer may be open to you moving to a less physically demanding job because they value your knowledge and expertise.

It’s worth asking.

But if your current employer will not allow you move to a less strenuous position, then it may be time to approach one of your employer’s competitors to see if they have need for someone with your expertise. You know who your employer’s competitors are.

3. Work Part-Time Beyond Age 62

But maybe you say that full-time employment is not feasible for you after age 62. There are reasons where this could be the case.

Your next option would be to see if your current employer would allow you to work on a part-time basis. They may be open to this. Especially if you are a valued and knowledgeable employee. (And I’m sure that you are.)

But again, if your current employer won’t allow this, then it is time to approach one of your employer’s competitors. You never know what they may offer you. It may even be a higher hourly rate too.

And the part-time income may be just enough to cover your expenses while you delay your Social Security benefit and let it increase.

4. Use Your Savings To Delay Social Security

But let’s say that you can’t work after the age of 62. This may be the case for many reasons: health, disability, you hate your boss, etc.

If this is the case it may make sense to use a portion of your savings to cover your monthly expenses. Use your savings to let that Social Security benefit increase.

So perhaps you set aside a portion of money for the purpose of covering your expenses for a certain time period.

But you need to do this the right way.

If you need a bucket of money to cover your expenses from age 62 to age 66, that’s a 4-year period. You probably don’t want to put that money into a volatile investment that could fluctuate greatly in the market.

If you remember back in 2008, many people lost up to 40% of the value of their portfolio when the markets headed south.

It would be a shame if you had money set aside to cover your monthly expenses, but then the value of that bucket of money declined due to the market heading south.

So to do this the right way, here are 2 options.

First, you could put this bucket of money into a bank account. It would be FDIC insured, up to the limits ($250,000 currently). You could then withdraw funds from this account as you needed them to cover your expenses.

The downside to this is that you probably won’t earn much interest on these funds while they are at the bank. Currently banks are not paying much in interest.

The second option would be to use a fixed (not variable) annuity. More specifically you could use a fixed single premium immediate annuity (SPIA).

This type of annuity has no fees. And it can be set up to pay you a contractually guaranteed income that won’t fluctuate with the market. In other words, you know what you are going to get when you purchase a SPIA.

And a SPIA may have an internal interest rate that may be better than the rate you would get on a bank account.

But most importantly, it would be contractually guaranteed. You could set it up to cover your income needs for a specific period of time. And it would allow you to maximize your Social Security benefit.

Conclusion

Delaying Social Security benefits may not be the best thing for everyone. But for some people it is a smart strategy. The above options should give you an idea of just some of the things you can do to afford delaying your benefits.

If you know anyone that is struggling with a Social Security timing issue, then forward this article to them. It may seriously help them out for their retirement.

You can also share it easily with your friends by clicking the Facebook share icon on the left of the screen.

And if you need help with your Social Security timing issues, then feel free to reach out to me and ask your questions. I’ll help point you in the right direction.

You can get on my calendar to ask your questions by CLICKING HERE.

Best!

Chris Hammond

Delay Social Security