If you’re facing the decision of when to file for your Social Security benefit, you’ve probably noticed just how confusing it can all be. There are so many decision-points in the system, it’s no wonder folks are confused. Depending on your point of view and how you count the decision-points, each person facing this decision has thousands of possible combinations to consider as they decide when to pull the trigger and file for benefits.
Recently I was going over a decision tree that I had built to describe the decision-making process for filing, and within this review I have counted that for a single, there are 14 decision-points and a total of 96 months in which a filing decision can be made, for a total of 1,344 combinations.If the single person chooses the option to file and suspend benefits to protect a filing date, this adds an additional 36 to 48 months of decision-points. Add a spouse to the mix, and the decision-points increase to 21 for each spouse, with up to 96 months of filing options, for a total of more than 4,000 decision-points for a couple. If you’ve been married previously and are now single (due to divorce or death of your spouse or ex-spouse), add more complexity. Exponentially more complexity ensues if you were married at least 10 years to more than one ex-spouse. When you consider that a decision made in haste could mean a difference of up to $100,000 or more over your lifetime, as well as how many possible decision-points there are, it doesn’t surprise me at all that I’ve been hearing from a lot of folks lately. Post originally appeared as Why Social Security Decisions Are So Tough on Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row The post Why Social Security Decisions Are So Tough appeared first on Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row.