October 6

All About FERS- Thoughts on Social Security

Social Security

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Hi, my name is Mike Lanway, I'm a financial planner. I'm an expert in federal employee benefits, and I'm here to help you decide what you need to do to make best use of those benefits to your advantage. 

Social Security retirement. People are wondering, "what good is Social Security? I hear so many bad things about it. Everybody is bad mouthing it, politicians want to kill it, politicians want to revise it. Everybody's saying it's not worth having and yet we're all paying taxes into it. What about that?" 

I thought a lot about it, I'm one of those people who are planning their future. I'm one of those people who are trying to do the right things. I'm one of those people who are trying to use everything to its fullest extent, and so I'm one of those people who care about what's happening in Social Security. 

I've done a lot of study, read a lot of reports that are from the Social Security Administration themselves, and from the oversight board, and being able to understand where they are, the trustee's report, things like that. Here's the final line for me: using any particular asset for retirement is always a 12 month decision. It's always review, assess, adjust. It's always going to be that way, so why would we count on Social Security to whatever degree their mailer says we can account?

Like right now, they're saying we can count on 75% of the projection. Why wouldn't we use 75% of the projection until they change it? Again, we'll make an annual assessment. Once we make that assessment, we'll adjust if we need to adjust, and I'm sure we'll need to adjust. My point here is not to smooth over things that make you afraid, or smooth over the things that politicians are trying to do. I don't know what they're going to do, but I do know this: we shouldn't throw away good money, and right now it's good money to a limit, and that limit is declared every single year. Right now it's right around 75%.

"...we shouldn't throw away good money, and right now it's good money to a limit, and that limit is declared every single year."

So let's just use it in our planning the way that it suggests. Let's review it next year and make an adjustment as we need to. That would be my suggestion, that would be my encouragement. To do anything different it would really be to shortchange yourself and make it much more difficult for you to begin to assess what you should put where- how much money you should put towards your house, or your TSP account, or something else. Let's just keep things steady, and as things change, we'll change with them. We'll make the right adjustments. Let's use Social Security right now.  

We hope you enjoyed our video series on the different components of your retirement and your benefits. If you want to see more, learn more at your own pace, use our annual benefit statement. You'll see the link at the bottom and within the description. Go there, take a look at it, we think you'll be happy with what you see and and that it's going to help you.

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