Why Social Security optimization planning matters
The age at which clients start claiming Social Security can have a huge impact on the size of their benefit. Clients can file as early as age 62, but they would receive a reduced monthly benefit compared with the amount they’d receive at full retirement age. Or they could delay filing up to age 70 to increase their monthly benefit by as much as 80%.1
A guaranteed income floor
Social Security benefits are guaranteed income, so they provide an income floor in retirement. Benefits replace, by many estimates, about 30% to 40%2 of a retiree’s pre-retirement income from wages, with the remaining 60% to 70% of their monthly “paycheck” often coming from savings.
Unique benefits of Social Security
By itself, Social Security would be a powerful asset in a portfolio, and it offers features that other sources of income typically do not, including:
- Guaranteed income for life: Social Security benefits are paid until the recipient passes away
- Annual inflation increases: Cost-of-living adjustments help recipients keep up with prices over time
- Survivor benefits: A widowed spouse can collect a benefit that is based on their spouse’s benefit
- Preferential tax treatment: A portion of Social Security income will always be tax free
Why turn to Nationwide as a trusted resource?
Our credentialed Social Security specialists have decades of planning experience. We are here to support you and your clients on this topic.
Additionally, more than 10 years ago, the Nationwide Retirement Institute® began partnering with The Harris Poll to survey Americans about their knowledge of and concerns regarding Social Security retirement benefits. Today, our annual survey results deliver timely and relevant insights to strengthen your Social Security conversations with clients.
View survey results
 This figure is based on an individual with full retirement age of 67; it compares early filing at age 62 and receiving reduced benefits of 71% of the primary insurance amount versus delayed filing at age 70 and receiving credits to increase benefits by 25% over and above the primary insurance amount.
 "The 2020 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds," Social Security Administration (April 2020).
 If the divorce was within the past 2 years, your client’s ex-spouse must have filed for benefits. If the divorce occurred more than 2 years ago, there’s no requirement for the ex-spouse to have filed.