“The fear of dying has been replaced by the fear of living too long.” ~ Jon Zidan

When I talk to people about their retirement, the #1 concern they share with me is outliving their assets.   As we know, the fear of dying has been replaced by the fear of living too long.  Put another way, however, the fear of dying has been replaced by the fear of running out of money in retirement. 

My goal is to show you how optimizing your Social Security benefits can help you avoid that. 

When Social Security was created in 1935 by President Roosevelt, it was called the Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance Program and was designed to keep the sick and elderly out of poverty.  Today, it’s the primary income source for 76 million Baby Boomers. 

Consider this:

  • In 1935, the full retirement age for Social Security was 65 and life expectancy for men was just 59! 
  • Today full retirement age is just 66-67, and life expectancy for men has risen to 81!

What it started out as then and what it is today, is very different. 

Although 44% of Americans claim Social Security at age 62 (which is the soonest, they can take benefits early) most are not aware that not only are they choosing to receive a 25% reduction in income for life, but by waiting to claim benefits until age 70, they could receive a 76% increase in benefits. 

Look at it this way, a couple (with a combined PIA of $4650) choosing to delay benefits from 62 to age 70 could receive an extra $31,800 per year which will be inflated for life.  Using a safe withdrawal rate of 3%, they would need over $1,000,000 in savings to generate $31,800 a year for life, inflated by 2.5% per year, with a 95% chance of not running out of money in 30 years.

Knowing the right time to claim, how to maximize the income you receive, how to reduce the stress on your retirement saving, and how to minimize the taxes you pay in retirement is the secret to optimizing your benefits.

As a Certified Social Security Claiming Specialist, I can help you make the smartest choices possible.  Knowing when and how to claim can mean the difference between having a secure retirement and possibly running out of money.

This month on Smart Women Talk:

For us to go deeper on this topic, I have invited Retirement Income Consultant, Kregg Walisiak, to join me to talk about How to Optimize Your Social Security Income Stream and Never Run Out of Money.   If you are nearing retirement and thinking about applying for your Social Security benefits, be sure to join us for this show!

Although Social Security is the primary income source for 76 million people, learning how to optimize all your income sources, while protecting your money from the turbulent markets we’ve been experiencing is just as important!  This is why I had a conversation with entrepreneur, creative collaborator, and author, Colleen Kilpatrick.  On this show, we share Four Smart Strategies to Creating Retirement Income. 

So, if you are nearing retirement, these may be the most important decisions you make, and I can’t wait to share this vital information with you.  Please let me know if you love these topics and what other topics you would love to hear about.  You can email me at katana@katanaabbott.com   Thank you!


Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Income Coach and Certified Social Security Claiming Specialist, founder of the Midlife Millionaire® Solution, and the host of Smart Women Talk. For over 35 years, Katana has helped baby boomers plan for retirement, including how to create lifetime income, how to optimize their Social Security benefits, launch an encore career and prepare for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Businesswomen, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies to Maximize Your Retirement Income, visit www.katanaabbott.com