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Planning Strategies

Retirement: Planning Strategies: Maximizing Social Security

Social Security plays a critical role in retirement income – providing approximately 40% of the income needed on average during retirement1. Maximizing your Social Security benefit can be quite simple. Get started by working with your advisor on these three simple steps:

Step 1: Know your benefit

Become familiar with your Social Security statement* and the factors that can impact your benefit amount, including your Full Retirement Age and earnings during your working years.

Step 2: Understand your options

Become aware of your options for electing your Social Security benefit. You may be able to increase your benefit through strategic choices related to:

  • Early versus late benefit election.
  • Continuing to work while collecting your benefit.
  • Examining the tax impact of your benefit as part of your total income.
  • Knowing how to maximize your household benefit.
  • Taking advantage of special provisions that may increase your benefit.

Step 3: Determine a plan to maximize your benefit

The key to maximizing your Social Security benefit is careful planning. Your financial professional can help you:

  • Calculate what you expect to receive from Social Security.
  • Determine when to start taking benefits.
  • Apply for retirement benefits.

Get Started

It’s never too early to start planning. Use our Social Security calculator to estimate your benefit.  Contact your financial professional today to determine what you can be doing now to help maximize your Social Security benefit.

1 LIMRA analysis of U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey, March 2009 Supplement. Analysis based upon fully retired households.

*As of April 2011, in a cost-saving effort, the Social Security Administration announced that they will no longer be mailing Social Security statements. Contact your financial professional for information on how to obtain a SS retirement estimate.



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While this communication may be used to promote or market a transaction or an idea that is discussed in the publication, it is intended to provide general information about the subject matter covered and is provided with the understanding that The Principal® is not rendering legal, accounting, or tax advice. It is not a marketed opinion and may not be used to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code. You should consult with appropriate counsel or other advisors on all matters pertaining to legal, tax, or accounting obligations and requirements. For more information about our funds, including their full names, please see the Principal Funds, Inc. prospectus or call Sales Support at 1.800.787.1621.

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