I was recently quoted in US News and World Report. The article is for those baby boomers retiring this year in 2014.

It’s a short and sweet article, quick reading to be certain.

I’m always hesitant to be interviewed for articles and such… it never seems like the quotes come out correctly. This article is pretty close however.

It’s true that the longer you wait to take social security, the more social security you’ll get! For those with a reasonable expectation of living into their mid to late 80’s or longer – putting off your claim on social security may be the ultimate way to maximize your fixed retirement income.

On the flip side however, I have clients who very clearly realize they will not live well into their 80’s. For them, it’s far better to take social security earlier rather than later.

What do you do if you put off taking social security but need the income? It’s also true that I’ve run hundreds of retirement plans for clients, and generally speaking utilizing liquid assets – even from IRA’s and 401k’s where you’ll be taxed – can work out to your benefit to bridge the gap between retirement and claiming social security.

I will add this to the article (which I did mention in the interview). The difference between taking social security earlier or later for MOST clients is minimal throughout their retirement lifetime. If you truly want to maximize every dollar of your plan and believe you’ll live well into your 80’s, putting it off is best. If you’re not so confident you’ll live well into your 80’s OR if you simply are willing to live with a slightly reduced financial benefit (which you wouldn’t really notice anyway until you were into your late 80’s) taking it earlier can be effective as well.

Also, I don’t necessarily agree with reducing your portfolio risk exposure as you retire. The fact is I clearly explained that even my 98 year old grandmother has another 5 years to plan for. Death is uncertain, and planning for less than five years is a mistake. If you have five years or more to plan for – a moderate growth portfolio is a reasonable starting point. If you’re highly aggressive entering retirement then YES! By all means please consider reducing your risk exposure! If you’re like most new retirees, that’s just not the case!