The Pandemic has made the future of Social Security worse for Americans.
According to a recent survey, more people worry about Social Security running out of funding than they did before Covid-19.
One of the biggest decisions they will make in their lives is when to claim Social Security.
More Americans are planning to tap Social Security early.
According to survey respondents, Covid-19 has changed their plans to file for Social Security benefits, with 9% planning to file earlier and 9% delaying filing.
42% of respondents plan to file for Social Security benefits early, up from 36% who did the same in 2021.
The Social Security trustees annual report was the first to look at the effects of the swine flu. The program's funds were projected to be exhausted one year later than had been thought. 80% of benefits will be payable if Congress doesn't act in the next few years.
The Old- Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund's depletion date was bumped one year later to 2034, which will cause most of the benefits to be paid.
You can use a Social Security calculator to find out how much of a haircut your retirement benefits will take.
Covisum updated its calculator to reflect the latest projections from the Social Security trustees. There's a free version for consumers and a paid version for financial advisers.
Consumers can evaluate which claiming strategy best suits them for a fee. Financial advisors have their own version of it.
The free Covisum calculator can be used to calculate benefits based on the year of birth, full retirement age and percentage of benefit cut.
A person who turns their full retirement age this year can calculate the effect of a 23% reduction in benefits starting in 2034 and the effect of no benefit cut. When beneficiaries stand to get the maximum amount possible from the program, the value of claiming will be shown in the calculator. The value of waiting to claim until 70 goes up as beneficiaries live longer.
According to Joe Elsasser, founder and president of Covisum, the free calculator is just the beginning when it comes to understanding the trade-offs when claiming Social Security.
A more in-depth analysis can help identify the best way to maximize your Social Security benefits.
Elsasser said that married couples should coordinate their benefits.
On the first death, the smaller benefit goes away and the larger benefit continues.
The current depletion date projections are subject to change each year as the Social Security trustees change their projections.
Congressional legislation can change the program's funding status before that date. There could be higher taxes, benefit cuts or both. Washington Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy while increasing benefits.
Elsasser doesn't tell his clients to plan for a benefit cut, but it's important to gauge their impact
In the past, there have always been compromises, so we advise them to plan under current rules. If we do get a benefit cut, then stress test the plan and see if we're ok. What is our plan if we do?
If the outcome is not acceptable, it may be time to make changes such as reducing spending, saving more or working longer to make sure you can weather the cuts.