There have been some positive outcomes from the pandemic - one of them is the change to doing business online instead of in person. The Social Security Administration is one organization that has made this switch. You can only go to the offices of the SSA in person if you have made a prior appointment, which has led to slows and backlogs.
President Biden aims to simplify the process of applying for Social Security online. The executive order signed this week streamlines the process of applying for services and benefits from 17 federal agencies.
The administration has flagged the backlog of mail in the SSA and the lack of processes to track it. This backlog has caused frustration for people who may need these documents for other purposes aside from Social Security. Biden’s executive order aims to change that by creating a way for applicants and beneficiaries to upload their forms and documents online. So it should be much easier to file for Social Security if you are planning to retire in 2022.
“If you plan to retire in 2022 there are a few scenarios you should consider,” says Peter Testani, Vice President, Investments for David Lerner Associates. “The choices you make early on in retirement could set you up for many years of financial security.” 
- Signing up for Social Security too soon. Instead of registering for Social Security the moment you leave the workforce think about putting it off until full retirement age. That way you get the maximum benefits. And, if you have a spouse or partner, one of you could register while the other is still working.
- Form a strategy for withdrawing funds from your nest-egg investments. Speak to your financial advisor and work out the best way to draw on your savings and investments during retirement. Your plan should provide for your needs and still protect you from depleting it prematurely. Remember, unless your funds are in a Roth 401K or IRA, withdrawals will be taxable.
- Stick to a Budget. One of the common errors in retirement is not figuring out and sticking to a budget. Unless you plan to downsize dramatically, your expenses are often much the same once you retire. Work out a retirement budget before the event and stick to that budget once you retire.
- Inflation is a factor. When you work out your budget, consider the fact that the pandemic has rocked the financial world and it’s not over yet. We’re looking at rising inflation in 2022. That budget you had previously devised may have to be reworked. Cost of food, medical and many other items have been rising steadily.
So, if you’re planning to retire in 2022, take all these factors into consideration and make sure that it is the right decision for you.
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