How to Retire from a Large Corporation #5: Social Security Key Points

David Larson |

Are you like many people we know in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County who are excited about their retirement years, but are overwhelmed by the complexity and all of the numbers in front of you? When should you draw Social Security? How much will healthcare cost? How much will you actually spend in retirement? 

All these numbers are important and you should absolutely get a handle on them as you get closer to the date; but do not get overwhelmed with the complexity of the task. The goal is to stay focused on the big picture and break down three key numbers into smaller nuggets.

This blog is the fifth in a series, “How to Retire from a Large Corporation” and is designed to accompany an e-book by the same name.

Many people do not understand some of the most important details about Social Security and how these benefits work. As a result, they make a bad decision with the timing and method of drawing these benefits, and in the process miss out on thousands of dollars over their lifetime.

Once you have determined your benefit amount at Full Retirement Age (FRA), recognize the following key points:

  • You will receive a 6.25% bump in benefits for each year you wait from age 62 until Full Retirement Age
  • You will receive an 8% bump for each year you wait from Full Retirement Age to age 70
  • A non-working spouse (or a spouse with limited income history) may be able to draw spousal benefits that are approximately half of the higher-earning spouse. This is in addition to the benefits received from the higher-earning spouse.
  • Should one spouse pass away, the survivor receives the higher of the two benefits.

Also, here’s a link to the Social Security website that describes how spousal benefits work, and here’s a link that describes how survivor benefits work.


Once you take a few minutes to reflect on these key facts, many people realize that the Social Security decision may not be as clear as they once believed. Your decision could dramatically impact the benefits of your spouse, both during your life and after you are gone


Check back next time as we dive deeper into Social Security and help you determine your “break-even date” for drawing benefits early. To download the full “How to Retire from a Large Corporation” eBook you can find it here.




This is the fifth of many blogs we are writing to help you finish strong in life. Much of the content is pulled from an eBook we wrote entitled “How to Retire from a Large Corporation.” Click here to download the document. If you would like to discuss any of these topics in more detail, you can schedule a time to talk through this link.