Savers vs Investors

A saver is someone who does not and usually cannot accept risk. This can be because of age or upbringing. This could because of a lack of understanding about investing. This also can be just attributed to fixed pensions and standard of living.

For the last 5 – 6 years the Fed has reduced interest rates to practically zero and also implemented QE1, 2,3. It was just this month that the Fed made an incremental raise in rates. During this period savers were offered extremely and unpalatable interest rates at the safe places, the banks. Savers were told to just tighten their belts, that there was no inflation to worry about. However these figure usually did not include food or energy costs. The savers had no option but place their funds in the stock market. The influx of capital was a prime reason for the increase in the stock market. After a time caution was thrown to the wind and the thought of risk or loss was neatly pushed aside. But what about now?

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Social Security – You don’t have to claim when you retire

You don’t have to claim when you retire.

Retiring and claiming are two different things. So if you have enough savings when you retire, you have two options.

– Start collecting right away. That’s what most people do.

– Delay and, while you wait, use a portion of your savings to live on. This option will draw down your savings more quickly, but increase the inflation-proof Social Security benefit you’ll get each month for the rest of your life.

Should you delay or claim right away?

No one wants to draw down all their savings. Savings are valuable as a reserve, can be invested in high-yielding assets, or left as an inheritance. But drawing an income out of your savings, over an extended period of time in retirement, can be tricky. So it could make sense to use some of your assets to live on and delay claiming Social Security.

– If you need to assure you and your spouse a higher basic income for the rest of you lives.

– If you will still have enough savings for “rainy day” emergencies.

© 2009, by Trustees of Boston College, Center for Retirement Research

Does not represent the Social Security Administration.