Did you know? Twenty-nine percent of retirees say their benefits ended up being less or much less than expected according to a recent survey released from Nationwide Retirement Institute. Retirees who had been retired for ten or more years were more likely to say their benefit was lower than expected. Though it would be nice to accurately anticipate how much Social Security payments you’ll receive at retirement, unfortunately there are some factors that can impact how much you receive. Here are 3 mistakes that could cut into your Social Security benefits if you’re not careful.

1) Not knowing your numbers:For many Arizona retirees, Social Security payments are the bulk of your monthly budget.But until you actually apply for Social Security, anticipated benefits are just estimates, according to the Social Security Administration. The SSA offers estimated benefits and earnings tracking for consumers who sign up for a"My Social Security" accountto help provide retirees with a more accurate estimate.

2.) Cashing in early: According to the Nationwide Retirement Institute survey, recent retirees began collecting Social Security at a mean age of 62. While claiming early can be a smart financial decision in certain situations just remember that doing so reduces your monthly benefit. Depending on your full retirement age and how early you claim, your retirement benefits could be reduced as much as thirty percent! Whenever possible, wait as long as possible to file for Social Security.

3.) Medicare:Medicare premiums can run anywhere from $121.80 to $389.80 or more depending on the modified adjusted gross income on your tax returns. And anything from selling your Arizona home to an increase in stocks could cause your Medicare premiums to skyrocket. If you’ve had an unexpected jump in income that’s affected your Medicare withholding, retirees can file an appeal noting that their high-income year was an aberration, or that other circumstances such as death or divorce have reduced your income.

Avoid making these 3 mistakes that could cut into your social security benefits and consult with a financial expert so that you can rest easy and more clearly plan your retirement future. If you’d like more information about Social Security or if you’d like to find your perfect Arizona retirement community, please contact me today!