Planning to Claim Social Security?


As you prepare yourself for Social Security, be sure to ask yourself these questions.

Almost two-thirds of today's retirees rely on Social Security benefits to provide more than half their income. If you are planning to claim Social Security, timing, strategy and sound decisions can help you maximize your total household benefits. When and how you claim, your marital status, your health, and even whether you have dependents can all affect what benefits you receive. To get the most out of your hardearned benefits, focus on developing the right plan for you and your family. Doing so could help you enjoy a more secure and comfortable retirement.

Where Do I Start?

Given the complexities involved in claiming benefits, creating a plan of action for Social Security can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. Your financial advisor can help you develop an appropriate retirement income strategy based on your individual circumstances.

Five Big Questions

Before making any decisions, it's important to ask yourself key questions about elements of your life that could influence your personal Social Security strategy. To prepare for your meeting with your advisor, start thinking through these key questions:

  1. When are you planning to retire?
  2. What will your earnings look like if you continue to work past the age of 62?
  3. What other sources of income will you have in retirement?
  4. Based on your health and family history, how long do you expect to live?
  5. Are you married or divorced? Do you have dependents?


Don't forget to create a free "My Social Security" account at, where you can download a statement on estimated benefits and other information you'll need to develop a sound plan. 


Retirement plans built for ever-changing conditions.

Much like a well thought through family vacation to the Outer Banks, a thorough retirement plan is, meteorologically speaking, prepared for nearly every situation. Because even though the short-term forecast may show nothing but clear-blue skies, the long-term financial outlook is infinitely more difficult to prognosticate. That is why a rigorously disciplined, thoughtful approach is always recommended. And while being ready for every circumstance, be it atmospheric or financial, may seem impossible, a Raymond James advisor will help you craft a well-prepared strategy. One that employs the kind of foresight that helps make sure you’re not caught in an economic downpour without an umbrella. When you meet with a Raymond James financial advisor, they’ll carefully tailor a long-term plan just for you – complete with thoroughly packed retirement luggage. For over 50 years, our advisors have quietly served clients differently. Go to to learn more. It’s time to find out what a Raymond James financial advisor can do for you. LIFE WELL PLANNED.


Thoughtfully planning for what lies ahead

While the element of surprise is strategically sound in the world of party planning and flash mobs, financially speaking, it’s not the best tactic. After all, retirement isn’t exactly something you want sneaking up on you. And it’s not that we don’t enjoy a good surprise party as much as anyone, but surprise taxes and surprise health care expenses don’t quite have the same ring to them. Which is why every Raymond James financial advisor employs a rigorously disciplined, thoughtful process to carefully plan for even the unexpected.

It’s an approach designed to help clients reach the finish line with the resources to enjoy retirement without fear of the unknown. When you sit down with a Raymond James advisor, they’ll tailor a financial plan not only designed to help you achieve your goals, but make surprises a little less surprising. For over 50 years, our advisors have quietly served their clients differently. To learn more about retirement planning visit and find out what a Raymond James financial advisor can do for you. LIFE WELL PLANNED.

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders.

August 24, 2015


It can be unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading into the red. Here are six investing basics to keep in mind during volatile times.

  1. Periods of volatility are normal - All markets move in cycles, and periods of steep contraction are completely normal. While the length of market contractions varies, periods of growth and expansion are usually waiting on the other side. Since 1973, stocks have fallen more than 10 percent and subsequently rebounded eight times. 
  2. Don’t panic - Letting emotions dictate your investing strategy is a risk you shouldn’t take. Short-term decisions can have long-term consequences on your portfolio. Being patient can pay dividends.
  3. Know your portfolio - Understand your investments and how specific assets represent different goals and outcomes. Keep in mind your risk tolerance and investment timeline, and if either has changed, consider talking to your financial advisor about rebalancing your portfolio. Diversification can potentially help balance risk during a downturn and mitigate extreme swings in value.
  4. Stay the course - Remember your financial plan and long-term goals and stick to them. A disciplined investment approach is the best strategy for handling market downturns and will likely enable you to participate when the markets rebound.
  5. Consider opportunities - Working with your financial advisor, determine whether periods of volatility are a good time to take advantage of investment opportunities in line with your long-term plan.
  6. You’re not alone - Your Raymond James financial advisor is available to help you when you need it. He or she can guide you through difficult markets and be the independent voice that helps you stay focused on your long-term goals.


Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.



Material prepared by Raymond James for use by its advisors.