Welcome to the third edition of the Retirement Rebootcast! This is a special limited-edition podcast series focused on my new book – Retirement Reboot: Commonsense Financial Strategies for Getting Back on Track. The book is out this month, so I invited some of my favorite experts on retirement to join me on the program to talk about some of its key ideas. 

For this third episode of the series, let’s have a conversation about how to get the most from Social Security. For most of us, Social Security will be the most important retirement benefit – full stop. Decisions about when to claim can make a big difference in your lifetime income. Especially for couples, there can be some interesting choices. Making smart choices has never been more important, especially because Social Security benefits are less generous than in the past. The gradual increases in the full retirement age put in motion by the reforms of 1983 are close to being fully phased in – and that effectively raises the bar on what it takes to generate income from the program.

My guests:

Mary Beth Franklin is a contributing editor at Investment News magazine, specializing in Social Security, Medicare and Retirement income. She’s been a financial journalist for more than 40 years, covering everything from federal budget and tax policies as a Capitol Hill reporter to consumer finances at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. One unusual twist for Mary Beth as a journalist – in 2015, she became a Certified Financial Planner in 2015. She is the author of “Maximizing Your Social Security Retirement Benefits.” 

William Reichenstein is a professor of investment management at Baylor University, a co-founder of Social Security Solutions – a company that has developed a terrific set of online software tools that help individuals and financial professionals sort through claiming decisions. He is the co-author of a book titled Social Security Strategies: How to Optimize Retirement Benefits. 

Along with claiming strategies, I asked Mary Beth and Bill to talk about Social Security’s financial challenges and public worries about the program’s future. We also talked about how Social Security might change in the years ahead.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

The Retirement Rebootcast will have six episodes. Next week we’ll take a deep dive into navigating Medicare. My guests will be Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Fred Riccardi of the Medicare Rights Center.