Most Americans depend on Social Security for their post-retirement earnings. But very few have a proper understanding of the nuances of Social Security. It can be very confusing and overwhelming. So here are a few pointers to help make the picture more clear for you.
The Top Social Security Tips to Help You to Get the Most Benefits
That being said, the Social Security system is a broad and complex subject and should demand proper research including talking with a professional about your specific situation and what is going to help you maximize benefits.
Scrutinize Your Social Security Statement
Many people wonder how much income they can expect from Social Security. The truth is, there is no way to tell! You should check your annual Social Security Statement which can give you an idea about reasonable expectations.
The statement reveals your probable disability benefits, death benefits, and qualifying criteria for Medicare at 65. Also, you should check the account for any omission or inaccurate figures of income and report it accordingly.
Should You Claim Early Or Late Retirement Benefits
Your full benefit retirement age under Social Security is determined based on your birth date and can be between 66 and 67 years of age. But you can also withdraw as early as 62 years of age or wait until age 70. But if you withdraw earlier than your retirement age, the benefits are decreased permanently. On the other hand, if you make the decision to wait until the retirement age, your benefits are increased. Each situation is different and you have to do what uniquely fits your situation.
When should You Withdraw
You can claim your Social Security benefits before retirement age when:
- You cannot work due to poor health
- You are out of a job
- You apply for early retirement
- Your spouse claims spousal benefit on based on your professional record at retirement age
It is suitable to claim Social Security benefits later if:
- You continue working after full retirement age
- You want to receive increased benefits.
Social Security offers spousal benefits to your spouse if they don’t work or earn less and should reach the retirement age. The amount is determined as 1 ½ of the earnings of the higher earning spouse.
Social Security Myth
Some people think that the Social Security system is going broke. But the truth is that the program has $3 trillion in funds and is presently in a healthy condition. But the concern is that after the baby boomers retire and start collecting their benefits, the funds could be gone by 2034. But the social security system has always recovered, and history holds as evidence.