How Can I Get the Most from Social Security?

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Social Security is helpful in retirement.

You are nearing retirement.

For this reason, you have now started thinking about Social Security disbursements.

Although Social Security will be insufficient to meet all of your retirement expenses, it will certainly help.

For this reason it is important to maximize those Social Security benefits, yes?

According to a recent Motley Fool article titled “2 Passive Ways to Boost Your Social Security Benefits,” there are two primary ways to increase your Social Security check.

Social Security should not be taken early.
Waiting to retire and take Social Security increases your benefits.

What are they?

Do not file for Social Security early.

Although you can begin collecting benefits at age 62, this is not advisable.

You should wait at least until you reach full retirement age to avoid a permanent reduction.

How much is a permanent reduction for your Social Security benefit?

That depends.

What if you file 36 months ahead of your full retirement age? You will lose 6.67 percent per year.

What if you file more than 36 months ahead of full retirement age? You will be dinged 5 percent a year for each 12 month period beyond the 36 months.

What does this mean?

Filing three years early drops your benefit by 20 percent.

Filing four years yearly drops your benefit by 25 percent.

Filing five years early reduces your benefit by 30 percent.

Yikes!

Waiting until full retirement age results in no reductions to your Social Security benefit.

What if you delay beyond retirement age? You will permanently increase your benefit by 8 percent a year up to age 70.

Not bad!

Do not retire early, if you have the choice.

Why?

Social Security benefits are calculated based on the 35 highest-paid years of wages adjusted for inflation.

Typically, people are paid more at the end of their working years than they are at the beginning.

By working longer, more of these higher-earning years will be used to calculate the benefit.

For example, if you have worked for 35 years and your starting salary was $25,000 and your current salary is $125,000, you will want to replace some of those $25,000 years with your current salary to increase your benefit.

What happens if you do not work 35 years?

These zero income years will be calculated into your retirement formula.

Waiting to retire can help solve these potential problems.

Regardless whether you have a decent-sized nest egg, maximizing your Social Security benefits can only help.

Reference: Motley Fool (October 28, 2019) “2 Passive Ways to Boost Your Social Security Benefits”

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