Of course, a 401(k) is an important part of retirement planning, but Social Security is definitely a piece of the equation that’s just as crucial. You might not know it, but you could be missing out on big dividends from your Social Security benefits if you don’t know about these helpful little tricks! Did you know that you can get bigger checks from Social Security? With a few key improvements and modifications, bigger checks from Social Security could be coming your way before you realize it! Believe that it’s never too early to start beefing up those Social Security checks.
Work As Much As Possible
You’ve got to be in the workforce for ten years or more before you’re eligible for benefits from Social Security. Your Social Security check amounts are based on a formula that calculates a sum from your 35 highest-earnings years in the workforce. This can backfire if you’ve not worked for 35 years: zeros are figured in for the years that are absent in your work history. The zeros will without a doubt decrease the amount of money you receive in benefits. For this reason, you want to work as much as possible so you get the most back when you really need it.
Wait On It
If you decide to start collecting your Social Security benefits early, you’ll definitely take a fall. 62 is the starting age for receiving Social Security checks but if you decide to start getting them then, you could get docked as much as 30% less in benefits from that very point onward. The year you’re born could also affect this somewhat, so that’s something to think about. If you happened to pass on before your spouse and you started receiving benefits early, their survivor’s benefits would be as good as they would have if you waited to start receiving them. In a lot of cases, an individual can’t do much about the age they start taking out Social Security benefits. From sickness to firings, there are a number of reasons why a retiree might be pushed out of the workforce before they’re ready. If you can manage it, you’ll get bigger checks from Social Security if you hold off on claiming your benefits as long as possible.
Cash In At “Full Retirement Age”
If you wait until your “full retirement age” to start receiving benefits, you’ll reap the benefits of 100% of what you’re owed. The “full retirement age” varies from generation to generation and you can head to this site to figure out what your full retirement age is to strive for bigger checks from Social Security. The longer you can go without claiming those benefits, the closer you’ll get to the full retirement age and the full sum of what you’re owed. Your cost of living adjustments will make a difference over time as well.
70: The Golden Year
If you make it to 70 years old without having to redeem those Social Security benefits, you can expect to get bigger checks from Social Security than anyone else. Once you hit 70 years, you don’t have to wait any longer to redeem those benefits and those bigger checks from Social Security can be yours to have. The difference between full benefits from Social Security and benefits that are “good enough” could be just a couple of years, so hold on as long as you can without cashing in.
Years of Wedded Bliss
If you’re married, you might be able to get in on benefits from the Social Security system: even if you’ve never worked a single day in your life. Married persons can get up to half of their husband or wife’s Social Security benefits. If you’ve never worked before, that’s a lot more than you would see otherwise in most cases. If you’re interested in receiving spousal benefits, you have to be at least 62 years old yourself and your husband or wife has to be receiving Social Security benefits or at least eligible to receive them. This can cause some bigger checks from Social Security.
Make Sure Your Spouse Is Covered
Make sure your husband or wife is well taken care of when you die. It’s a sore subject to think about, but you should be trying to do all you can to pump up your spouse’s survivor benefits if you were to die first. Your husband or wife could receive as much as half of your Social Security benefits as your widow or widower. Work hard to maximize your Social Security benefits as long as you possibly can.
Keep Your Debt in Check
Certain debts could be garnished from your Social Security checks if you don’t keep up on them. To ensure you get bigger checks from Social Security, you should pay those debts you’ve got that are tied to alimony, child support or federal taxes.