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10 Social Security Secrets You Need to Know Today

You can maximize your social security benefits by leveraging the social security secrets people have been using for ages. Learn them now.

Every year we hear the same thing, Social Security benefits are running low and payouts are going to be reduced. The headlines are nothing less than panic-inducing, especially if you’re years or even decades away from retirement. The good news is that with Social Security, like all things, you’re always in a better position if you plan ahead.

It’s true! There are certain steps you can take now that’ll maximize your Social Security payout and make retirement a breeze. Read on to learn about the best Social Security secrets.

1. You Don’t Have to Claim Your Benefits at 62

Many people think that, once you hit age 62, you have to start claiming your Social Security benefits. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

There’s no set age in which you must start claiming Social Security benefits. You can delay receiving your benefits for as long as you want. In fact, delaying your benefits may actually be a financial boon to you (more on that later).

2. You May Be Entitled to Portions of a Former Spouse’s Benefits

Surprise, surprise! You may have divorced your former spouse years, even decades ago, but you may be entitled to a portion of their Social Security benefits.

What are the details?

You can claim up to 50 percent of your former spouse’s Social Security benefits if you were married to them for ten years or more and if you have not remarried since you were divorced. If you think this may apply to you, contact your local Social Security office to see if you qualify!

3. Retiring Later = More Money for You

In order to qualify for Social Security benefits, you must have worked and paid into Social Security for at least 35 years. Many people hit 35 years long before they reach the age of 62 — the minimum age in which you can claim benefits. But if you wait to retire and claim benefits until age 70, your benefits can be boosted up to 32 percent!

How does this break down?

Let’s say you reach full retirement age at 66. For each year beyond 66 that you delay retirement, you will receive 8% more additional monthly income. You must be at full retirement age by the time you are 66 in order to receive the full 32% bonus.

If you won’t reach full retirement age until age 70, then you won’t receive any bonus even though you waited to until age 70 retire.

Not everyone chooses to retire later in life. After all, there’s no time like the present to enjoy retirement. If by chance you missed out on maximizing your benefit and run into a financial emergency after you retire, Social Security loans are a great short term option.

4. You Social Security Income is Taxable, If…

Many people choose to supplement their Social Security income with a part-time job. More income isn’t a bad thing, but there are some things you need to be aware of if you choose to work while claiming Social Security benefits.

Approximately 50 to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable if you work while claiming benefits. Social Security determines this by combining your earnings and half of your Social Security income.

If you are single and this number exceeds $25,000, then 50 percent of your Social Security income can be taxed. If you are single and the number exceeds $34,000, then up to 85 percent of your Social Security income may be taxed.

5. Always Ask for a Raise!

Asking for raise? What does that have to do with the amount of money I’ll receive when I retire? As it turns out, a lot.

The total dollar amount of benefits you receive each month is based on the 35 highest-earning years of your life. The higher your overall salary throughout your life, the higher your benefit. Thus, it will behoove you now and in the future to negotiate your salary to a higher level.

And that’s not all!

We talked about working longer in order to incur a bonus payout for delayed retirement, but it’s also beneficial in the calculation of your retirement. The longer you work, the greater the opportunity you have to add high earning years to your benefit calculation. Basically, make sure you have more than 35 years of earning and make sure to always ask for the salary you deserve.

6. You Can Shop Around

One of the most frustrating parts of determining your Social Security benefits may actually work in your favor. Have you spoken to several representatives at Social Security to get an idea of what your benefit would be if you retired today and gotten a different answer each time? It may be annoying, but you can leverage this to your benefit.

How? Meet with several representatives at different Social Security agencies and go with the representative who calculates the highest benefit for you. It may only be a small amount, but every cent counts!

7. You Can Check Your Eligible Earnings at Any Time

We know that we have to work 35 years to reach full retirement age. That’s a small number in theory, but in practice, it’s incredibly hard to determine how many years you’ve worked toward retirement. Thankfully, Social Security allows you to peek into your records to see how many qualifying years of work you have and how many more years of work you need before you can retire. 

Don’t Wait to Act on These Social Security Secrets!

If you’re like any person, you want to make sure that you’re in a good financial position when you retire. Some of you may even be concerned that you’ll never be able to retire. But if you follow these Social Security secrets, you’ll be well on your way to a happy and comfortable retirement!

Want more helpful articles about improving your life now and in the future? You’re in the right place! Check out the rest of our blog for articles about everything from faith to career.

Comments

  1. Mary A Ambrosino says

    Invaluable advice to get started on the right foot.

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