9 Ways to Earn a Larger Social Security Check


9 Ways to Earn a Larger Social Security Check

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
8 years ago | March 21, 2016

senior couple driving motorcycle with dynamic backgroundAs you plan for retirement, Social Security is likely to make up a significant part of your income equation. You’re probably nervous about whether your projected retirement income can really sustain you, so it makes sense to maximize every part of that income. We often talk about boosting your own savings; now let’s talk about increasing the size of your Social Security checks.

Work until your full retirement age. Sometimes people are forced to retire early, due to illness or disability. But if you can, keep working up until your full retirement age, as defined by Social Security. Retiring earlier will mean a permanently reduced check.

Work even longer, if you can. If you can work beyond your full retirement age, your Social Security checks will grow by about 8 percent for each year that you delay your claim. However, this growth will stop at age 70, so go ahead and claim your benefits then.

Accumulate at least 35 of work history. Benefits are calculated with your 35 highest-earning years of work. If you work less than 35 years, zeros included in your calculation will lower your benefit amount.

Analyze your earnings history. Ask the Social Security Administration for a copy of your work history before you retire. They do occasionally make mistakes, so taking the initiative to double check the accuracy of their records could benefit you.

Boost your earnings. Since your benefits checks are based on your earnings, it makes sense to increase your income as much as possible. Taking on consulting work, side jobs, or going back to school to learn new skills can help you earn extra money.

Investigate your spousal benefits. Find out what you would receive by claiming spousal benefits. In some cases, spousal benefits amount to more than the checks you would receive based upon your own word record. As long as you were married for at least 10 years, you can claim spousal benefits even if you’re divorced – but not if your ex-spouse suspends his or her own benefits.

Claim your dependents. In most cases, people who claim Social Security no longer have dependents other than their spouse. But if your adult child is disabled, or if you have custody of grandchildren, they might also receive benefits once you claim your checks.

Keep an eye on earnings once you claim your benefits. If you claim your benefits before you retire, your checks could be reduced when your earnings exceed a certain threshold.

Claim survivor’s benefits. If your spouse earns a larger benefit check, you can switch to survivor’s benefits after their death and continue to receive that amount.

For more information about retirement income planning, call us for an appointment. We specialize in helping you access as much income as possible.

This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency. 

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