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Social Security Benefits Maximized for Retirement

People who claim Social Security early get smaller payments over more months versus more money per month. You get more money by far if you claim later.

Here are some strategies for getting the most from your Social Security check:

  • Claim later to get a larger benefit amount. Though 62 is one of the most popular times to claim Social Security, waiting makes a difference, and each year you wait increases the amount you will receive each month.
  • Work longer at a higher income. Since Social Security uses your 35 years with the highest income, you can increase your benefit amount by working extra years at higher income
  • Coordinate when you claim as a couple. If the higher-earning person in the couple claims early, it can significantly lower the amount the surviving spouse receives. It’s often better for the higher earner to wait as long as possible and at least to 66, if not to 70. For four out of every 10 widows past 65, Social Security is all the income they have.
  • Claim later if you’re single. If you’re able to work, claiming later will give you a higher monthly benefit. This is especially true for women who typically have earned less than their male counterparts, live longer than men and generally have fewer other resources to rely on during the years beyond 70.

Source: US Money, Jan8, 2014 http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/01/08/how-to-maximize-your-social-security-benefit

Don’t Do Retirement Planning Alone

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