Social Security: Get What You Deserve
We spend much of our adult life saving for retirement. We plan and utilize different strategies to get us where we need to be by the time we would like to be there, continually reviewing and changing as life and our situations change. Our Social Security benefits don’t necessarily require the same long-term planning that our other retirement accounts do, but there are decisions we can make that will greatly impact our monthly benefit. Get the most from the Social Security benefits you have worked so hard for, look ahead and be ready with a plan.
One of the easiest strategies you can use to maximize your monthly Social Security Income is to wait until you are 70 years of age to collect it. The full retirement age is currently between the ages of 65 & 67 depending on the year you were born, but for every month you wait from full retirement age up to age 70, you will receive a Delayed Retirement Credit. These monthly credits can increase your benefit by about 8 percent per year when added together. This strategy assumes you don’t need the income from Social Security until age 70, which is not the case for everyone.
If you plan on retiring before age 70 and think you will need your Social Security benefit to do so, there are other strategies you can use that will help maximize your benefit. These strategies can be combined in different ways to fit your individual needs. Even if you don’t think you need the extra income, it isworth evaluating your situation so you can make an educated decision.
Some questions to consider are:
- Are you married, divorced or widowed? – Look at all types of benefits you are eligible to receive so you can understand how one affects the other and make the best decision for your situation. There are individual, spousal, and survivor benefits even for ex-spouses under certain circumstances.
- Do you have other sources of income? – Review your other sources of income to determine the amount of Social Security Income you need before age 70. The gap between what you have and what you need will guide you toward the best Social Security strategy for you.
- If you’re married, are you and your spouse close in age? Far apart? – Because the benefit can change dramatically based on when you file and collect, both your age and your spouses are factors when looking at different strategies to maximize your benefits.
- Did one spouse earn a considerable amount more than the other? – If this is the case and you can afford it, try suspending the higher earners benefit. Their Delayed Retirement Credits are worth more and will give you a larger monthly benefit when they do start collecting.
- How healthy are you? Your family? Your health plays an important role in deciding the right time for you to start receiving Social Security. It’s a good idea to review your family’s history, as well.
The important point to remember here is to plan ahead. The Social Security Handbook has 27 Chapters with 2728 different rules and even more explanations on how these rules work. It’s a lot to navigate. Some of the decisions you make regarding your benefits are reversible, while others are not and they can make a big difference in your monthly income.
If you have questions, or would like help designing your Social Security strategy, give us a call and we can help you get what you worked so hard for. You deserve it!
Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network did not assist in the preparation of this report, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network or its affiliates. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Additional information is available upon request.