RECONSIDER TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS…
Until You’ve Learned How to Potentially Maximize Them
One of the biggest mistakes people can make when planning for retirement is failing to maximize their Social Security benefits. Why is this a mistake? After all, you may have heard that Social Security is broken, or that it won’t be around by the time you retire. But the truth is that Social Security is nothing less than a guaranteed stream of income, something no retiree should ever neglect. Even better? There are ways to help maximize your Social Security benefits. In other words, you may have the ability to increase your post-retirement income. For these reasons, Social Security should and will play a large part in your retirement plan. Failing to give your Social Security benefits the attention they deserve could be compared to denying yourself money for retirement.
To help you avoid this mistake, here are …
Three Ways to Potentially Increase Your Social Security Benefits
1. Delay Collecting Your Benefits
Too many people rush to collect their Social Security benefits as soon as they retire. This is sometimes a mistake, especially if you retire early. Technically, you can begin receiving benefits as early as age 62, but if you do so, your benefits will be reduced significantly. For example, if you were born between 1943 and 1954, your payouts would be reduced by 25%. And the reduction isn’t temporary. It’s permanent.
Waiting until your “full retirement age” is probably a better option—it means you won’t face any reduction. What is your “full retirement age?” It’s the age at which a person may first become entitled to “full” or “unreduced” retirement benefits. You can email me for specific information pertinent to you.
The latest you can begin collecting benefits is at age 70, and there’s good reason to hold off until then if you can afford it. Benefit payments go up 8% for every year you wait after you reach your full retirement age up to age 70. In other words, the longer you can keep your hand out of the cookie jar, the more sweets you’ll eventually receive.
2. Claim Spousal Benefits
This topic is very intricate—too intricate for a single letter. So for now, it’s more important that you simply be aware of your options. Another way to potentially maximize your Social Security is to claim a spousal benefit. Married individuals can claim Social Security based on either their personal earnings record (in other words, their own work history) or on their spouse’s earnings record. If a married individual chooses the latter, they would receive up to 50% of their spouse’s benefit.
Why would you choose to claim Social Security based on 50% of your spouse’s earnings record rather than your own? It’s simple: because you can claim whichever number is higher. Be aware, however, that you cannot claim a spousal benefit until your spouse has filed their own claim.
Imagine a hypothetical couple, John and Mary. Let’s say that both claimed Social Security based on their own earnings records. Now let’s say that John dies of a heart attack, leaving Mary behind. Under certain circumstances, Mary can file to receive John’s benefit, or increase her own benefit to the same amount that John enjoyed, if John’s number is greater. There are other ways to potentially maximize your Social Security benefits, too.
To learn about these, or more about the methods listed here, please feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to speak with you about your options.
Whatever you do, remember: Social Security is a guaranteed stream of income, and should figure highly into your retirement plan. Don’t deny yourself the chance to earn more money for retirement!
Until Next Time,
Del-Sette Capital Management, LLC (“Del-Sette”) is a Registered Investment Advisor (“RIA”), Located in the State of New York. Del-Sette provides investment advisory and related services for clients nationally. Del-Sette will maintain all applicable registration and licenses as required by the various states in which Del-Sette conducts business, as applicable. Del-Sette renders individualized responses to persons in a particular state only after complying with all regulatory requirements, or pursuant to an applicable state exemption or exclusion.
Please note that nothing in this blog post should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing is intended to be, and you should not consider anything to be, investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. If you would like accounting, tax or legal advice, you should consult with your own accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs. No advice may be rendered by Del-Sette unless a client service agreement is in place.
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