Taking advantage of your Social Security benefits and maximizing your retirement checks, is paramount in regards to your easing into a cozy retirement. Before making any decisions that may have an impact on your retirement fund, it is important to consider what this would mean for your future. The same is said of collecting your Social Security too early.
At current, 60 million people are drawing from the country’s Social Security fund, while 170 million people are paying into it. One thousand four hundred dollars was the average amount per month that a recipient of Social Security was able to draw, with that number getting higher or lower depending on the person’s particular circumstances.
Pensions from employers are no longer the norm in this country, with only 20 percent of companies offering up any pensions. Social Security is different, as it is paid out by the government, and guaranteed to a person collecting. Though meant to be supplemental, it is the primary source of income for a lot of retired Americans.
So how do you stretch that monthly check to make it last? There are a few steps you can take now to help ensure a more lucrative future.
The 35 Year Plan
Thirty-five years or more is the ideal length of time, according to financial experts, if you want to maximize the amount you receive, which is determined by when you stop working.
The pay you receive from Social Security is determined by the average monthly payments you made during those 35 years. That number is then used to figure out what sort of benefit payout you earned throughout that time. The reason you want to work more is that higher averages in those years can bring up the lower averages during the leaner years when figuring out your Social Security amount. If you don’t pay into the fund for at least 35 years, a zero year is entered in its place, and that can significantly lower the amount you collect.
You will see a significant jump in the amount of your benefits if you continue to work past the age of 65. They will give you more for delaying retirement and keep increasing that amount by about 8 percent a year until you turn 70, which is the age you have to start collecting.
So even though you can start collecting at age 62, you certainly shouldn’t if you’re younger than 65, if you’re able. If you collect early, each month will have a reduction on it until you reach the retirement age. Still, even if you keep working past 65, you should apply for Medicare, so you don’t have to pay more into it.
Your spouse’s benefits are also something to take into consideration. For people born before 1954, you can get 50 percent of what the house’s highest qualifier received at 65, meaning if your spouse made more than you, you too can reap the rewards by having your benefits bumped up to match theirs.
Certain states have much lower taxes on Social Security benefits. Retirement is an excellent time to consider relocating yourself to a new state in which this might be the case. Thirteen states currently tax your Social Security income, including Colorado and Vermont. Places like Florida, a popular spot for retirees due to the warm weather, do not.