Do you wish to increase your Social Security benefits? There are various strategies to increase the size of your benefits check. However, the techniques that work best for you will differ according to your specific circumstances.
See if these three options for boosting your Social Security income will help you enjoy a more secure retirement.
1. Make A Spousal Or Survivor Claim
You can claim more retirement benefits based on your spouse’s job record rather than your own if you are currently married. If your husband is still living and has already claimed benefits, you may be eligible for spousal benefits. If you’ve been widowed, you may be eligible for survivors benefits.
Spousal or survivors benefits may also be available to divorcees. If you’ve been divorced for at least two years, you don’t have to wait for your husband to file for spousal benefits. However, you must have been married for at least ten years to be eligible.
Many people are not aware of when they are eligible for these benefits. However, if your present or previous spouse earned more than you and now receives a benefit that is more than twice as much as yours, they may be able to supply you with far more money than claiming your benefits.
2. Keep Your Social Security Tax Bill To A Minimum
Many retirees lose a considerable portion of their benefit to federal, state, or both taxes. If you want to get the most out of your Social Security benefits, you need to make wise tax avoidance decisions.
Only 13 states charge Social Security retirement benefits, so avoid living in one of them if you do not want to pay taxes on your benefits.
Federal taxes are more difficult to avoid, but they don’t start until your provisional income reaches $25,000 for a single taxpayer or $32,000 for a married couple filing jointly.
Half of your Social Security income, some non-taxable income like municipal bond interest, and all taxable income are considered provisional income. You can avoid sending any of your retirement benefits to the IRS if you can minimize your taxable income — possibly by investing in a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) throughout your career.
3. Selecting an Appropriate Claiming Age
Finally, being strategic about when you begin receiving Social Security payments can help you claim more benefits.
You can apply for benefits between the ages of 62 and 70, but your birth year determines your full retirement age (FRA). When you file your claim at the FRA, you will receive your usual benefit. If you file before the age of 70, you will receive a smaller payment, and if you claim after the age of 70, you will receive a larger check.
A delayed claim tends to result in higher lifetime income and makes the most financial sense for those who plan to outlive their projected life period as established by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or who have a spouse with a lower income who would rely on survivors benefits. However, if you’re in bad health and don’t expect to live long, filing as soon as possible could help you maximize your lifetime benefits.
When considering the ideal time to file for Social Security, think about your marital status, your spouse’s retirement plan, and your health. You may get the most money out of Social Security by filing for benefits at the right time, maximizing your lifetime income, and minimizing taxes.
Points to Remember
- You can file a claim for Social Security based on your job history or the employment history of your spouse.
- You can begin receiving benefits at various ages, but the age you choose will determine the amount of money you receive.
- You can take action to lower taxes on your Social Security benefits.
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For over 30-years Flavio “Joe” Carreno of The Retirement Advantage has been a Federal Employee Retirement System specialist (FERS) as well as a Florida Retirement System specialist (FRS) independent advocate. An affiliate of PSRE (Public Sector Retirement Educators), a Federal Contractor & Registered Vendor to the Federal Government, also an affiliate of TSP Withdrawal Consultants. We will help you understand your FERS & FRS Benefits, TSP & Florida D.R.O.P. withdrawal options in detail while recognizing & maximizing all concurrent alternatives available. Our primary goal is to guide you into retirement with no regrets; safe, predictable, stable, for life. We look forward to visiting with you.
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