Social Security: Guarantee Bigger Benefits
It’s important to form a strategy before claiming Social Security benefits. After all, you want to get the maximum amount possible.
Consider the following before signing up for Social Security:
- Whether or not you’ll be eligible for spousal benefits. For example, married couples can maximize their payments by coordinating the timing of their claims.
- Whether or not you’re divorced or widowed. Seniors in those situations often have more options than, say, an older adult who never married.
- How long you expect to live. Older adults in poor health might consider claiming reduced benefits before full retirement age.
- The effect a job can have on your payments. Uncle Sam penalizes seniors who work while claiming benefits before full retirement age.
Determining when to apply for Social Security benefits is a personal and complex decision. So where can you go for help? Consider your nearest Social Security office, the Social Security website ( https://www.ssa.gov/), or even a fee-only financial planner.
Did you know that you can maximize your benefits by minimizing your taxes? Turn to page 38 of The Fixed Income Answer Book for Seniors to learn how earning a paycheck and other factors can affect your tax bill while receiving Social Security.
- FC&A Staff Writer