3 Social Security Strategies to Bankroll a Sweet Retirement | Personal-finance

(Maurie Backman)

You may have lofty goals for retirement, whether it’s pursuing a hobby like golfing or sailing, traveling, or going back to school. No matter what objectives you set for your senior years, the more money you have access to, the more likely you’ll be to get to do the things you’ve always dreamed of.

That’s why it’s so important to get as much money as possible out of Social Security. And these strategies could help you do just that.

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1. Extend your career

Social Security benefits are based on earnings – specifically, the amount of money you make during your 35 most profitable years in the labor force. If you’re nearing the end of your career and have 35 full years of work under your belt, you’re in good shape. However, it could pay to extend your career by a couple of years if you’re at a point where your earnings have risen substantially.

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Imagine you’re in your 60s and recently worked your way up to a VP role within your company that has you earning a generous salary. If you stick with it a little longer, you can replace a year or two of lower earnings with higher ones, thereby giving your monthly benefits a nice boost.

2. Delay your filing

If you want the full monthly Social Security benefit you’re entitled to based on your wage history, you’ll need to wait until full retirement age (FRA) to file. FRA is either 66, 67, or somewhere in between, depending on your year of birth.

That said, you don’t have to file at your precise FRA. If you delay your claim, you’ll boost your benefits in the process. In fact, your benefits will grow 8% for each year you hold off on taking them, up until age 70. If you’re able to hold out that long, you could snag a 24% to 32% boost, depending on your exact FRA.

3. Coordinate with your spouse

It may be the case that both you and your spouse are entitled to Social Security benefits based on your respective earnings records. If so, you can play around with different filing scenarios to see what makes the most sense.

One common strategy is to have the lower earner claim benefits at FRA so there’s money coming into your household, all the while having the higher earner delay their filing. That way, that larger benefit can grow into an even more substantial sum.

Of course, that’s not your only option. You may decide to have the higher-earning spouse claim benefits first if you want to start receiving more money up front. The key is to think things through and file at a time that makes sense both individually and collectively.

Make sure you have a plan

Social Security could end up being a significant income source for you once you stop working, so it’s important to think carefully about how to maximize and claim your benefits. The more money you’re able to squeeze out of the program, the more you’re apt to enjoy your retirement.

The $ 18,984 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $ 18,984 more … each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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