Maximize Social Security Retirement Benefits

Yesterday, we looked at some of the things you should know about Social Security — before you retire, but we only scratched the surface. There’s much more to know if you want to maximize Social Security retirement benefits.

Maximize Social Security Retirement Benefits

Social Security provides survivor benefits

If your spouse dies before you, you can take a so-called survivor benefit. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death (or 100% of what your spouse would have been eligible to receive if he or she hadn’t yet taken benefits).

Spousal benefits are available — even after a divorce

Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to get a benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record. You can still qualify to receive a benefit based on his or her record if you were married at least ten years and you are 62 or older.

Increase your benefits by delaying your claim

Once you hit full retirement age, you can choose to wait to take your benefit. There’s a big bonus to delaying your claim — your benefit will grow by 8% a year up until age 70. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you don’t forgo those by waiting.

By understanding how the program works, it’s easy to maximize Social Security retirement benefits. I’ll cover the remaining tips in tomorrow’ post.

Click here to read more about how to maximize social security benefits.

Click here to read yesterday’s post: What You Should Know About Social Security – Before You Retire.

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