Tag Archive | "maximize Social Security benefits"

Changes To Social Security for 2013


Whether you’re already retired, getting ready or just dreaming, your future financial security will be affected by these changes to Social Security for 2013.

Learn about changes to Social Security for 2013.

Changes to Social Security for 2013

Some good, some bad — depending on how you look at them — here are seven changes being implemented by the Social Security Administration in the coming year.

1. Payroll tax cut ends.

2. Higher payroll tax cap.

3. More online services.

4. Reduced office hours.

5. Paper checks will end.

6. Higher earnings limit.

7. Bigger payments.

To ensure you’re getting all the Social Security benefits to which you’re entitled, take the time to get online and familiarize yourself with the Social Security Administration website — www.ssa.gov — to learn all you need to know about changes to Social Security for 2013.

Click here to read more about changes to Social Security for 2013.

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Working Longer May Not Save Your Retirement


Working longer is a frequently-sited strategy for ensuring a financially secure retirement and it offers many benefits such as more years of employment to save and maximizing your Social Security benefits. But just working longer may not save your retirement.

Working longer may not save your retirement, but it may help make your  golden years more fun, interesting — and rewarding.

Working longer may not save your retirement

There are many other factors that come into play when you consider postponing your retirement. How much you’re earning now is critical.

As you might expect, projections for the lowest pre-retirement income quartile are the most sobering. This group would need to defer retirement to age 84 before 90 percent of them would have even a 50 percent probability of achieving comparable pre-retirement living standards.

You’ll have to really love what you do to make working until you’re 84 seem attractive. The future looks brighter for those earning more, but not much.

The results improve with income levels, but even among those in the highest income quartile, 90 percent have only a 50 percent chance of having enough to retire by 70.

Even if you’re relatively young and plan to work longer, the projections are still grim.

When broken out by age, the news isn’t much better: For one-third of households in which the people were between ages 30 and 59 as of 2007, working until age 70 won’t provide adequate income in retirement.

One way to look at this and make the picture seem a little brighter is to broaden your definition of “work.” Even if you hate your current job and want to get out of it as soon as possible, your skills and experience may have many applications that will allow you to work less, generate income to offset your retirement expenses, and actually enjoy what you’re doing.

Working longer may not save your retirement, but it may help make your  golden years more fun, interesting — and rewarding.

Click here to learn why working longer may not save your retirement.

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Start Now To Get The Most From Social Security


Social Security may be the primary source of retirement income for many of us, so it’s important to start now to get the most from Social Security.

Start now to get the most from Social Security.

Start now to get the most from Social Security

The payment amount you’ll receive when you start receiving Social Security depends on many factors. Here are some things you can do to boost your payout when retirement time rolls around.

  1. Work for at least 35 years.
  2. Earn more.
  3. Work until your full retirement age.
  4. Delay claiming until age 70.
  5. Claim spousal payments.
  6. Claim twice.
  7. Include family.
  8. Don’t earn too much in retirement.
  9. Minimize Social Security taxes.
  10. Maximize survivor’s benefits.
  11. Make sure your work counts.

Some of these — like working for at least 35 years — require forethought and planning. You should start now to get the most from Social Security.

Click here to learn how you can get the most from Social Security.

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2013 Retirement Resolution: Get Your Social Security Statement


Most of us will be relying — perhaps heavily — on Social Security when we retire. To get an idea of what that will mean for you, adopt this 2013 retirement resolution: get your Social Security statement.

Make this 2013 retirement resolution: get your Social Security statement.

2013 retirement resolution: get your Social Security statement

Most workers will no longer receive a paper Social Security statement in the mail. But now people age 18 and older can access their Social Security statements online. Take a few minutes to check that your earnings history has been property recorded and familiarize yourself with your expected Social Security payout. “Delaying Social Security makes sense for most people if you can afford to do it, because the payout escalates enormously for every year you wait between ages 62 and 70. That’s a return that is really hard to beat by putting your own money to work.”

In addition to increasing your Social Security payments, working longer has the added advantage of more earnings and — of course — more savings for retirement, so make this 2013 retirement resolution: get your Social Security statement.

Click here to learn more about 2013 retirement resolutions you should make.

Click here to visit the Social Security Administration set up your online account.

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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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What You Should Know About Social Security – Before You Retire


One of the few relative certainties about retirement has been Social Security, but as you’re probably aware, it — along with other retiree “entitlements” — are much less certain than they used to be. To better prepare for retirement, let’s take a look at what you should know about Social Security — before you retire.

What you should know about Social Security — before you retire

According to the latest annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, the “retirement program would only be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits starting in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year.” While you can’t control what the government will do to fix the problem, you can take the necessary steps to understand Social Security and what you need to do to maximize your benefits.

How much you collect is based on your age.

For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. You can collect Social Security as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before full retirement age results in a permanent reduction of as much as 25% of your benefit.

Benefits are based on your work history.

Your benefit is based on the 35 years in which you earned the most money. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings will be factored in at zero. The benefit isn’t based on 35 consecutive years of work, but the highest-earning 35 years.

Your benefits are adjusted for inflation.

One of the most attractive features of Social Security benefits is that every year, the government adjusts the benefit for inflation. Known as a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, this inflation protection can help you keep up with rising living expenses during retirement. The COLA, which is automatic, is quite valuable; buying inflation protection on a private annuity can cost a pretty penny.

It helps to be married.

Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s benefit. Put simply, if your benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s is only worth $500, your spouse can switch to a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — bringing in $500 more in income per month.

These are just a glimpse of what you should know about Social Security — before you retire. I’ll be covering more in future posts.

Click here to read more about what you should know about Social Security — before you retire.

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