Tag Archive | "maximizing Social Security benefits"

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.

Posted in Creating a Personalized Retirement Plan, Planning for Your Retirement, Social SecurityComments (0)

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.

Posted in Planning for Your Retirement, Social SecurityComments (0)

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.

Posted in Planning for Your Retirement, Social SecurityComments (0)

Postponing Retirement Has Become a Reality for Many


Over the last few years, many Americans, especially low- and middle-income workers, have watched their retirement dreams vanish like dew in the hot morning sun. Home values have plummeted and many retirement funds have lost fifty percent of their value — or more, meaning postponing retirement has become a reality for many.

While we do seem to be coming out of the “Great Recession” — corporate profits are up, housing prices seem to have bottomed out in most areas, and the economy is slowly adding new jobs — it will be quite a while before we’re back to where we were. And that’s bad news, especially for those in the 55 to 64 age bracket, many of whom will now have to work to 70 and beyond to meet their needs.

Retirement Roadblocks Mount for Many

Denise McColister, of Dallas, had hoped to retire at 62.

“At 45, I felt really secure,” the Dallas resident, now 55, recalled. Back then, her husband made good money, and their house was paid for.

Then he became disabled and their house, which they had borrowed against, plummeted in value. Now, instead of padding her financial cushion, she’s working a part-time call center job while hoping for a better position. There’s no retirement in sight.

“I’ll probably be working until I’m called home,” she said.

Working until 70 to maximize your Social Security benefits, which max out at that age, is one option. Downsizing now, to reduce expenses and maximize contributions to your retirement plan is another.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. We’ll be recovering from this devastating financial meltdown for a long time to come and postponing retirement has become a reality for many.

Click here to read Retirement Roadblocks Mount for Many posted by Evan Bedard on October 1, 2012 in Latest Financial News

Posted in Planning for Your Retirement, The EconomyComments (0)


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