Social Security is more than just another government program; it’s one of the most popular programs in the United States, and supports you during your golden years. For many retirees, it’s a primary source of income, and it’s only wise to make the most of it.
By implementing a few strategic steps, you can potentially increase your monthly benefits, ensuring a higher standard of living in retirement. We’ve put together a bunch of ideas you could consider if you’re looking forward to having better retirement income, and improve your quality of life because, you know, that period of life could be really expensive.
Start Your Retirement Savings Early and Be Patient
One of the fundamental principles of maximizing your Social Security benefits is to start early. While you can begin claiming benefits as early as age 62, waiting a bit longer can make a significant difference in the amount you receive. If you can afford to delay, consider waiting until your full retirement age (usually 66 or 67, depending on your birth year) or even longer. For each year you delay, your benefit increases by a certain percentage, up to a maximum of 8% per year.
Periodically review your earnings records and stay up-to-date in how much you save every month. Any discrepancies or missing earnings can lead to a lower benefit amount than you’re entitled to. You can check your earnings history through your Social Security account online or by requesting a copy of your Social Security statement. If you spot any errors, promptly report them to the Social Security Administration to have your record updated. Trust me, you don’t wanna miss a single dollar.
Delay Claiming Your Retirement if You’re Still Working
Delaying the claiming of your retirement benefits can be a smart financial move if you’re still working. If you’re not expecting to rely totally on your Social Security retirement money, you can delay claiming the benefits. Your Social Security benefits are based on your earnings history and the age at which you claim them. If you continue to work and delay claiming benefits beyond your full retirement age (FRA), your monthly benefits will grow. For each year you delay beyond your FRA, you’ll receive a higher monthly benefit, up until age 70.
At the same time, you could continue to earn Social Security credits: you’ll need at least 40 credits to be eligible for retirement. By staying in the workforce, you can continue to earn a salary, which can help you cover living expenses and reduce your reliance on retirement savings. This can be especially beneficial if you’re not yet financially prepared for retirement.
Employers Offer Healthcare Benefits You Could Use
Many employers offer health insurance to their employees. If you’re still working, you may have access to employer-sponsored health coverage, which can reduce your healthcare costs until you’re eligible for Medicare at age 65.
Just in case, always consult an expert in retirement and Social Security, or with a lawyer specialized in the matter so that he can guide you in the most correct way, because these tips we give you are just the beginning of what could be a better life in retirement.