Social Security is an important source of retirement funds for many people in the United States; as of September 2022, over 70 million people were in receipt of these benefits. Many people are not aware of how or when to begin utilizing this source of income. As you age and come closer to retirement, the decisions you make become increasingly important in determining the amount of money you will receive. Therefore, it is important to be aware of what to anticipate. Let’s explore how you can get the most out of your benefits and give yourself the best opportunity to live out your desired retirement.
What Exactly is Social Security?
The United States federal government created Social Security as a way to aid those who are disabled or have retired and are in need of financial assistance. How much you receive in benefits is determined by how much you have paid into the system over the course of your life, as well as the money you earned during your working years. It is important to note that the money from Social Security is unlikely to be enough to sustain your current lifestyle, but it can provide some relief with your income. Additionally, it is a permanent benefit that is guaranteed to you as an American citizen.
The Steps to Maximizing Your Benefits
There are many different approaches that you can take to get the most out of your Social Security benefits. Let’s discuss a few.
- A great tip is to make sure you gain income for at least 35 years to maximize the benefits of Social Security. Even if you have only worked for 10 years, you can still get Social Security. However, you will receive much more if you keep working for a longer period. The amount of your benefit is based on the average of the 35 years when you have earned the most. So, it’s easy math: the less you work, the less you’ll earn.
- It is generally recommended to delay signing up for Social Security benefits until one reaches their full retirement age. Although you can begin collecting at 62, waiting until 66 or 67 will give you the most advantageous level of benefit. It is essential to keep in mind that when a person reaches 70 years old, the gain in advantages stops. People who have a small salary should consider signing up for spousal benefits. In certain situations, married people can get up to half of their companion’s benefit. This resource can be a game-changer for those in a pinch.
- Finally, it is extremely important for people planning to receive Social Security to keep track of their income and check for errors after they become members. Even the tiniest errors can influence the amount of money you will have in your retirement, so be mindful!
All in all, Social Security is a vital aspect of everyone’s retirement plan, and while it may seem daunting, a social security strategy that works for you is within reach, and we are here to help. We’ve only scratched the surface with this discussion of Social Security. If you have questions regarding how you can make the most of your benefits, reach out to us today for a complimentary review of your finances.
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Fixed index annuities are designed to meet long-term needs for retirement income. Early withdrawals may result in loss of principal and credited interest due to surrender charges. Distributions may be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59 ½, an additional 10% federal tax. An income rider or benefit (sometimes called Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits, or GLWB) is an additional feature available with some annuities and generally optional and come with additional cost. Income benefits are designed to provide income options above and beyond the standard annuitization or free withdrawal features in annuities. All contract gains beyond the CAP rate are surrendered to the insurance company to pay for the expense of the product.
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