If you’re like most who think about how much you need for your golden years, you probably calculated based on still having a spouse. Widows, widowers and divorcees approaching retirement and about to file for Social Security, though, need to recognize filing options that can significantly increase monthly benefits.
Congress is about to curtail two little-known, but very useful, benefits of Social Security. These are the ability of a spouse to collect extra benefits. And also, it restricts your ability to get back benefits you initially elected not to receive, but later decided to claim after all.
You likely know that increasing your income over time makes a difference in your eventual Social Security retirement benefits. But how much of a difference? This is complicated, but let’s explain it.
Saving for retirement, an admirable aim, has lots of obstacles. The overall economy is to blame for some, government rules for others and employer tightfistedness for still others. Retiring at 65, which is the traditional goal, is for many a pipedream.
The mechanics of waiting to receive Social Security retirement benefits until after your retirement age are daunting. You can receive a lot more through waiting until age 70. Let’s explore how this all works.
Social Security benefits are complex and you can often miss benefits you are entitled to. If you fit into one of the categories below, pay attention.
One reason retirement funding may mystify you: How do you know when you saved enough so you won’t run out of money during your golden years? The answer begins with an understanding of your day-to-day expenses, and how those expenses may change in 30 or more years of retirement.
You might think that dealing with a federal agency, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), means long lines in some office near you. Not so: If you’re an adult, you can monitor your benefits situation with a few clicks of the keyboard and start serious planning for your retirement income.
If you plan to retire soon and you’re divorced, you may be entitled to additional Social Security retirement benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work and earnings record. Here’s how to get what you might well be entitled to.
Do additional earnings on your record after retirement age increase your Social Security benefit? The answer, as with many of these calculation-type questions, is a fully qualified “maybe.”