Seniors have to be wary about their Social Security checks. After all, it becomes their primary source of income after they have retired. Even in cases where these seniors have other sources of income (such as business or established wealth), Social Security is still important. It provides a guaranteed pension that they can use to purchase their essential sustenances like medications and health care.
These days, the importance of Social Security has been magnified by a volatile economy. Hence, if there are methods of expanding the amount that you can get from your checks, many would really pursue it.
Fortunately, there are valid ways you can do this. For seniors, upcoming retirees, and people who are preparing for their retirement, consider doing the following steps:
Work At Least 35 Years
As you probably know, social security is a government-sponsored retirement program. It was created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935 to provide financial support to retired workers and their families. Since then, the amount you receive from Social Security each month has been calculated based on your lifetime earnings and how much you paid into the system while you were working.
The Social Security Administration calculates your total earnings from the 35 years you have been working to determine the amount of money you will receive. Specifically, they are using the average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) formula to calculate the total pension that you will get upon retiring.
If you can’t reach 35 years, those missing years will be counted as zero. They will be included in the calculation, which would decrease the average pension.
Get Higher Income
An increase in your Social Security benefits will result in a bigger check. When your income increases, Social Security will adjust your benefits upward to ensure that you continue to get a payout that is as close as possible to what you were originally promised. This can result in a large increase in your check.
It is not a secret that the Social Security Administration calculates your total pension based on your earnings while you were still working. Therefore, the bigger your income is, the higher your benefit becomes. Because of this, those who are nearing their retirement period are trying to find ways to boost their income, such as doing part-time jobs or starting businesses.
Delay The Benefits
Many individuals are aware that the full retirement age (FRA) will enable them to get the most out of their Social Security benefits. Today, the FRA in the United States is 66.
However, not all are informed that delaying the benefits after they reached the FRA can boost their annual earnings from the pension by 8%. The income increases by 8% until you reach the age of 70.
For instance, if you are eligible to get $24,000 annually after reaching 66, the annual amount that you would get would increase to $31,680 if you delay your benefits until you turn 70 years old.
Work Until Your Full Retirement Age
If you are familiar with the US Social Security system, then you know that some of your social security benefits may be reduced if you claim them before your full retirement age of 66 (for people born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age is 67).
However, if you hold off on claiming your social security benefits until your full retirement age and then continue to work, you will get a chance to increase your benefits. The size of the increase depends on how much you work, but if you work until age 70, you maximize your social security benefits.
Claim Spousal Payments
Seniors who have a spouse can claim a pension for their partner.
- You are eligible for spouse pension if you are:
- over age 65;
- have a partner who is over age 60 (or under age 65 and in receipt of a disability support pension);
- have been living in a spousal relationship with your partner for at least 12 months.
The right of a single person to claim a share in their spouse’s pension is the most frequently used method for acquiring an income in retirement. This is because the value of the pension and the level of the couples’ entitlements are the determining factors in calculating the size of the income that can be claimed.