Whether you kick off your golden years with a modest amount of savings or no savings at all, you will get the most money out of the insurance. These simple steps will help you increase your benefits and enjoy a higher life income stream.
1. Work at least 35 years
Your social security benefits are based on your 35 highest paid salary years. But not everyone works for 35 years. Some people are free to raise children. Others leave the workforce to travel, care for their loved ones, or recover from injuries or illnesses. If you do not have a full 35 years of work under your belt, extending your career can give the benefits a much needed boost. By doing this, you are replacing the $ 0 you would otherwise receive in the distribution equation for each year without income with an actual salary, and thus you get the average salary over the 35-year period.
Furthermore, it is often worthwhile to work more than 35 years if your goal is to expand your benefits. Reason? If you make more money later in life than you did earlier in your career, you can replace a few years of lower earnings with higher earnings, thus increasing your average salary to get the total benefit.
2. Delay of benefits past your entire retirement age
Although your Social Security benefits are based on your work history, you are not eligible to claim them in full until you reach full retirement age. This age, depending on your year of birth, is either 66, 67 or somewhere in between.
Remember that the Social Security Administration will give you benefits already at age 62, but when you do, you will I reduce them in the process. At the same time, you can also defer the benefits over full retirement age and increase them by 8% a year up to 70 years. This means that if you are entitled to $ 1500 per month at a full retirement age of 67, waiting for 70 to claim your benefits will give you $ 1,860 a month instead – for life.
3. Increase Your Work Skills to Boost
Your Social Security benefits are based on your earnings, so the higher your income, the higher they are. Therefore, it is worthwhile to expand your skills to make yourself the most valuable employee. When you do, you are more likely to claim credit-based increases that will not only put more money into your pocket from year to year, but also increase your Social Security benefits during retirement.
How can you improve your skills up front? For one thing, you can see if you are certified in a specific area of your subject area, whether it is information technology, project management or education. You can also work on increasing your soft skills – things like communication, problem solving and organization.
Perhaps Social Security will be your main source of income for retirement. Or maybe it will only make up a fraction of your total income. Either way, you paid into the system throughout your career, so you deserve to enjoy the benefits now that you're older. Do these steps and you will look at a higher payment from Social Security during retirement.