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3 Smart Social Security Moves – The Motley Fool

Social security is a guaranteed source of income in retirement, but the amount you are entitled to is not settled before signing up for benefits. Up to this point, you can do much to influence the size of the controls you receive – for better or worse. Take these three steps today to maximize your benefits.

1. Verify that your revenue listing is correct.

Your social security benefit is based on average monthly income in the 35 highest earning years, with adjustments for inflation. The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps track of your taxable income, which you can see by setting up a person number account.

  Pile of Social Insurance Cards

Image Source: Getty Images.

Check this out at least once a year to verify that the revenue listed there matches your own tax records. If the amount listed is incorrect, especially if no income is shown for a year in which you know that you have made money, fill out the request for correction of the earnings record and submit it along with proof of your earned income that year to SSA. 19659007] Allowing errors to go uncorrected can reduce the benefits you are entitled to when you take out social security benefits in retirement. At that time, it may be too late to do anything about it if you have thrown out your old tax returns and have no evidence of how much you actually earned that year. Keeping on this will ensure that the government does not accidentally shorten you.

2. Do what you can to increase your earnings today.

Anything you can do today that boosts revenue also increases your social security benefits, unless you earn more than $ 132,900 in 2019. Don't increase your benefits anymore.

If you are like most people, you can work overtime, start a job or change careers could have a significant impact on your earnings this year, in addition, the social security scheme you are entitled to when you retire. Just make sure you report any additional income you earn from the government. Failure to do so will increase the risk of an audit, and it will not help your social security benefits.

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3. Determine at best age to start social security.

You are eligible for Social Security as soon as you become 62, but it is not always the wisest time to start taking it. SSA defines your full retirement age as 66 or 67, depending on the year of birth. If you start Social Security before this, your SSA reduces your checks to account for the extra months you receive benefits. From 62 o'clock you will receive only 75% of the planned performance per check if your full retirement age is 66 or 70% if your full retirement age is 67 years.

The good news is that if you can be patient process also works in reverse. You can increase your checks by delaying the benefits beyond your full retirement age. This amounts to a maximum of 70 when you receive 124% of the scheduled performance per check if your full retirement age is 67 or 132% if your full retirement age is 66 years.

You need to consider several factors when deciding when to start social security. If you want the most benefits, consider your life expectancy. Multiply your estimated 62, full retirement benefits and 70 (as found in your personal account) by 12 to get your estimated annual benefits for each of these. Then this number multiplies by the number of years you expect to receive benefits to see which starting age gives you the most benefits as a whole.

If you expect to live a long life, delaying benefits are probably your best bet, but that may not be an option for everyone. You may have to start taking benefits before you are forced to retire earlier than planned and need them to cover your living expenses. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict what can happen, so all you can do is give a trained guess about the best time to start benefits and make sure you have plenty of personal pension savings to cover what Social Security does not want.

You may be decades away from demanding social security, but it's never too early to start thinking about it. By doing the three moves right now, you can increase your insurance coverage and reduce the burden on your personal retirement savings.

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