Whether Social Security benefits will be your key source of income in retirement or an important supplement to your retirement income, it’s important to know the ins and outs of Social Security in order to make the most of your benefits. That being said, here are 9 essential things that will help you optimize your benefits and live the retirement life that you deserve.
Main types of Social Security benefits
When it comes to Social Security, the first thing that comes to mind is the benefits you are entitled to receive for contributing to the program during your working years. But Social Security is not only about your personal benefits but also about benefits that can be extended to your spouse, ex-spouse and children. Here are the main types of Social Security benefits:
- Earned Benefits, or benefits based on your own earnings record.
- Spousal Benefits, or benefits based on your spouse’s or ex-spouse’s earnings record.
- Survivor Benefits, or benefits based on your deceased spouse’s earnings record.
You can optimize your benefits by waiting
“Optimizing your Social Security benefits can be life-changing”, says Nevenka Vrdoljak, director, Chief Investment Officer, Bank of America. In order to get the most out of your Social Security, try waiting as long as you can before claiming your benefits. Normally, you can start collecting your benefits at 62, but for every year beyond that age, you can boost your benefits by as much as 8 percent until you turn seventy. 70 is the maximum age, so beyond that, your benefits will no longer increase.
On that note, here are 5 Pros & Cons for Claiming Social Security Early.