22 Ways to Live a Comfortable Retirement on Social Security Alone

Relying solely on Social Security – Can it be done?

Most people approaching retirement have no worries when it comes to spending all that promised newfound time. No, their concern is how they’ll afford to do everything they’ve been waiting their whole working life for. And for good reason, because according to the Social Security Administration, for approximately 21 percent of married senior couples and 43 percent of single retirees, Social Security represents more than 90% of their income in retirement.

If you’re in the same category and the numbers don’t add up to secure yourself the retirement that you want, read on to find out what finance experts suggest that you do to successfully get by on Social Security alone. And while you’re at it, check out these 5 Smart Strategies to Avoid Taxes on Social Security Benefits.


Postpone retirement

If you’re going to rely solely on Social Security in your golden years, then you’d better start doing whatever you can now, to maximize the benefits then, suggests David Bakke of Money Crashers. “This might involve working longer than expected, especially if you’re earning good money later on in life.”

The full retirement age, in most cases, is 67. Sure, you can also choose to leave the workforce at 62 and claim your Social Security benefits then, but you should know the money you’re gonna get will be less than what you’d receive if you wait until your full retirement age or even later. If you want to make the most of your benefits, Baker suggests postponing retirement until you turn 70, when your monthly Social Security check will be considerably higher.

Find out essential info

As you near your retirement age, you should try to find out as much as possible about your expected monthly payment. In order to do that, Dawn-Marie Joseph, founder of Estate Planning & Preservation suggests calling the Social Security Administration and asking whatever you think is important for your situation. There are things not many people know about Social Security benefits.

For example, “you might not know that you may be able to collect your deceased or ex-spouse’s monthly Social Security payment, which could ultimately be more than what your benefit would be,” Joseph says. Check out this example of 7 Key Social Security Benefits You Might Be Unaware Of.

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