Managing retirement income is a highly personalized endeavor. What works well for one person isn't necessarily the best solution for another. But one thing is usually true for everyone: increasing your social security income is a good thing.
It turns out that your social security income amount isn't necessarily fixed. You can potentially increase social security benefits by taking advantage of one more of the following strategies. And that's definitely a good thing.
When You Start Taking Social Security Matters
If you want to boost your social security income, timing can make a big difference in how much you receive. If you begin claiming social security benefits at age 62, you'll receive significantly less each month than you would if you waited until age 66. And if you delay benefits until age 70, you'll increase social security benefits even more. Therefore, if you can plan your retirement income so as to delay collecting social security benefits for a few years, your patience will really pay off in the long run.1
Read more about Social Security timing here.
When considering your timing regarding collecting social security benefits, you'll need to think about your personal situation. Consider the following:
Longevity in your family
Your cash flow needs during retirement
Other sources of income during your retirement years
Your spouse's eligibility for social security benefits
Your plans for continuing to work or not work
All of these factors influence your decision of when to start taking social security, and it's an important decision indeed.
The File and Suspend Strategy
Another strategy to increase social security benefits during retirement is to file and suspend. To use this strategy, apply for social security benefits at age 66, allowing your spouse to collect benefits based on your earnings record. As soon as you file, suspend your own benefits and delay claiming them until you reach age 70. Your social security benefits increase by 8% per year for each year you delay collecting beyond age 66, so using the file and suspend strategy can really pay off!2
Learn more about the File and Suspend strategy here.
The Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits
Another helpful strategy is the Restricted Application for Spousal Benefits. Married couples can use this strategy to start collecting spousal benefits while simultaneously allowing their own social security benefits to grow through the accumulation of delayed retirement credits.3
When you use this strategy, it's important to complete the form that states you're restricting the application to the spouse benefit and you're not collecting your own retirement social security benefits.
Read more about the Restricted Application here.
To learn more about how you can increase social security benefits during your retirement years, or to learn which strategy to use, get in touch with us at WrapManager. We can help you evaluate your retirement income plan and even create a personalized plan for you. Give us a call at (800) 541-7774 to review your situation with one of our Wealth Managers.
Michael is a Certified Wealth Strategist and Wealth Manager at WrapManager, Inc.
2 CBS News