Social Security is complicated enough without having simple mistakes cost you money. However, everyone makes a blunder here and there. All that’s important is that we stay vigilant, avoid the simple mistakes, and correct the ones we do make. Here are three Social Security mistakes to always avoid, as reported by the Motely Fool’s Katie Brockman.
Three Social Security Mistakes
These mistakes can impact your benefit total each month, so it’s important to be aware of them in the case they accidently cost you money. The mistakes include:
- Not Knowing your full retirement age
- Not knowing your estimated benefit
- Not taking advantage of the perks you qualify for
Your full retirement age is the age where you can claim your benefits without getting penalized for early withdrawal. If you claim before, you run the risk of missing out on up to 30 percent of your benefit. The later you claim, the more you can earn. But you need to know when you reach your full retirement age, as depending on the year you were born, it is either 65 or 67.
Secondly, our benefits are based on 35 of our top earning years. Knowing your income allows you to have a realistic expectation about what your monthly benefit income should be. That way if it’s off the mark, you can tell instantly.
Lastly, always know what benefits are afforded to you. Survivor benefits and spousal benefits may lead to a higher monthly income if your spouse has a higher earning history.
Be aware of these mistakes so that you can avoid them and earn the highest benefit you can. For more retirement tips and ticks follow the Council for Retirement Security.