When it comes to benefits, patience payoff. Claiming Social Security can be a difficult decision, and it’s always important to make sure you’ve weighed your options with all the right information. Here are three pieces of advice to help us with claiming our benefits, as reported by Forbes contributor Richard Eisenberg.
Claiming Our Benefits Wisely
These three tips are designed to help you potentially earn a higher benefit while also protecting the benefits you are entitled to:
1. Wait to Claim If You Can
The longer we can defer our benefits, the more we can claim each month. Seniors who wait to claim until age 70 can earn up to 130 percent of their entitled benefit, based on their earning history. We can’t all wait on claiming benefits, but the longer we wait past 62 the more we can earn. Any amount helps.
2. Couples Should Plan Together
There are different types of benefits, for example, spousal benefits. Spousal benefits still apply whether you and your spousal are married or divorced. If one spouse is a higher earner, then the other spouse can file for a benefit equal to half of theirs. Spouses should plan together, so they know exactly what options are available to them and what any potential benefits are.
3. Be Picky About Who Take Advice From
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is there to help you and offers a great online portal to answer any basic questions. That said, it is becoming harder for the SSA to devote the necessary attention to everyone equally. Cutbacks have caused offices to close, and the pandemic made wait times longer. If someone makes a mistake, then it is our money on the line. If we’re seeking advice on claiming our benefits, make sure to get it from a professional with credible experience, and remember that it never hurts to get a second opinion.
For more retirement tips and tricks, make sure to follow along with the Council for Retirement Security.