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5 Ways to Boost Your Monthly Social Security Benefits

By    |   Monday, 31 October 2016 08:33 AM

There are easy methods to boost your monthly Social Security benefits whether retirement is a long way off or just around the corner. Planning at any age helps to increase payouts when it’s time to start receiving disbursements.

That supplemental income comes in handy during the retirement years, so getting the most out of those benefits will improve your financial situation in the future.

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Here are five ways to boost your monthly Social Security benefits:

1. Work as long as you can — The longer a person waits to receive Social Security benefits, the higher the benefits. Starting to take benefits at age 62, the earliest you can take Social Security, could reduce those benefits by 30 percent the first year, according to SmartAsset. Retiring at 65 or 67 brings in higher payouts, but taking Social Security at age 70 brings the maximum benefits.

2. Strive to earn more — Disbursement calculations are based on your average earnings during 35 years when you made the most money. Getting raises or finding jobs that pay more will increase your benefits when the time comes. Some people might take second jobs to increase income during the working years.

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3. Take advantage of spousal benefits — Spouses can claim benefits from their own work or as much as 50 percent of benefits from the higher earner. You are also entitled to claim benefits based on an ex-spouse’s work record if married at least 10 years, according to U.S. News.

4. Plan to earn less outside of Social Security — People under age 66 making more than $15,720 in 2016 have $1 withheld from benefits for every $2 made over the limit. After age 66, however, the limit increases to $41,880 and $1 is withheld for every $3 over the earnings limit.

5. Calculate potential benefits — People in general continue to live longer and old estimates are obsolete. Online interactive calculators deliver the best possible time to take Social Security benefits by adding in specific financial and personal information, consumer adviser Clark Howard points out. For example, AARP has a Social Security benefits calculator that factors in current personal finances, payouts and when to claim, and ways to maximize benefits.

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There are easy methods to boost your monthly Social Security benefits whether retirement is a long way off or just around the corner. Planning at any age helps to increase payouts when it’s time to start receiving disbursements.
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Monday, 31 October 2016 08:33 AM
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