Toy For A 5 Year Old To Increase His Brain The Social Security Dilemma – When to Start Looking For Ways to Increase Lifetime Benefits?

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The Social Security Dilemma – When to Start Looking For Ways to Increase Lifetime Benefits?

Social Security offers one of the best forms of retirement income—a tax-advantaged source of income that lasts the recipient’s lifetime with protection against inflation and survivor benefits.

For most individuals, benefits provide around 30 to 35% of pre-retirement income. In an uncertain world with fewer pensions covered, 401(k) balances that have shrunk, and likely lower income due to forced early retirements and layoffs, the option to withdraw from Social Security as soon as possible is attractive.

Oftentimes, individuals will wonder when is the optimal time to start taking doses. Many apply for benefits as soon as they become eligible at age 62. The average age people start collecting is just over 63 1/2.

Social Security benefits are based on lifetime earnings. Real wages are adjusted to take inflation into account. And then average monthly earnings during the highest-earning quarter over the past 35 years are used to determine the basic benefit or “primary insurance amount,” known as PIA.

The PIA determines how much you will receive at full retirement age – 65 or more depending on the individual’s date of birth. If someone chooses to take benefits before reaching full retirement age, the monthly benefit is reduced by approximately 6.7% per year. A person with a full pension age of 66 who retires at 62 can expect to receive only 75% of the total benefit. On the other hand, the one who defers receiving benefits gets credit. So waiting until age 70 can result in monthly payments that are 32% higher, or 8% per year for the four-year delay in this example.

A number of factors will influence this personal decision. In general, the longer a person can delay withdrawal, the higher the monthly benefit they will be entitled to receive. Since women tend to outlive men, women may benefit most from higher payments later. So if a single woman can afford to meet her lifestyle needs from other sources, then deferment is a reasonable option. For single men or women, family longevity and personal history may be decisive factors.

For those who are married, benefits are based on the income of each spouse. For spouses who do not have their own income records, the benefit is calculated at 50% of the working spouse. Spouse survivor benefits are equal to the higher-earning deceased spouse’s monthly benefit. By deferring, the spouse will be entitled to a potentially higher benefit.

Two little-known strategies can actually increase the benefits for recipients.

Claim and suspend:

This option arose out of the Seniors’ Freedom to Work Act of 2000 and gives the recipient the option to change their mind. This is ideal for those who are eligible to start collecting but have decided that the full benefit is not needed now.

This strategy offers three ways to increase the personal earnings of a worker who has reached full retirement age (FRA): o Enroll in Social Security and allow your spouse to claim spousal benefits now. o Suspend benefits for a worker who can now continue to work and earn deferred retirement credits. By delaying a worker’s enrollment, the amount that worker will be entitled to withdraw each month will continue to grow by 8% per year until age 70. o If a beneficiary using this strategy dies, the higher accumulated benefit will pass to the surviving spouse.

Claim now, Claim more later:

This option works best for married couples who each have their own work record and have reached each beneficiary’s respective full retirement age.

With this option, the worker can claim a benefit based on 50% of the spouse’s PIA while continuing to work and receive deferred retirement benefits of 8% per year based on the worker’s records – ideally until age 70. Later, the spouse can switch from the spousal benefit to claim the benefit in their own work record, probably if it is larger.

Conclusion:

The decision to delay benefits really pays off when the beneficiary lives long enough to maximize benefits – either equal to or greater than the actuarial age. For those aged 65, life expectancy is 19 years longer, or up to 84 years – slightly more for women and slightly less for men.

For women who live to an older age, it can mean the difference between poverty for a surviving spouse or not having a higher-income spouse delaying benefits.

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