Thursday, March 29, 2018

What Is the Best Way to Maximize My Social Security Benefits?

When lawmakers closed the “file & suspend” strategy that most people used to maximize Social Security benefits at the end of 2015, retirees had to focus on other ways to maximize their benefits for retirement. In addition to closing this loophole, lawmakers also made other changes that effectively closed some of the doors to strategies that people also used to maximize Social Security benefits.

Therefore, our Fort Worth Social Security disability lawyers work with our clients to develop new strategies that ensure they have the funds they need during their retirement years. These strategies often involve ways to maximize Social Security benefits, comprehensive estate planning, Medicaid planning, and the use of other retirement planning tools and resources.

Working Longer Means More Money in Your Check

Working past the retirement age for Social Security eligibility is one of the obvious ways to maximize your benefits. Many people look forward to the day they can retire so that their days are not structured and dictated by a job. Social Security benefits become available when you turn 62 years of age.  However, if you begin receiving benefits when you turn 62 years old, you will pay a hefty penalty.

Retirees who begin Social Security benefits when they turn 62 years old, receive 25 percent less than they are entitled to receive if they wait until they reach full retirement age (66 or 67). What many people do not understand is that the 25 percent discount is permanent. Even when you reach full retirement age, your benefits continue to be paid at the 25 percent discounted rate.

However, if you wait until full retirement age, you receive 100 percent of your benefits. In addition, for every year you wait after your full retirement age to apply for benefits, the amount of your benefits increase by eight percent. The increase is guaranteed by the government and available until age 70.

Continue to Work While You Wait

If your health allows you to do so, continue to work while you wait to apply for your Social Security benefits. Benefits are calculated using the highest amounts earned over 35 years. If you are earning more money now than you did 30 years ago, you can benefit from continuing to work. By working full time until full retirement age, you can increase the amount of your Social Security benefits.

Claiming Spousal Benefits

Another way you might be able to maximize benefits is with the two-claim household. If both spouses work, one spouse files a claim at full retirement age for spousal benefits. However, this spouse continues to work and collect additional retirement credits while the other spouse becomes retired.

This strategy for maximizing benefits depends on several factors, including the ages of the spouses. It is best to consult with a Texas Social Security Attorney before applying for benefits to ensure you are taking the steps that give you the chance of receiving the maximum amount in Social Security income.

There could be numerous strategies that you could utilize to maximize your benefits. Contact the Texas Social Security attorneys at the Law Office of Carey Thompson today to discuss the plan that is right for you and your family.

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