Social security planning has now become vital for everyone. It guarantees income that increases with inflation and allows you to make plans to ensure social income security after retirement to be able to support your family. There are several ways to maximize social security in the year 2021. This blog post will explain how you can perform certain actions to boost your social security and increase your financial benefits in retirement. According to SSA, social security benefits will increase by 1.3% in 2021. Read on to find out more.
Maximize Your Earnings
The Social Security Administration works through a system of credits to ensure that you qualify for social security. The general rule is that you must be working at a job that is covered by social security, and you must also be a regular taxpayer to earn credits. Your social security benefit is based on your earnings while working and when you start receiving payments. Married people are also eligible for their spouse’s payments.
You don’t need to be working at a high-end job in order to boost your social security payments. The higher your earnings are before retirement, the greater your monthly social security benefits will be.
Be Consistent in Earning
Social security uses your years of work history and earnings to determine the benefits. If, for instance, you did not work in a certain month, it will pull the average earnings results down. On the other hand, a higher monthly income will result in higher earnings and subsequently result in greater retirement benefits. Therefore, if you want to increase your social security, you should aim to work for at least 35 years with few or zero unpaid long leave stretches. If you identify the months where you have chances of zero income, you can correct those months beforehand and increase your chances of getting high monthly earnings to maximize your social security benefits at the time of retirement. This tip is useful for making long-term financial plans.
You can boost your social security by putting off retirement (if you are still willing to work and have the capacity to do so). The SSA grants retirement credits for delaying retirement to people who are past their established retirement age. These credits are granted because your benefits do not cap out after reaching the retirement age. For every year that you delay (in availing benefits) after your retirement age, you will get an increase of about 5.5% to 8% in your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which results in an increase in your social security payout by 1% every month.
Coordinate with Your Spouse
Married couples who coordinate their plans about social security benefits together are more likely to avail higher benefits compared to those who don’t. The survivor clause under the social security benefits entitles the spouse of the deceased worker (who has social security) to claim their retirement benefits.
Plus, if your living spouse is collecting social security, you will also be eligible to claim spousal benefits whether you qualify for social security at your own job or not. If you do qualify for social security benefits at your own job, but your retirement benefits are lower than your spousal benefits, you can opt for higher spousal benefits to get the maximum payout. Moreover, if you were married in the past but not anymore, you can still file for spousal benefits if your ex-spouse is deceased.
You should discuss the various options available with your spouse to avail maximum benefits at the time of retirement.
Avoid Social Security Tax
About 50% to 85% can be deducted from your social security payout in the form of federal taxes. You can avoid paying taxes on social security benefits by spreading out your income from different sources. The IRS will add your nontaxable interest and about half of your social security benefits to your gross income in order to determine the amount that will be subject to taxation. For instance, if your total gross income adds up to $25,000 to $34,000 as a single filer, 50% of your social security benefits will be subject to tax. Or, if the total exceeds $34,000, then 85% of your social security benefits will be subject to tax.
Do the Math
You can use an online social security calculator to determine your retirement benefits and how social security can affect them. You can put in different values to see how the result is impacted. For instance, you can include assets, expenses, and other sources of income to get a comprehensive answer to what your financial future will look like.
Don’t Claim Before Retirement Age
Your social security monthly benefits are significantly reduced if you claim your payments before retirement age. For instance, workers who sign up for social security at the age of 62 will receive almost 25% smaller benefits of monthly payments compared to those who avail benefits at 66. You can choose to suspend your social security to benefit from delayed retirement credits.
Social Security Pay Back
If you decide to opt-out of social security within 12 months of signing up, you can repay all of the money you received (without interest) and withdraw your application for social security benefits. So if you decide to sign up again later, the monthly payments will then be higher due to delayed claims. However, this option can only be used once by each beneficiary.
Social security is great for retired and disabled people as well as for spouses and children. Social security benefits are actually a major income source for most elderly. We hope that this blog was helpful to you and provided some useful tips to boost your social security benefits.