Recent reports in the media have scared some people into feeling like they may never be able to retire. Previous generations saw many retire at age 50 because they had a nice pension and would receive social security payouts as well. Unfortunately today, so many have not properly prepared for retirement and just Social Security is not enough to live on with pensions gone.
Whether you are already retired or are planning ahead these simple changes will help you to maximize your social security check:
The right time to begin drawing social security
You can start taking social security payouts at 62 years old, but each year you delay, your check will be another 8% higher throughout retirement. At 70, you no longer receive higher benefits by delaying. If you have already started taking your draw, don’t worry, there is a way you can increase your benefit check. The Social Security Administration(SSA) does allow you to pay back moneys you have taken out and delay your benefits until age 70, as long as it has not been longer than 1 year since you began drawing your payments. You can repay this money from a savings account, or 401k. If you are past the 1 year time frame, you can choose to ‘suspend’ future payments until age 70 to increase your future social security checks. A better plan may be to get a lump sum payment on a reverse mortgage to pay back the SSA for your benefits drawn and get a monthly check for life or a specified period that can replace the social security checks you were receiving. Then, at age 70, you will have the higher social security payouts and the reverse mortgage payouts, putting you in a much better financial situation.
“Dual-earner couples who have reached their full retirement age can claim spousal payments and file again later based on their own work record, which will then be higher because they accrued additional delayed retirement credits,” according to U.S. News & World Report.
Your Payouts are based on this factor
Your future social security payouts are based on your 35 highest earning years. So, you can boost future social security payouts by negotiating higher wages or taking on a second job.
Long Term Care Insurance
One of the biggest draws on your social security payouts in your later years will be healthcare. In your 50s and 60s it might make sense to buy long term care insurance. This can cover a nurse to take care of you in your home or in a care facility. Generally, most retirees prefer to receive care in their own home. If you cannot afford the monthly payments, many have used a reverse mortgage to cover this cost and give them the peace of mind that they have taken care of their future no matter what happens.
Calculators that will help
You may or may not be able to delay taking your social security payouts until 70 years old, but, it would be wise to research your options before deciding whether or not this is a possibility for your situation. A great resource for help in this decision is a reverse mortgage calculator found here: http://www.funds4seniors.com/reverse-mortgage-calculator/ The AARP also has a great calculator for determining when it is best for you to take your social security: http://www.aarp.org/work/social-security/social-security-benefits-calculator/