Retirement requires loads of planning, from building a healthy nest egg to deciding what age you want to leave the workforce. While most of these retirement plans take years or even decades, some moves require very little time at all. And there's one Social Security move that only takes a few minutes, but it could have an enormous effect on the rest of your retirement: Checking your estimated benefit amount. Image source: Getty Images. Why check your benefit amount before you retire? It's possible to see how much you're expected to receive in Social Security benefits, even if you're still years away from retirement. There are two important reasons to check your estimated benefit amount before you retire. For one, you can double-check that there are no errors in your earnings record, ensuring you receive the correct amount in benefits. In addition, it will make it easier to plan for retirement. Social Security benefits make up around 30% of the average retiree's income, … [Read more...] about This 5-Minute Social Security Move Could Make or Break Your Retirement
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Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Today's Social Security column addresses questions about whether to file early when taking spousal benefits, non-W-2 income and the monthly earnings test and other questions about early spousal benefits. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc. See more Ask Larry answers here . Have Social Security questions of your own you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here . When Should My Wife File For Social Security Spousal Benefits? Hi Larry, I turned 65 last December and plan to start drawing social security in June. I stopped working completely in January 2020 — does that mean there will be a reduction in benefits? Also, my spouse doesn’t have enough credits to claim a Social Security retirement benefit on her own. Assuming she outlives me, is there any way that her widow's benefits will be … [Read more...] about Ask Larry: What Is The Highest Possible Social Security Retirement Benefit Rate?
Share to Twitter Share to Linkedin Today's Social Security column addresses questions about whether a new application is necessary to receive retirement benefits after taking spousal benefits, taking early survivor's benefits before retirement benefits and when Social Security considers you to be 70. Larry Kotlikoff is a Professor of Economics at Boston University and the founder and president of Economic Security Planning, Inc. See more Ask Larry answers here . Have Social Security questions of your own you’d like answered? Ask Larry about Social Security here . Will I Need To Reapply for Social Security Retirement Benefits At 70? Hi Larry, I will be 70 in July and will then be changing from spousal to my retirement benefits. I expect to get about $3,400.00. My wife, who was born in 1954, started her retirement benefits at 62. Her benefit is about $1,200. When I'm 70, will I have to reapply for my retirement benefit? also, when I'm … [Read more...] about Ask Larry: Will I Need To Reapply For Social Security Retirement Benefits At 70?
Whether you plan to live mostly on Social Security in retirement or use those benefits to supplement your retirement plan withdrawals, it's important to get as much money out of the program as you can. But if you fall victim to these blunders, your monthly Social Security benefits may end up letting you down. 1. Not knowing your full retirement age You're entitled to your full monthly Social Security benefit at full retirement age , or FRA. Even though you're allowed to sign up for benefits as early as age 62, claiming them even a month ahead of FRA will result in an automatic reduction. Image source: Getty Images. You might assume that your FRA is 65, because that's when Medicare eligibility begins. But actually, if you were born in 1960 or later, FRA isn't until age 67. That's why you'll need to learn your FRA before you can even think about filing for benefits. The last thing you want to do is slash your benefits accidentally due to not knowing when you can claim them … [Read more...] about You’ll Sell Yourself Short on Social Security if You Make These Mistakes
In 2022, the maximum monthly Social Security benefit is $4,194 per month. For retirees receiving closer to the average monthly benefit of $1,657 per month, a Social Security check that produces a whopping $50,328 in annual income may seem extremely generous. The reality, however, is that getting a $4,194 Social Security check actually isn't as great as it appears. In fact, most of the people who receive so much money aren't actually benefiting from Social Security as much as their counterparts who receive much less. Here's why. Image source: Getty Images. The problem with a $4,194 Social Security benefit The big reason why a $4,194 Social Security benefit isn't nearly as great as it seems is because of the requirements you must fulfill to get it. In order to receive so much monthly Social Security income, you'd have to claim your benefits at 70, while most people start them sooner. You'd also need to earn an income equal to or exceeding the wage base limit in at least 35 … [Read more...] about Why a $4,194 Social Security Benefit Isn’t as Great as It Seems
This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 17, 2022 - January 23, 2022. - A + A HERE is a piece of news to consider amid misguided calls to allow more premature withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund: dividends from the EPF for 2021 look set to top the rate in 2020 (5.2% conventional, 4.9% shariah). There is even a chance of conventional dividends reaching their highest in three years — above 2019’s 5.45%, possibly even touching 6% — The Edge’s back-of-the-envelope calculation shows. The EPF’s total absolute dividend payout also looks set to reach a new all-time high in 2021 — beating 2017’s RM48.13 billion — even though the EPF’s fund size may stay flat or slightly smaller year on year due to Covid-19-related withdrawals, The Edge’s estimates show. The three-fold good news is because in the first nine months of 2021 (9M2021), the EPF’s net investment income of RM47.67 billion (RM48.02 billion gross) was already more than … [Read more...] about The State of the Nation: EPF 2021 dividend set to top 2020, absolute payout to hit new all-time high
Retirees shouldn't plan to live on Social Security alone, but that doesn't mean it's not smart to try to get the largest possible monthly benefit. A bigger Social Security check can come in handy if your savings starts to run dry, since your checks won't end over the course of your life. During times of high inflation, Social Security checks also get bigger, helping to protect you from declining buying power due to rising prices. But how exactly can you make your retirement checks larger? There are five steps you should consider, some of which can be taken throughout your life, and others that become available to you in your later years. Image source: Getty Images. 1. Boost your income Social Security checks are designed to replace around 40% of preretirement income, and each person's benefit amount is calculated based on what they were earning before leaving the workforce. A higher income will almost always translate to a larger monthly benefit. But to make a big … [Read more...] about 5 Secrets to Supersizing Your Social Security Checks