When it comes to making the decision to begin claiming your Social Security retirement benefits, there are several things you should do beforehand. In this article, we are going to go over the three most important things to know before you begin taking out Social Security. Keep reading to learn what they are!
- Know and Understand Your Full Retirement Age
One of the most common misconceptions is when individuals miscalculate their full retirement age. Your full retirement age depends on what year you were born in. If you are in a financial situation causing you to begin withdrawing Social Security before your full retirement age, you need to understand that your monthly payments will be smaller than they would if you were to wait and begin withdrawing your benefits once you have reached your full retirement age. One of the benefits of waiting until you are 70 is that your payments will be bigger.
- Your Spouse Has an Impact
When it comes to Social Security, spousal benefits need to be considered. If something happens to your spouse and it results in death, you might be eligible for what is called survivors’ benefits. Survivors’ benefits are part of the Social Security program that will pay the benefits or a portion of the benefits of a deceased individual to their spouse or their children (Paying for Senior Care, 2019). If you are already receiving your own Social Security benefits, you will receive your spouse’s benefits as well.
- Verify Your Earnings
Are your earnings accurate? Once you receive your Social Security statement, this is one of the first things you should be checking. The statement should include a record of your income each year, for the highest-earning 35 years of your working career. Making sure that your Social Security statement is accurate can end up increasing your monthly payment because one of your previous employers could have failed to accurately report what you made while working for them. If you have already reviewed your Social Security statement, and your earnings are incorrect, you can correct them. Check out this website to learn what the proper steps are for correcting errors in your records.
When it comes to Social Security, there is a plethora of things to do before deciding to begin withdrawing your benefits. If you are considering withdrawing early, review these three things before doing so. For assistance in figuring out your plan for Social Security and retirement, visit https://www.bernardwolfe.com/ or give us a call at 301-652-9677 and let’s set up a meeting!
Paying for Senior Care. Social Security Survivors' Benefits & Elder Care, 29 July 2019,