Most people think that once they collect Social Security benefits, it will be enough for them to live off of.
The truth is, benefits are designed to only cover a portion of your salary from before you retired.
New reports show that in order for a person to retire comfortably, a savings of $2 million dollars would be ideal.
There are some basic things people are already aware of, like waiting until you’re 70 instead of your full retirement age of 67. For every year past 67 you gain an 8% boost on your benefits if you wait to retire.
These aren’t necessarily doable for everyone, so here are some things that you can do presently, and in the long term, to be sure you get the most out of those benefits whenever you do decide to retire.
3 things to do to boost your Social Security benefits
First, you should work for more than 35 years if it all possible.
The dollar amount you collect each month is based on your 35 years of highest wages. You want to be sure you have 35 yearly salaries to average together.
If you have less, than $0 is averaged in.
This means if you have 33 working years, they average all of those salaries and 2 years of $0 as a salary. This will greatly lower your monthly payment.
The second important thing to do is to secure another form of income if you want to bolster your yearly salary.
Whatever you make at a side gig is taxed by the IRS, adding to your overall yearly income. This will raise the average on your Social Security benefits in the long run.
Finally, it may be a good idea to collect spousal benefits instead of your regular benefits.
Related: Everything you need to know about penalties for retiring and collecting Social Security benefits early
Maybe you earned enough to qualify for benefits, but your earnings weren’t very high so your benefits aren’t that high.
If you’ve been married to someone for ten years and they qualify, you may be entitled to spousal benefits based on their earnings.
Your benefits will be 50% of their benefits. You cannot collect on them until your spouse files to collect.
You may be collecting your own benefits, and your spouse is younger so they cannot yet.
Once they do collect, you can then change to spousal benefits and get a bit more money if you qualify.
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