If you can’t answer these 4 questions, you don’t have a business to claim social security

Applying for Social Security is something most people do only once. Although you can change your mind if you regret claiming too early, this is difficult for most people because you have to return everything you have received from Social Security so far.

Instead of doing this, you should try to choose the right age to apply from the beginning. And to do that, you need to be able to answer the following questions.

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1. What is my full retirement age?

The Social Security Administration determines each full retirement age (FRA) based on the year of birth. For today’s workers, it’s somewhere between 66 and 67. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your FRA is 66. Then the FRA rises two months each year thereafter until it reaches 67 for those born in 1960 or later. -Late.

Your FRA determines when you are entitled to your full social security benefit. Claiming before this age shrinks your monthly checks. For example, you only receive 70% of your full check compensation if you claim 62 and your FRA is 75. If your FRA is 66, you will receive 75% of your full check compensation at 62.

Your FRA also dictates how great your maximum benefit is. You qualify for this at 70 when you will receive 124% of your full check compensation if your FRA is 67 or 132% if your FRA is 66.

If you want to know what your Social Security benefits will be based on your income to date, create my Social Security account. The site contains a calculator that can show you how much you will get at different starting ages.

2. How long do I expect to live?

Your life expectancy affects how many years you claim social security and in addition how much money you will receive from the program as a whole. It is impossible to know exactly how long you will live, but you must keep in mind an estimate when choosing your age for social security.

If you expect to live to be 80 or older, a delay in social security is likely to lead to greater lifelong benefits. But if you have a short life expectancy due to an incurable disease or poor health habits, registering earlier may make more sense.

3. How will the request affect other members of my household?

If you are married or have other dependents, members of your household may also be eligible for social security benefits based on your length of service or their own. It makes sense to plan your claim strategy together to maximize the benefits to your household.

For example, if both spouses are eligible for Social Security and have earned similar amounts in their lifetime, it is usually prudent for both spouses to defer benefits for as long as possible if they try to get the most out of the program.

But if one person has earned significantly more than the other, the lower earner may prefer to register earlier. Their benefits can help delay higher incomes until they qualify for larger checks. Then, when the bigger winner registers, the Social Security Administration will automatically transfer the lower winner to matrimonial benefits if it costs more than what they already receive.

Minors or people with disabilities may also be eligible for social security benefits based on your length of service, but they may only request this after you register. So, if you have other members of your household who are eligible for benefits, you may prefer to register earlier than you would otherwise like to claim.

4. How will the age of the request affect my finances?

Once you have successfully answered these three questions, you need to know what age will give you the most money in general. But sometimes waiting until this age to register is not always possible. For example, if you think you will get the most money by postponing until 70, but you can’t afford to finance your retirement until then, you may need to register for social security early.

If this is the case for you, it doesn’t mean you have to register right away at 62. You can try for a happy environment – maybe postpone a few months or years before registering to give your checks a boost.

No matter when you register, you will receive Social Security checks for the rest of your life. But if your goal is to get as much money as possible, you need to consider the above factors. Use them as your guide and choose the age for the request that is most reasonable for you at the moment, but do not be afraid to adjust this over time if your plans change.

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