Social Security Benefits Retirement Benefits Spousal Retirement Benefits

For most retirees, social security benefits are their only source of permanent income once they are no longer working. Therefore, as they approach retirement age, many of these people start to thinking about how and when they should be applying for the benefits. Full retirement privileges are available to those who have reached the retirement age of 65. For those who choose to retire earlier, they can receive a quarter of the full package once they are 62 years and above. Retirees can also choose to claim their benefits later up to the age of 70 so as to receive a larger full package. 

As this benefit is probably their only income source during retirement, retirees need to do as much to stretch their dollar as long as possible to avoid hardship during retirement. Fortunately, there are some proven and legal tricks to increase social security income for this group of people.

Claim Now and Later

This strategy is calls for the individual to claim the partial retirement benefits at the earliest time possible, repay the amount at a later date, then reapply for a larger package down the road. This tactic is akin to taking a zero interest loan from the social security authorities. This method is fully allowed under the SSA. Although this approach requires that the individual repays the amount which could be substantial, it allows for the investment of the initial benefit payments and possible profits while having a bigger monthly benefits package on the second application.

Two Claim Method

This method which may benefit working couples involves having one spouse claiming the spousal benefits at retirement age while continuing to work and getting a higher retirement package for his or her own plan. In this circumstance, it is perfectly logical for one spouse to claim full benefits while the other spouse continues to work but at the same time files for the spousal benefit package. The major advantage of this strategy is that the working half of the couple gets the spousal benefit package worth fifty percent of the retired spouse’s full package while the working partner’s benefit continues to accumulate until the last possible date.

Suspended Claim

Similar to the two claim method, this strategy is when one party does not have much retirement benefits. In this situation the working spouse may need to work past the retirement age and allow the retirement benefit to accumulate with delayed credits. If the non-working half of the couple has no retirement benefits, he or she can still qualify for spousal benefits. To be eligible for the maximum package, both spouse must be age 65 and above and the working spouse must have already filed a claim for spousal benefits. After both spouses have filed their claims, the working spouse can choose to suspend the claim. In this situation, the non-working spouse gets to keep the full benefit package while the working spouse postpones his or her benefits thereby increasing the future credits of the package.