When preparing your retirement finances, your goal is to cover your senior living costs and enjoy a comfortable retirement. Part of your retirement planning should include learning how to get the most out of senior benefits like Medicare and Social Security. Learning how to maximize your Social Security benefits before you retire can inform you of any changes needed to increase the benefits you receive each month.
At SeniorSmart, we understand that our members need a customized approach to their retirement planning. We can help you take a look at your circumstances and create a sound financial plan for retirement. Call us today at 205.460.1124 to take advantage of our concierge-level services and speak with an experienced retirement planner.
How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits
Before you decide to retire, it is important to learn more about how Social Security benefits work and what can affect your monthly payments. There is no single formula that works for everyone, so you need to consider your individual needs when determining how and when to retire.
Here are some factors that can affect your Social Security payments:
- The age at which you start to collect Social Security benefits affects how much you will be paid each month. You can start collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62. Keep in mind that this will result in the lowest monthly payment, possibly up to 30% less per month than if you wait until your full retirement age.
- The year you were born also comes into play. When you reach your full retirement age, you can collect 100% of your earned benefits. If you were born in 1954 or earlier, your full retirement age is 66. For those born between 1955 and 1959, your full retirement age increases by two months for each year after 1954 that you were born. If you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67.
- Waiting to collect Social Security benefits until you reach age 70 results in the highest payment. If you are in good health and able to continue working, you may wish to wait until age 70 to collect Social Security so you can receive the highest monthly payment throughout your retirement.
Deciding at which age to start collecting Social Security should be based on your situation. Speaking to a retirement planner about your circumstances can help you decide when the right time is to retire and start collecting Social Security.
How to Supplement Social Security for Seniors
To get the most out of your retirement years, it helps to know about additional Social Security benefits Alabama and the federal government offer. Some additional programs provided to help cover senior living costs include:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – This provides additional monthly benefits to those 65 and older who qualify as low-income.
- Spousal benefits – You may be eligible to receive benefits based on your spouse’s earnings. If you are divorced and have not remarried, you may qualify for benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings.
- Medicare – This health care program helps offset or cover medical costs for seniors.
Taking advantage of any additional benefits you are entitled to can help keep you financially sound throughout your senior years.
SeniorSmart: Helping You Get the Most Out of Social Security Benefits in Alabama
At SeniorSmart, we realize that deciding when to start collecting Social Security benefits in Alabama is not as simple as calculating your full retirement age. There are several other factors to consider to help you get the most out of your Social Security benefits. With our concierge-level services, you benefit from speaking with an experienced retirement planner who can help you map out the best financial plan for your senior years. Give us a call today at 205.460.1124 to start laying the foundation for your retirement lifestyle.