Most understand that waiting to claim Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments. 然而, many don’t know that there are other ways to maximize their benefits, 其中一些取决于他们的婚姻状况.
Understanding the strategies for maximizing your Social Security retirement income benefits should be prefaced with a review of the three basic forms of retirement benefits:
- 工人的好处: This is the benefit you receive based on your own personal earnings history, and for which you become eligible after 40 quarters of work.
- 婚姻的好处: 这是付给你配偶的福利. For non-working spouses, this is 50% of the working spouse’s benefit. 工作的配偶, it is the greater of the benefit earned from his or her earnings or 50% of the worker’s benefit.
- 幸存者的好处: 这是支付给未亡配偶的福利, which is paid at a rate equal to the greater of his or her own current benefit, or, 取决于寡妇或鳏夫的年龄, 死者配偶现有权益的100%.1
The first and most obvious strategy for maximizing your Social Security benefit is to simply wait to reach age 70 before beginning to take benefits. 等到70岁才领取福利, 你的月供可能会增加24%, not including any cost of living increases that may be added to this amount.2
还记得, 寡妇/鳏夫没有配偶福利, but he or she does qualify for a survivor benefit that is equal to 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit (versus the 50% spousal benefit if the working spouse is still alive). This survivor benefit is available at age 60 or even earlier, depending on the widow/widower’s disability status and whether or not they are caring for a child.3
如果你是寡妇，并且工作了40个25美分, 你将获得工人福利和遗属福利. 这为您提供了几个选择. One choice is to file for the benefit that provides you the greatest monthly benefit amount.
Another choice may be to start your worker benefit at age 62 and then switch to the survivor benefit once you reach full retirement age. This option is advantageous in instances where the widowed spouse did not accumulate the same level of benefits as the deceased spouse. Choosing this option allows the surviving spouse to take the higher survivor benefit amount. Because there are no delayed retirement credits earned on survivor benefits, there is no advantage to waiting past full retirement age to apply for survivor benefits.4
A final choice is to consider starting the survivor benefit at age 60 and then switching to your own worker benefit at age 70. This strategy allows you to begin receiving income based on the survivor benefit as early as possible and provides you time to build up the maximum worker benefit.
As you can see, there are ways you can potentially raise your Social Security benefits. These strategies can help you maximize your benefits beyond what is available to those who simply delay retirement to age 70.
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