Start Early & Get the Most Out of Social Security Benefits in 2022

In a common term, the earlier you claim your Social Security benefits, the lesser you will receive each month.

But, in contrast to this, your benefit check can still be larger if you wait a bit longer.

You have the opportunity to make one of the biggest economic decisions of your life.

As you may not know, there are some benefits to claiming Social Security at the earliest age, which is 62, rather than waiting until full retirement age – or 70 – if that’s what you’re aiming for.

Here are a few reasons to claim your retirement benefits early, and how you can make the most of them.

Issues Pertaining to Health

You might be better off claiming Social Security benefits early if you have certain medical problems and conditions.

According to Yahoo, When you file your claim earlier, you will have more to pay over the course of your lifetime, which can ease the stress of paying down medical expenses. For people with significant medical concerns, it might be more beneficial to receive monthly social security payments while they are alive in order to manage their estates and pay their medical bills accordingly.

Benefits for Spouses

Depending on your eligibility for spousal benefits, it might not matter when you claim them. Up to $800 in spousal benefits could be added to your monthly check. It is estimated that spousal benefits increased by 6% in 2021, bringing your spousal benefits much closer to the $700-800 range last year. A great way to maximize your benefits at 62 is to leverage your spouse’s benefits so that your checks are not reduced.

Social Security Administration rules allow the spousal benefit to equal half the primary insurance amount of the working spouse.

The spouse will receive reduced benefits if they decide to take early distributions before full retirement age, just as the worker will if they take early distributions.

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Although a spouse’s benefit isn’t reduced if they are caring for a qualifying child.

To Maximize Your Benefits, You Must Work for 35 Years

When calculating your Social Security benefits, the Social Security Administration considers your highest 35 years of earnings.

You should make sure that if you are claiming early and your spouse is not eligible for spousal benefits, you work at least 35 years to maximize your benefits.

In other words, if you had 33 years of high income following your work at minimum wage jobs in your 20s, those 33 years of high income plus two more years of lower-income would then be counted.

Thus, you should aim to earn a high income for at least 35 years before applying.

If you decide to apply early at age 62, all these strategies will raise your maximum benefit amount.

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