Mary Beth Franklin is a nationally recognized expert on Social Security claims strategy and a frequent speaker.And she literally wrote Book (Maximize your customers’ Social Security retirement benefits) used by retirement planning professionals to advise clients about Social Security.
Here, she shares her Social Security expertise and six insider tips for getting the most out of your Social Security. If you like the concepts below, be sure to listen to Franklin’s interview with Steve Chen, founder of NewRetirement, to hear even more great ideas for maximizing your profits.
1. Claiming at age 62 means a significant reduction in retirement income
Mary Beth doesn’t mince words about this guidance, saying, “People can claim their Social Security benefits starting at age 62, but it’s important that people understand that if they do, their benefits will be permanently reduced for the rest of their lives.” For married couples, it also means that the surviving spouse’s survivor benefit may be reduced. It also means that if you take SS benefits early and continue working, you will receive $15,720 in 2016. If this amount is exceeded, benefits may be temporarily reduced or abolished. [$21,240 in 2023]. Benefits lost when you reach the income limit are restored when you reach retirement age. ”
To get the most out of your Social Security benefits, you should wait for your benefits to start. The only real exception to this rule is if you know you won’t live long.
2. Take the time to compare early retirement benefits and full retirement benefits
It’s surprising how many people start benefits without actively comparing their monthly income if they started early versus if they started late. Mary Beth says, “Know how much your benefits are worth if you claim now versus waiting until your Full Retirement Age (FRA). Full Retirement Age (FRA) is 66 “It depends on your age,” he recommends.
“Think about whether you can claim Social Security until age 70, when your benefits are at their maximum. Each time you defer claiming beyond FRA until age 70, your benefits will increase by 8% per year and your retirement savings will increase by 8%. It can increase to 132% of the FRA amount.”
3. Early advocacy can lead to regrets.
In response to the question, “What’s the biggest regret you’ve heard from people who have already claimed Social Security?” Mary Beth said, “Many retirees choose to file for Social Security as soon as possible when they turn 62. “We regret that we requested a reduction in benefits, but in many cases it was unavoidable due to health problems or unemployment.”
4. You can change your mind if you make your point too soon.
Not everyone knows this and the rules are tricky, but Mary Beth says: “Anyone can change their mind and withdraw their application for benefits within 12 months of their initial application. You will have to repay the benefits collected based on your income record, but you will be able to receive larger benefits in the future.
“If you miss 12 months of widowhood, you can wait until you turn 66 to stop your benefits. Family members such as parents and dependent children cannot receive benefits, but they can earn delayed retirement benefits worth 8% per year until age 70.”
5. Social Security agents often give the wrong advice
A study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Social Security personnel do not fully understand all the rules and too often… give wrong guidance For those who have doubts about the benefits.
Mary Beth says: “With more than 2,700 rules governing Social Security benefits, it’s no surprise that Social Security Administration personnel don’t always get it right. The best solution is to apply for benefits. It’s important to understand your rights beforehand, including the possibility of switching between collecting spousal benefits first and receiving retirement benefits later, and the possibility of switching between collecting spousal benefits first and receiving retirement benefits later, as well as the possibility of switching between collecting spousal benefits first and receiving retirement benefits later, as well as the possibility of switching between collecting spousal benefits first and receiving retirement benefits later. It includes the possibility to choose when to claim the money.”
If getting the most out of your Social Security benefits is important to you, you may not want to rely solely on the opinion of the SSA.
6. When benefits begin also affects spouses.
“The maximum retirement benefit amount is also the maximum survivor benefit amount for a surviving spouse or eligible former spouse who was married at least 10 years before the divorce.”
Try out our favorite Social Security tips to fit your retirement plans
Do any of these ideas appeal to you? Try these strategies based on your own retirement plans. NewRetirement Planner allows you to easily test different what-if scenarios. You can quickly see how your finances will improve or worsen by things like delaying benefits for you, your spouse, or both. Additionally, the tool includes a Social Security Explorer to help you see your options.